Jada Pinkett Smith opened up about her struggle with hair loss in an episode of her Facebook talk show, Red Table Talk.
“A lot of people have been asking why I’ve been wearing turbans,” Pinkett Smith, 46, said. “Well, I haven’t talked about it. It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it.”
The actress recalled the “terrifying” moment when she first noticed she was losing “handfuls of hair” in the shower.
“I was just like, ‘Oh my god, am I going bald?’” Pinkett Smith said.
“It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking with fear,” she shared. “That’s why I cut my hair and continue to cut it.”
The actress debuted an asymmetrical bob at the beginning of the year and has kept her hair short since.
“My hair has been a big part of me,” Pinkett Smith continued. “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.’ ”
Despite having many medical tests, Pinkett Smith said she has not been able to find the cause of her alopecia. She added that people, including her mom Adrienne Banfield-Jones who joins her on the talk show, have suggested the issue could be stress.
Alopecia is an autoimmune disease that causes hair from the entire body to fall out. The cause of alopecia is unknown, although it is linked to hereditary factors — a family history of autoimmune disorders like Type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, for instance — and stress.
Pinkett Smith said she tried to put the problem in perspective. “I really had to put it into a spiritual perspective, like the higher power takes so much from people. People are out here with cancer. People have sick children. I watch the higher power take things every day,” she explained. Looking at it from that context “really did settle me,” she added.
Pinkett Smith said she likes the way she looks with a hair wrap. “When my hair is wrapped I feel like a queen,” she explained. “I love having a wrapped head.”
The actress’ husband Will Smith took to Instagram to show his support of his wife’s new haircut when she first debuted the look. “I love her new haircut, I had to show y’all,” he captioned the video.
Watch Jada Pinkett Smith discuss her battle with hair loss in the video above.
—With files from Marilisa Racco