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Jada Pinkett Smith explains how her hair has made a ‘come back’ amid alopecia battle

‘Still have some trouble spots,’ she wrote on Instagram

Amber Raiken
New York
Tuesday 08 August 2023 18:09 BST
Stephen Curry TALKS About How Jada Pinkett Smith Tried to Destroy Them!

Jada Pinkett Smith has revealed how her hair made a “come back” amid her battle with alopecia.

The actor, 51, took to Instagram on Monday to reflect on her hair growth by sharing two selfies. In the first snap, her head was shaved, while the second photo showed that her hair - which was dyed blonde - had started to grow in.

“This here hair is act’n like it’s try’n a make a come back. Still have some trouble spots but — we’ll see…Slide 1: Past. Slide 2: Present,” she wrote in the caption.

In the comments, many fans went on to celebrate both of Pinkett Smith’s hairstyles in the two photos.

“Beautiful either way,” one wrote, while author Lalah Delia commented: “Radiantly beautiful through and through.”

Activist Tamika Mallory added: “Looking good sis.”

As noted by Alopecia UK, the word “alopecia” is a general term for hair loss, although there are nine different types of the condition. The two most common types are androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata.

Pinkett Smith battles with alopecia areata, an autoimmune condition that causes hair to fall out. This usually happens in patches on the scalp or other places on the body that grow hair, such as the beard, eyebrows or eyelashes.

Her condition first made headlines in March 2022, when Chris Rock jokingly compared Pinkett Smith to GI Jane - who has a shaved head - while on stage at the Academy Awards. In response, her husband, Will Smith, walked up onto the stage, hit Rock in the face, and then walked back to his seat, before shouting twice: “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth“.

Prior to last year’s awards show, Pinkett Smith had revealed her struggle with alopecia in 2018 during an episode of her show, Red Table Talk. Speaking to her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and daughter, Willow Smith, the talk show host recalled her first experience with sudden hair loss.

“I’ve been getting lots of questions about why I’ve been wearing this turban,” she said. “Well, I’ve been having issues with hair loss. And I’ll tell you it was terrifying when it first started. 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 when I was literally shaking with fear.”

In July 2021, fans praised Pinkett Smith after she debuted a new buzz cut, saying it was “time to let go” after her struggle with hair loss. “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT … my 50s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed,” she wrote in the caption of her Instagram post.

Months later, the Matrix Resurrections star shared an update about her alopecia, as she pointed out a line on her scalp that had developed due to the condition.

“Now at this point, I can only laugh,” she said in an Instagram video, shared in December 2021. “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. 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.”

During an interview with The Guardian in February, Pinkett Smith also opened about what she’s learned about her autoimmune disease, nearly a year after Rock made his now-viral joke at the Oscars. “I learned a lot about detachment. And I learned a deeper beauty within myself, being able to let my hair go,” she said.

Pinkett Smith also specified how her diagnosis had been a “great teacher,” continuing: “It’s been a hard one, a scary one – because specifically as Black women, we identify so much of ourselves with our hair. And it was scary. I had to really dig deep and see the beauty of myself beyond my aesthetics.”

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