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Jada Pinkett Smith has been vocal about her hair loss and struggles with alopecia

Jada Pinkett-Smith leans into her husband Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards.
(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Before actor Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars Sunday night, the comedian made a quip about Jada Pinkett Smith that alluded to her shaved head.

“Jada, I love ya. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said, comparing Pinkett Smith’s close-cropped hair to Demi Moore’s buzzcut in the 1997 action film.

Pinkett Smith did not smile or laugh at the remark — likely because she has a condition called alopecia, which causes temporary or permanent hair loss. The 50-year-old actor and TV host has been vocal in the past about her experience with alopecia and how it has affected her emotionally.

The day after a night of historic wins, everyone’s talking about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars. Here’s how the drama unfolded.

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“It was terrifying when it when it first started,” Pinkett Smith said in a 2018 episode of her Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk.”

“I was in the shower one day, and then just handfuls of hair — just in my hands — and I was like, ‘Oh my God, am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear. That’s a really scary experience.”

Since going public with her alopecia journey in 2018, Pinkett Smith has continued to be open about her relationship with hair loss. Here’s what else the performer has said about the topic.

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May 2018

During the first season of “Red Table Talk,” Pinkett Smith revealed why she had been covering her head with a turban. After getting “every kind of test there is,” Pinkett Smith was told she had alopecia.

“That’s why I cut my hair,” Pinkett Smith explained. “My hair has been a big part of me. Taking care of my hair has been a beautiful ritual — and having the choice to have hair or not — and then one day be like, ‘Oh my god, I might not have that choice.’

“I really had to put it in a spiritual perspective of like, the higher power takes so much from people,” she continued. “People are out here who have cancer. People have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day, and by golly, if the higher power wants to take your hair? That’s it? God, you want my hair? When I looked at it from that perspective, it really did settle me.”

Chris Rock, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have found themselves at odds before. Remember what happened at the 2016 Oscars?

July 2021

Last summer, Pinkett Smith declared it was “time to let go” of her hair in the caption of a sweet Instagram photo with her daughter, Willow Smith, who also shaved her head.

“Willow made me do it … my 50’s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed,” Pinkett Smith wrote.

September 2021

On another episode of “Red Table Talk,” Pinkett Smith elaborated on the decision to fully shave her head and said that her husband “loves” the look.

“I was ready for that kind of expression and release,” she told her mother, Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris, and daughter Willow.

“I’m so glad I did it. It was such a beautiful experience and such a freedom. I feel more connected to myself and to the great divine in a very special way. ... I was just like, ‘I’m done. I’m just done with the worry. I’m done with the care. I’m just done.’”

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December 2021

Just before the New Year, Pinkett Smith discovered a new patch of hair loss, which she shared with millions of Instagram followers in a close-up video of her bare scalp.

“Now, at this point, I can only laugh,” Pinkett Smith said in the clip. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia, and all of a sudden one day — look at this line right here. Look at that. It just showed up like that. And this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So I thought I’d just share it so y’all are not asking any questions.”

In the caption of her post, Pinkett Smith wrote, “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”

“Mama’s going to put some rhinestones in there,” she continued, pointing to the exposed skin on her head. “I’m going to make me a little crown. That’s what mama’s going to do.”


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