Jada Pinkett Smith's Hair Evolution

Like the many unique characters Jada Pinkett Smith has played on-screen, the actress’s mane has morphed into many different styles over the years.
ESSENCE.COM Jan, 12, 2009

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“I think Jada’s hair reflects where she is in her life. In the beginning of her career and marriage to Will Smith, she wore her hair very funky and this reflected her carefree attitude. She also played with color, which gave her look some edge. Now as a mother, she wears her hair a little more conservatively to reflect the lifestyle she lives. She is still a risk taker at heart when the opportunity presents itself,” says Gentry.

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Like the many unique characters Jada Pinkett Smith has played on-screen, the actress’s mane has morphed into many different styles over the years. From braided beauty to short and sassy to long and lovely, Jada’s tresses our sought after by women everywhere. Get styling tips from the woman who keeps Jada looking like a jewel, celebrity hairstylist Carla Gentry.

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Celebrating almost 20 years in the hair industry, Carla Gentry is the ultimate hairstylist to the stars. The co-owner of Styles New York Salon, Gentry not only is responsible for maintaining the tresses of Jada Pinkett Smith, she also keeps Mary J. Blige, Brandy and Kerry Washington’s locks looking marvelous. ESSENCE.com caught up with the hair pro who dishes on how to get Jada’s hot hair.

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Jada made jaws drop when she sported this platinum blonde buzz cut at the 4th Annual Blockbuster Awards. Her strong facial features popped out perfectly with this bold look. “Jada’s hair has gone from very short to very long. She wore her hair short for so long many people don’t realize that she has as much hair as she does. People are constantly asking me if she wears extensions and no, she doesn’t,” dishes Carla on the natural state of Jada’s locks.

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Giving her hair some room to breathe, Jada sported long braids with her band Wicked Wisdom, who rocked it out at the MTV 2 Presents Headbangers Ball in New York City. If you are looking for a convenient hairstyle that will grow out your hair, braids are a favorable option. We recommend that you remove your braids every six weeks and then treat your hair to a deep penetrating cleansing to ensure healthy growth.

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Showing off her playful and youthful side, Jada looked lovely with ringlet curls at the New York premiere of “Shark Tale.” To achieve Jada’s sexy curly style, shampoo and condition hair, then blow-dry with a diffuser, and refine curls by wrapping small sections around a curling iron.

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“Jada loves using products at home. I use L’Oreal Natures Therapy Mega Strength Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner, $7.99 each, sallybeauty.com. I don’t use a lot of styling products on Jada because I like her hair to be silky and bouncy and products can sometimes weigh the hair down. I use John Frieda Frizz-Ease Moisture Barrier Hairspray, $5.49, drugstore.com, and also the John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum, $9.09, drugstore.com,” says Gentry.

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According to Gentry, in order to maintain the life and luster of your tresses you’ll want to keep your hair clean and conditioned, avoid over using curling and flat irons, and don’t use pins when wrapping your hair.

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Make sure your hair is in the best condition it can be, shares Gentry. “She doesn’t wear extensions, but some people will have to add hair to achieve the fullness.”

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This sister keeps it real on the red carpet, going for simple sophistication. “Jada likes either soft waves or her hair pulled away from the face. On more casual occasions, she will wear her hair with more curl, really full curls. Or you might see her with just a sleek ponytail as pictured at the 78th Annual Academy Awards,” says Gentry.

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Deep conditioning keeps the hair healthy and shiny. Try Doo Gro Mega Thick Intense Repair, $8, amazon.com, which rebuilds and helps repair breakage.

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“Women love long, healthy hair, and Jada’s hair represents women of all types. Her styles are simple and elegant and represent sophistication. When most women are seen, they want to achieve this level of success,” says Gentry.


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