Jada Pinkett Smith Has Been Open About Her Alopecia — Here's What She's Said About Hair Loss

Jada Pinkett Smith, who debuted her shaved hairstyle in July 2021, was mocked by 2022 Oscars presenter Chris Rock for her current look

A joke made at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith was at the center of the most surprising moment of 94th annual Academy Awards.

Before he presented the award for Best Documentary on Sunday, Chris Rock diverged from the subject at hand to discuss this year's Best Actor nominees, which included Pinkett Smith's husband Will Smith. That led him to make a seemingly random crack comparing the shaved hairstyle of Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore's buzzed Navy service member in G.I. Jane.

Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes while the audience laughed nervously. Then, in the night's most unscripted moment, the King Richard star — who would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar — walked up to Rock and "smacked" him across the face and told him to "leave my wife's name out of your f--king mouth" once he was back in his seat.

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Viewers and the audience at the Dolby Theatre were stunned, uncertain what sparked Smith's anger.

It turns out Rock's joke was deeply personal to the actor and his wife, who has experienced hair loss due to alopecia.

Jada Pinkett Smith
Mike Coppola/Getty

Pinkett Smith, 50, has been vocal about dealing with hair loss for years. She first revealed the information publicly in 2018 on her Red Table Talk series.

"A lot of people have been asking why I've been wearing turbans. Well, I haven't talked about it. It's not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it," she shared.

The actress said it "was terrifying" to deal with when it first started.

"I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, 'Oh my God, am I going bald?'" she added. "It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That's why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it."

"Now at this point, I can only laugh," she said in an Instagram video in December 2021 as she ran her finger across a bald line patch on her scalp. "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."

She continued, "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."

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At one point in time, Pinkett Smith said she was taking "little steroid injections" to mediate her hair loss issues.

"They seem to be helping, but not curing ... but I'm open to other ideas," she said in the video post in 2018.

More recently, Pinkett Smith debuted her shaved hairstyle last July, crediting her daughter Willow, 21, for inspiring her to make the transition.

"Willow made me do it because it was time to let go," she captioned a photo of the mother-daughter duo. "BUT … my 50's are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed❣️😜." At the Critics Choice Awards earlier this year, she even highlighted her look by donning a $46,000 diamond headpiece.

Oscars Couples
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Will Smith, 53, and his wife have been unimpressed with jokes by Rock, 57, in the past. When he hosted the 2016 Academy Awards, Rock mocked Pinkett Smith's decision to protest and not attend the ceremony for failing to nominate stars of color within the main categories, which was something that was a part of the #OscarsSoWhite movement. Rock also poked fun of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum for his Wild Wild West salary.

Thereafter, Pinkett Smith said after the incident, "It comes with the territory."

"We gotta keep it moving," she told photographers at the time. "We got a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now."

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