The actress and television personality has developed a reputation as an open book in recent years, someone who is always eager to engage in deep, painful, but important conversations about life. There is no topic that is too contentious to discuss. There is no part of life that is too difficult to unpack. The Smiths essentially paved the way for how we can be unflinchingly honest about our situations while remaining sensitive to other people’s viewpoints.
While the majority of the Red Table Talk discussions have thus far focused on family or relationship issues, Jada recently spoke out about something considerably more personal: becoming bald.
Hair is frequently regarded to be the peak of feminine beauty and grace, so seeing a lady with none might be disconcerting. There are questions, accusations, and a lot of criticism directed at you.
Jada shows us how to overcome shame and live our truth with confidence via her willingness to be vulnerable.
Jada gives her Instagram fans an update on her hair in an Instagram video she released on December 28, 2021.
“Now at this point, I can only laugh,” she says, rubbing her head and pointing to a line etched across her scalp. “Y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia.” She said the latest development is going to be “more difficult for [her] to hide,” so she just wanted to bring her troubles to light and not have anyone ask intrusive questions. She finished the video by sharing how she will “put some rhinestones” on the scalp and make herself a “little crown.” In the corresponding caption to the video, she said, “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!.”
The 50-year-old has always kept her followers updated on her alopecia journey’s ups and downs. She talked about how afraid she was to pull out “handfuls of hair” in the shower when she first started losing her hair in a 2018 Red Table Talk episode. She felt she was growing bald and had no method of stopping it. “It was one of those occasions in my life where I was literally shivering with terror,” she said. Hair loss had sneaked up on her, and she had to settle down to figure out what was going on. The mother of two sought the advice of numerous specialists and undertook a battery of tests and examinations in an attempt to pinpoint the cause of her hair loss, but to no avail: “They don’t know why.”
“It was terrifying when it first started […] 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.”
It was at that time that she had to accept the fact that she was rapidly losing her hair and that she might not be able to recover. “That’s why I cut my hair and will keep cutting it,” she declared in 2018. She also began wearing a scarf around her head, which piqued the interest of the show’s viewers. Eventually, Jada’s hair loss became so severe that she had no choice but to cut it all off. “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go,” she said on Instagram in July 2021, adding that she was looking forward to her fifties, which she said would be “divinely lit with this shed.”
Just because Jada was able to “let go” at the end of the day doesn’t mean she wasn’t in a lot of discomfort and anxiety. We’re trained as women to value the length of our hair, to treat every strand as if it were our kid, and to be ashamed if we have a “poor hair day” or exhibit hair fall. Much of this societal emphasis stems from the fact that haircare is a multibillion-dollar industry that profits off worries about hair maintenance, as well as how much of our beauty we judge based on our hair type, length, or color.
It had become a daily routine for Jada to maintain and comb her hair, a pleasure that reinforced her feeling of femininity and self-care. “Taking care of my hair has become a lovely habit for me,” she explained. She could also find comfort in her “freedom” to style her hair whichever she wanted before alopecia set in. The condition, on the other hand, took her independence from her grasp. It’s a devastating discovery to make, and acclimating to it can take years, if not decades. You must accept your body’s changing rhythms and the fact that, no matter how hard you try, some mechanisms are beyond your control.
In Jada’s instance, she observed her surroundings and concluded that, even if hair loss was the worst thing she could be going through, it wasn’t so horrible after all. People were dealing with life-threatening situations like cancer, death, and abuse, so counting her lucky stars was enough for her.
Jada’s attitude regarding baldness is nothing short of remarkable. It’s a huge adjustment to look in the mirror and find oneself without the one feature that effectively defined your face, and in many cases, your identity. But, at the end of the day, your body will do what bodies do: you’ll have to adjust to these changes, but they’re inevitable.
You’re not beautiful because of your baldness; you’re beautiful because of it. It’s what distinguishes you as distinct, stunning, and genuine. It can be enough for anyone if it’s enough for Jada.