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Jada Pinkett Smith hair loss: everything she's said about 'terrifying' alopecia

Will Smith's wife has spoken candidly about losing her hair

After Chris Rock made an insensitive joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss at the 2022 Oscars, the actress' appearance has been a hot topic.

MORE: Will Smith excluded from huge Oscars honour after Chris Rock altercation

When the comedian compared Jada's shaved head to Demi Moore's fictional character G.I. Jane, Jada, 50, simply rolled her eyes, but she has spoken openly in the past about how her alopecia has deeply affected her.

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The mum-of-two first spoke publicly about suffering from hair loss on her Red Table Talk chat show series in 2018, explaining that it was "terrifying" when she first noticed that she was losing her hair. "It was terrifying when it first started. I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, 'Oh my god, am I going bald?'"

MORE: What is alopecia? The causes and treatment for the hair loss condition

READ: Perrie Edwards opens up about pregnancy hair loss in candid video

She continued: "It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That's why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it… 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 to be like, 'Oh my god, I might not have that choice anymore.'"

She added that she had tried to look at the hair loss from a "spiritual perspective", explaining: "The higher power takes so much from people. I watch the higher power take things every day. And by golly, if the higher power wants to take your hair - that's it?"

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Jada Pinkett Smith first shaved her head in 2021

Later in 2018 Jada shared that she was treating her alopecia with steroid injections, explaining: "I’m getting my little steroid injections, and they seem to be helping, but not curing, but they seem to be helping."

MORE: Will Smith's daughter Willow reveals major change to her body

Three years on, Jada made the decision to shave her head, encouraged by her daughter Willow, 21, who also regularly rocks a shaved head. Jada wrote: "Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT … my 50’s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed."

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Jada's daughter Willow encouraged her to shave her head

In late 2021 Jada reflected on her hair loss again: "Now at this point, I can only laugh," she said in an Instagram video in December 2021, highlighting a bald line along her head. "Y'all know I've been struggling with alopecia and just all of a sudden one day, look at this line right here. Look at that.

She continued, "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."

Jada keeps her followers up to date with her alopecia battle

Jada shared a lighthearted post about her hair loss in September 2021 as she prepped for the Emmys, sharing a video of a woman with a shaved head pretending to straighten her hair. Jada captioned the post: "Me getting ready for the Emmy’s yesterday [crying laughing emoji]"

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Jada shared this comparison picture on her Instagram

Hair loss became all the more common during the pandemic, with a side-effect of long-Covid being hair loss, but alopecia is much less common, affecting around two in 1000 people.

It can affect any age, gender or race, though there are several factors that can trigger it, such as illness, weight loss or an iron deficiency along with stress or a hormonal imbalance.

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