For many Black women, hair is a loaded subject. On the latest episode of Red Table Talk, Jada Pinkett Smith kept it really real, and vulnerable, about her struggle with losing her crown.
Recently, the actress has been rocking a variety of head wraps in addition to her signature short styles, but it’s not just a matter of convenience. According to Pinkett Smith, those wraps have been covering up a secret: she’s losing her hair.
“People have been asking about why I wear turbans. Well, I haven’t talked about it,” she shared on the latest Red Table Talk episode, which tackled body confessions. “It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it.”
While Pinkett Smith’s mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, talked about the pressure on women to stay young, and her daughter, Willow Smith, spoke about sometimes feeling self-conscious because she’s skinny, Pinkett Smith called losing her hair “terrifying.”
In the beginning, Pinkett Smith said was losing handfuls of hair in the shower and she wondered if she was going bald. “It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” she said. “That’s why I cut my hair and continued to cut it.”
Though Pinkett Smith has kept her hair short over the years, it wasn’t always like that. During the episode, her mother confirmed she had “a lot of hair” that was “very thick” and long, but once it started falling out the actor was alarmed. “I’ve gotten every kind test there is to have,” Pinkett Smith said, yet doctors still don’t know why she suffers from hair loss.
While the experience has been traumatic, Pinkett Smith said she had to check herself because other people suffer from far worse situations.
“People are out here with cancer, with sick children. I watch the higher power take so much from people… and, by golly, if the higher power wants to take your hair, that’s it?” she said.
“When I looked at it from that perspective it really did settle me.”