Jada Pinkett Smith Reveals Hair Loss From Alopecia

"Me and this alopecia are going to be friends... period!"

Jada Pinkett Smith isn't allowing alopecia-related hair loss to dampen her cheerful demeanor. In an Instagram video, the actor revealed another symptom of the condition while embracing the condition.

In the clip, the "Red Table Talk" co-host showed off her shaved head, including a bald patch in the form of a line across the top of her head.

"Mama's gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something," wrote Pinkett Smith in the caption. "Me and this alopecia are going to be friends... period!"

Pinkett Smith explained in the video that the bald line appeared unexpectedly on her head one day. 

"Now, at this point, I can only laugh. 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," said Pinkett Smith, pointing to her head. "So, 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."

Here's what you should know about what Pinkett Smith shared about her alopecia diagnosis, as well as the different types of alopecia.

Pinkett Smith About Her Alopecia Diagnosis

Pinkett Smith opened up about her alopecia in 2018 during an episode of "Red Table Talk." 

"A lot of people have been asking why I've been wearing turbans. Well, I haven't talked about it. It's not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it," said Pinkett Smith, revealing that she was experiencing "issues with hair loss."

"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?'" continued Pinkett Smith. "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," added Pinkett Smith. "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.'"

Types of Alopecia

According to Pinkett Smith, it was her mom, Adrienne Banfield-Jones, who suggested that her hair loss may be alopecia-related. When she was diagnosed, Pinkett Smith shared that, though she'd seen several experts, no one had yet found the source of her hair loss. 

"I've gotten every kind of test there is to have," explained Pinkett Smith. "They don't know why."

Medically speaking, alopecia is the term for baldness, according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD). And there are three types of alopecia, which include: 

  • Alopecia areata
  • Alopecia totalis
  • Alopecia universalis.

All three types of alopecia are autoimmune conditions in which the body attacks its hair follicles. According to the AAD, that immune response results in different hair loss levels.

Alopecia areata, which is what Pinkett Smith seemed to describe, is characterized by "patchy baldness." According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), anybody can develop alopecia areata, the most common type of alopecia. 

Hair loss can occur anywhere on the body—like the scalp, beard, eyebrows, eyelashes, and armpits. But many people with alopecia areata experience a bald patch, or patches, on their scalps. 

Alopecia totalis occurs when a person loses all the hair on their scalp, leaving them completely bald. And alopecia universalis happens when a person loses all the hair on their body, leaving them entirely hairless, per the  AAD.

Alopecia is largely unpredictable. Hair may regrow without treatment. But even if hair does regrow, it may or may not fall out again, according to the AAD. Those unpredictable cycles may occur for years. 

And while healthcare providers aren't entirely sure what causes alopecia, they believe there's a genetic component. If a parent or close blood relative has alopecia, you may be more likely to develop the condition.

A Quick Review

Although the hair loss isn't painful or disabling, living with alopecia can sometimes lead to depression, anxiety, or other emotional issues, according to the National Library of Medicine.

As for how Pinkett Smith is handling hair loss, she seemed to be fully embracing it. 

"You know mama's going to put some rhinestones in there," Pinkett Smith shared in an Instagram post. "I'm going to make me a little crown. That's what mama's going to do."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles