Jada Pinkett Smith’s Alopecia Struggle: What She’s Said About Autoimmune Disorder Before Chris Rock Joke

Jada Pinkett Smith‘s noticeable disgust over Chris Rock‘s 2022 Oscars joke about her shaved head was understandable. The actress revealed in 2018 that she suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes one’s hair to fall out.

Chris joked, “Jada, can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2,” about her look, to which Jada rolled her eyes and looked infuriated. Her husband, Will Smith, rushed the stage and slapped Chris across the face, telling him upon returning to his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out your fking mouth.”

Jada bravely came forward in May 2018 about how she was suffering from hair loss, after she had taken to wearing turbans and decided to let fans know that it wasn’t just a fashion statement. “It was terrifying when it first started,” the former Gotham star revealed on her Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk.

“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 described to viewers. Jada then explained that it was the reason behind why she gradually cut her hair shorter and shorter. “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.”

“My hair has been a big part of me,” Jada 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.’”

After her diagnosis, Jada decided to shave her head in July 2021, rocking a completely bald look that she shared with her Instagram followers. She later explained in a September 2021 Red Table Talk episode, “It was just time. I was just ready for that kind of expression and release. I’m so glad I did it. It was such a beautiful experience and such a freedom. I feel more connected to myself and to the great diving in a very special way.”

She’s since embraced the look on red carpets and other events, including the 2022 Oscars. It’s unclear if Chris was aware of Jada’s alopecia battle when he made the ill-fated joke about her shaved head, but judging by the reaction from the actress, her hair loss is no laughing matter.

Scroll down for photos and Jada’s quotes about her alopecia battle.

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