Jada Pinkett Smith got a haircut and is wearing turbans to hide her hair loss

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I’ve noticed a lot of photos lately where Jada Pinkett Smith is wearing a turban – and I’m all for it. She’s not the only one who has rocked a head wrap lately – I see you, Tracee Ellis Ross. I just thought, hey, if a turban works for Nick Cannon, I’m fine with Jada’s look. Besides, it seems like a low maintenance style, which I am totally here for.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who has noticed Jada’s recent affinity for head wraps. On the latest episode of her new Facebook Watch series, Red Table Talk, the 46-year-old actress, who has been sporting a shorter haircut for the past few months, discussed the topic, and it’s more than just a fashion choice. Jada, who has already been brutally honest about other topics on the new show, prefaced the discussion by telling the audience, “It’s not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it” and then went on to detail her “issues with hair loss.”

“It was terrifying 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?’

“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,” she added.

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

[From Red Table Talk via People]

Jada went on to say that despite getting “every kind of test there is to have,” the reason for the hair loss remains a mystery. It’s been suggested that Jada is suffering with stress or alopecia. She admits that when she first started losing hair, she was “terrified,” but put the situation into a “spiritual perspective,” musing that comparing her situation to people with cancer and sick children “really did settle me.”

Not only is Jada rocking a short haircut, she also loves the hair wraps, noting that, “When my hair is wrapped I feel like a queen. I love having a wrapped head.” I personally think Jada looks quite regal with the wraps (she’s always been a gorgeous woman), but I hope she can track down the source of her hair loss.

Like most women, my body has brought no shortage of controversy in my life, having to grow up smaller than most and now going into a new stage of maturity as a woman and now dealing with the many issues that come with growing older. Our 3rd episode of @redtabletalk discusses body image and the often paralyzing effect it has on women’s hearts and minds. See you at the table… link in bio . And if you’ve personally struggled with any of the topics we discuss on RTT or know someone who has, we have a Facebook group who’s here to support you on whatever journey you may be on. Join us on the show page to discuss what you’re feeling, ask questions, and learn how to tackle the issues with others who may have been there before. We’re here for you and we’re listening.

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57 Responses to “Jada Pinkett Smith got a haircut and is wearing turbans to hide her hair loss”

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  1. Digital Unicorn says:

    She’s totes rocking the look – i never would have thought it was to do with hair loss, more that it was part of her personal style. Stress does horrible things to the body, it could also be the menopause.

    • V4Real says:

      She does need to leave the botox or fillers or whatever alone. Her natural face was so much better.

    • Evie says:

      She looks absolutely majestic. Gorgeous and classy, I’m loving her style.

      • DearWhitePeople says:

        I think she is one of the world’s most stunning women, but it’s an overdone “thing”. She usually hits one trend then move on… I hope she’s okay.

  2. Chef Grace says:

    Check your thyroid Jada.

    • TheRickestRick says:

      Yup. Likely hormone related. I work in a clinic based around hormone imbalances, mainly a clinic for women going through perimenopause and menopause. Hair loss is just another horrible symptom of menopause that some women experience.

      • Beezers says:

        Yep, I started losing my hair before I went into menopause. I would wake up each morning with way too much hair on my pillow! Menopause was real easy for me, though, so I have no complaints.

    • Sojaschnitzel says:

      My first thought aswell.

  3. Snowflake says:

    That has to be hard. Hair is one of the things women define themselves by

    • Pamela says:

      Agreed. She looks really spectacular in the turbans, so there is that, but *having* to wear one is still probably hard to cope with. Especially as a woman in the spotlight.

  4. EMc says:

    I am 32 and I have androgenic alopecia, for which there’s really no treatment. It’s a terrible feeling when people look at you, then look up to your scalp and stare. Hair defines beauty in our society, so when you don’t have a beautiful head of hair it can make you feel inadequate, embarrassed, and ugly. Good on her for rocking the turbans! She looks great.

    • Layla says:

      Have you tried Metformin?

      • EMc says:

        No, I’ve not heard of this being a treatment.. I’m a pharmacist actually, so I’m familiar with the medication. I do know they’re using avodart and proscar, which are men’s prostate medications, however it puts women at higher risk of breast cancer. So while I may be vain enough to consider it, I just can’t bite the bullet on it.

      • Milla says:

        Nooooo…. i understand its hard but metformin is not the answer. Its not safe and the drs are trying to find a replacement for people with diabetes.

    • Crystal Lake says:

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. It reminds me not to take anything for granted and I admire the positivity in your comment, as I imagine it takes effort. Wishing you strength, resilience and confidence through this time.

      P.S. I’d bet you’d rock a turban, easy!

    • Jag says:

      Make sure to look at the latest research regarding metformin’s risks and possible links to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

      Please read my post below, or if it isn’t showing, make sure to ask your doctor to check your vitamin B12. If it’s low, ask to be tested for pernicious anemia and treatment. Best wishes.

    • jasper says:

      I can relate to that. Sorry you’re going through that. My androgenic alopecia is hereditary and though it’s still in the early stages, I feel horrible. I had long thick hair my whole life and starting to lose it at 29 has been horrible.

      I do have a question about turbans, since I cannot stand the thought of a wiglet/dead hair on me and I might need a better solution than a headband soon. Do they count as cultural appropriation?religious appropriation?? Since I am a white woman from predominately white European country, I would like to wear them but feel uneasy since all the research and info I’ve managed to find indicated that it is sort of frowned upon?
      Can somebody give me a better, definite answer, please? Tnx.

      • Suki says:

        Don’t worry about that, wear the turban, anyone who would give you hell for it would not understand.

      • EMc says:

        Sorry to hear this, Jasper. It is surprising to find another CB’er who also has it. And I thought the same thing about the cultural appropriation. I’ve been wearing a hair piece for when I’m going to a special event, or I am going somewhere where there will be a lot of photos. But it’s getting harder and harder to blend it in. Maybe science will find us an answer someday!

      • IMUCU says:


        Good question, I was wondering the same thing so I hope someone addresses that…I have an autoimmune disease and was losing HANDFULS and HANDFULS of hair in the shower, but I believe it was due to mostly taking methotrexate. The only things that slowed it were using monoxodil (which I really didn’t like using another drug bc of another drug’s sx) and then finally just stopping the methotrexate (it was causing other problems too, like getting the flu/colds easier and dermatitis on my face). I haven’t told my rheumatologist I’ve stopped taking it yet, but being off of it hasn’t made my autoimmune disease sx or blood work results change, and it’s been a few months…I’m kinda dreading seeing/telling him, I just couldn’t deal with the hair loss (I had to cut my hair short, which fortunately worked out for me bc I, and others, liked it, but I didn’t want to do it originally), dermatitis, etc. anymore after using it over a year now. I’m now taking xeljanz (he wanted me to take it plus the methotrexate and plaquenil), which I hope won’t cause the same or other problems, but we’ll see — I have some vanity, especially with hair, and I don’t want to feel AND LOOK crummy!

      • jasper says:

        @ suki: thank you!

        @EMc: yeah, it feels good when you get a reminder that you are not alone in this. <3 and I completely understand the struggle. I have been lucky that I can get away with a 'carefully placed' side parting and a ton of colored hair thickener spray when I have to, but it can be a nightmare during the hot summer days.
        It is shocking how much worth and self-confidence we place in our hair and don't realize it until we lose it. :/
        I place a LOT of hope in science too, I just wish it would hurry up. 🙂

      • Asiyah says:

        Jasper maybe ask Sikh and Muslim men and women who cover their hair for religious purposes and see what they think? I wish I could help you but that’s what I would do. To be honest, I don’t think they’d cry cultural or religious appropriation not only because of your situation but because they wear certain types of turbans. The women might be able to point you in the right direction of what types of fabrics to cover your hair with (certain things might make your hair loss worse). Also, maybe ask black women who wear weaves and/or wigs (even non-black women who do, obviously)? I don’t think you can wear weaves if you are losing your hair but again good to talk to people who know things. Not an expert here just suggesting 🙂

      • jasper says:

        @Asiyah: thanks for the suggestions. good point about the ‘type’ of the turbans, I’ll try to look more into it. My problem was more that I live in a VERY ethnically, and religiously homogeneous country & have very little contact with POC and the Muslim women that I am friends with are all non-hijabi women who said that they don’t care either way..so I came here to find an answer :/

      • Asiyah says:

        @jasper I hear you. I’m also a Muslim non-hijabi so I can’t be much help but from my experience I don’t think anybody would care if you rock a headscarf, especially if you do it how Jada does. I grew up with black women who wrapped their hair all the time and I mean you can tell when it’s a scarf vs. when it’s a hijab or turban. I don’t think you will have much of a problem. Hopefully you find answers here from others 🙂

    • Alexis says:

      Find a good Endocrinologist. They will run a series of labs/tests and find the source of your hair loss.

    • Raina says:

      I’m 41 now, but about 2 decades ago, after an extremely beyond belief level break up, also combined with other stressors, I lost a lot of my hair. It was brutal and just patches everywhere. I always wore a hat. I even tried to have a sense of humor about it and complain how we only lose hair in the parts we don’t want.
      Honestly? It was kind of traumatic. It wasn’t vanity; It was having your life physically manifest a period where you have zero control. I remember wearing lots of hats. Too, I had not a great support system.
      One of the few people who saw me at that point was my mom and she would say,” Don’t ever go outside without your cap. You look scary.”
      She’s not exactly awesome.
      Suffice it to say, it wasn’t exactly inspiring.
      It took years to fully grow back, the hair. At least 3. The confidence? Still a work in progress.
      But I will never forget the stigma.
      It’s funny how strife, physically and/or mentally, really impacts you. I realized a lot about who I was during that horrific period where I lost everything, hair included.
      I’ll tell you what, though…I have never been as compassionate and loving to others prior to that, as I am now. It could have went several ways.
      I chose empathy.
      I like Jada. What she said made sense.

  5. BlueSky says:

    Could be pre menopause. I have a family member who is going through this and is experiencing hair loss.

  6. aang says:

    My hair thinned for a while but then it grew back. I think it was stress and poor diet. I swear eating eggs on a regular basis makes my hair better. She is so beautiful that even bald she would look amazing.

  7. Elisa says:

    She looks great wearing a turban.
    Also, how absolutely incredibly stunning is Willow? Out of all the celebrity kids I find her the most interesting to look at.

    • Raina says:

      Some people prefer the short cut. I say: Whatever you wear, rock it.
      Good for you

  8. Jag says:

    She needs to get her vitamin B12 tested. Many, many doctors never test for it, and it’s possible that she has an autoimmune disease similar to lupus, which is called pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia can cause alopecia. Unfortunately, I’m dealing with that right now.

    Other things can cause what I call “pseudo pernicious anemia,” like getting older, chemotherapy, Accutane, gastric bypass surgery, and other stomach injury. Everyone should get their B12 tested yearly and know their number. (It’s “pseudo” because it’s not an autoimmune disease causing the body to attack itself.)

    Why? Because B12 is vital for nerve health in the body. If the brain goes without B12 for too long, it begins to die. The person can experience psychosis and be misdiagnosed with things other than what it is: Megaloblastic Madness which is psychosis caused by low B12. I’ve had that a few times and it’s scary how close to dying I was. A couple were prior to my being properly diagnosed and treated with B12, and some were when doctors didn’t believe that I had it – since it’s a “rare” disease and usually seen in older people – so they didn’t treat me properly.

    Pernicious anemia can also cause narcolepsy symptoms, falling, photophobia, hypothyroidism, and even diabetes. It’s not as benign as almost all of the doctors that I’ve seen have thought. They think it’s just giving me a B12 shot monthly, when it’s so much more regarding the body.

    One would assume that she’s had her thyroid, hormones, and pituitary fully tested, so I didn’t mention those. Best wishes everyone.

    • Kit says:

      Thanks for all this info Jag, really interesting. I don’t get much B12 in my diet so I supplement (nothing so serious as autoimmune disease), but had no idea the extent of just how important it is. Best wishes for your good health.

    • Fergus says:

      I was lucky in that a dr was the one who suggested testing my b12. Had tiredness all the time, loss of vocabulary, tingling in wrists, and one time I went into my neighborhood corner store, walked out, and literally didn’t know where I was. Nothing looked familiar. Thought I was having really, really early Alzheimer’s. Dr suggested b12 test (I have other auto immune diseases), but I insisted that couldn’t be the issue bc I supplemented b12 daily (vegetarian for years so knew to supplement). Turned out it was b12. Was taught to self inject, and now I do that monthly. Huge difference.

  9. Alix says:

    Could also be telogen affluvia — the growth cycles of the hair sync up and it all starts coming out at once –SUPER scary, but self-limiting. She’s really rockin’ them hair wraps, though.

  10. AngelaH says:

    Ugh! I have lost a lot of my hair due to thyroid problems (but my bloodwork is on normal range, so no help for it) and it is hard to talk about. I start crying when I talk about it. I have lost so much hair. I’m glad I had a lot to begin with. I miss it. I miss it a lot. But my grey hairs never seem to fall out!

    • Venus says:

      @AngelaH, I feel for you. I had radiation treatment last summer and my hair thinned noticeably — I had a pixie cut for years but grew it out into a bob before treatment so any hair loss would be less obvious. My hair is growing back in, but white! The adjustment has been difficult, and I’m only recently really understanding that my new white streaks are here to stay.

  11. Anastasia says:

    I wish more women would rock turbans! I LOVE them and wear them around the house all the time. Yeah, I don’t quite have the courage to go out in one…YET. 🙂

    I hope she finds some answers.

    • KiddV says:

      I’m afraid I’d look a little too Norma Desmond in a turban.

      • Kitten says:

        I’d look absolutely ridiculous in a turban. Jada looks incredible though..almost like her bone structure was made to have a turban resting above it.

  12. JoyBells says:

    I was 23 (I’m 26 now) when I was diagnosed with alopecia and it was one of the most terrifying moments of my life. I never considered myself vain about my looks and I thought I would just learn to live with it but the feel of bare flesh when I shampooed by hair,the huge clumps of hair when I ran my fingers through it and the very noticeable bald patches when I looked in the mirror and the way people stared at the bald spots on my head when they spoke to me ,broke me down.

    It was such a hit to myself esteem that I refused to look in the mirror or even go out of the house for almost a year. My family and friends were worried and I can’t count the number of dermatologist and other specialists I visited. All they could say was that I needed to relax because the stress made it worse and give me a few vitamin capsules.

    I joined an online group where I met other men and women like me and it gave me a lot of strength. I started meditating and doing yoga,taking biotin and other vitamin tablets and using minoxidil solution on the bald spots.

    After a year and half fuzzy white hair began to grow and it turned darker as it grew. Today I still have tiny bald patches and hairfall but it’s not as bad as before. I want all the men/women out there suffering through a similar ordeal to find strength.

    • jasper says:

      <3 I admire your strength so much. Glad you found a support system, it is so important! Thank you for sharing your story <3

    • EMc says:

      Thank you for sharing this. I know how hurtful people can be without even trying to be. Glad to hear you are in a better place now!

    • Asiyah says:

      I’m so sorry, Joybells. Thank you for sharing and sending you so much love and support <3

  13. M4lificent says:

    Stress could be a possibility. My mother has always had thick, wavy hair. Even after menopause, she had no thinning of her hair. She is also hypothyridic, but had been taking replacement hormones for several decades, and never experienced hair loss because of that.

    But when she was 73, her hair started to fall out on one side only, six months later it fell out on the other side. After getting shuffled around to several specialists who had elaborate diagnoses, she got a very experienced dermatologist who said that it really was stress induced. He told her to be patient and that it would grow back. It did — coming back just as thick and even darker than before.

    This doctor had been the first to actually ask my mom about her life and changes in stress level. My mother had recently retired from working part-time and was home full time. My dad was a very sweet guy, but was high strung to begin with, and had mild dementia, so it was very stressful for my mom to be around my dad with no reprieve. We started to make sure that she got more breaks and time to herself.

  14. SLP says:

    I am surprised there are so many of
    Is with alopecia on here! I’ve had alopecia areata since age 12 and I get terrible steroid injections. Sometimes it’s half my head and sometimes just around my ears/at the crown of my head. It’s quite challenging to deal with, and everyone points out when my hair is growing back in with “did someone cut your hair there?” Or they just touch my hair and try to fix it. The touching has slowed down since I’m now an adult. But I feel for Jada and wish that the edgy half-shaved styles had been cool when I was a teen. I have always done crazy combovers.

  15. Leni says:

    I too started getting thinner and thinner on top. I have always loved having hair I can play with but in my early 40’s I had to go really short. It suits me but I still miss my hair some days as it was one of my comfort things. Mine I found out was due to Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome which puts your body into a form of early menopause. Now on HRT and Metformin I do not look as obvious but it is still thin. I did not realize how much my hair was a part of me until I began to lose it so obviously. Whether it is a vanity thing or not-it cuts to the heart of our self image for some of us. I grew up in an Arabic/Asian culture and it was a BIG deal for me.

  16. Mabsinthe says:

    I’m a 33 yr old with androgenic alopecia, and let me say how disheartening it was to learn that. My dermatologist basically said I’m losing my hair with no way to get it back except rogaine. But I couldn’t just let go of having hair like my derm had, she had very thin hair herself.

    So I researched like a mad woman, the internet of course. And there are things out there one can do to stop the loss even when blood work shows nothing.

    Basically I’ve learned that more than half of bald people have a preponderance of the malassezia yeast on their scalps. This yeast feeds on the oil from our pores. When you have PCOS or you’re aging (as we all are), your testosterone is higher and this hormone causes us to produce more oil. It’s only natural that this increases the yeast growth. The crazy part is though, a doctor will tell you this yeast is normal and everyone has it, which is true. But some people have too much or their body cannot fight off the yeast enough to keep it in check. Ergo, increasing hair loss. Anyway, it can be combatted by keeping the hair clean with an anti dandruff shampoo, and even rubbing any cream made for athlete’s foot or yeast infections into the hair. Google some before and after pics.

    If you are ready to go hard at the hair loss, and if you plan on using Rogaine (which is a lifelong commitment, but I’m always off and on the stuff which causes uneccesary hair fall), use a Dermaroller at the same time, but only once a week. The dermaroller helped grow back my hair more than anything. It really is a miracle.

    Retin A is also great for the scalp and skin.
    So while I don’t have as much hair as I used to (partially because it’s so hard to stick to a routine), I don’t have to purchase a hair piece, which was my derm’s only other suggestion, I have enough coverage (and I now know how to grow more hair when I need to).
    These are things I wish Derms would tell people to use, instead of telling them there’s not much they can do:

    Miconazole nitrate, or literally any athlete’s foot cream
    Dermaroller 1x week (with or without Rogaine)
    Retin A (buy in bulk online, will cause scalp to peel tho)
    And destressors such as Yoga and Meditation

    I hope this helps someone. Dermarollers are also supposed to help people with other kinds of alopecia too, there are studies with pictures out there. Once you lose hair it’s not gone forever, there are ways to grow it back, have hope!

  17. kellyrae says:

    I have alopecia areata and lost so much of my hair when my last baby was around 1 years old. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. I ended up seeing a highly regarded dermatologist who specializes in hair loss and she said it was related to stress and low iron, that my ferratin should be at 70 to stop shedding! I take iron everyday and my highest level so far is 26! It’s a real battle and it’s so stressful. And on top of that they say stress is a big cause! My hair is finally growing back in lately and so many people comment on it. I just think it’s best not to comment on other people’s hair. It’s a real sensitive topic for some.

    • Maddie says:

      Can you recommend a dermatologist? I’m 29 and balding badly all over. You can see large patches of my scalp on the sides of my head when I pull back my hair.

  18. LittlefishMom says:

    Whats RTT???? She ruined her face. She looks like a different person. Sorry to say.

  19. Marianne says:

    Im 28 and have already started experiencing thinning hair. I started taking biotin pills to help and I try and do hair masks often to help with further breakage. Its not to the point where I have noticeable bald patches but its definitely a scary feeling when you pull out a clump of hair out. Im not sure what I would do if it got worse. Wigs (at least good wigs) aren’t exactly cheap.

    • Mabsinthe says:

      Rubbing some miconazole nitrate cream into your scalp at night will fill in gaps, and jumpstart new growth. Just commit to doing it for a month before you decide whether it’s working. It will give you a necessary self esteem boost when dealing with this. It can be so hard going at it with vitamins alone.

      • Mia C says:

        I just looked that up. It’s a vaginal anti-fungal cream? Are you sure that’s what you meant and that it works?

  20. SJhere says:

    To everyone here who is posting these lovely, helpful suggestions, I want to say thank you!
    It’s nice to see kindness and understanding on the Net.

    My .02, the older I get I find I simply aim for clean, comfy, easy in most areas of my life.
    If I could get back all the $$ I’ve spent on hair color, perms, highlights and makeup from my 20-40’s, I could likely retire early. I’m seriously considering a short almost shaved head for my 60th birthday gift to myself. 🙂 It just seems like it would be so dang easy! 🙂

  21. Mia C says:

    I’ve lost a lot of hair lately too. She looks wonderful. But it’s a real b-word to lose your hair.

  22. Luci Lu says:

    You can buy wigs to hide bad hair cuts. She’s just rocking some head wraps…and they look cool. To me, it looks like she got some plastic surgery/cheek implant work done….and her face hasn’t completely “settled”.

  23. Pandy says:

    So many ladies with alopecia on this site! That must be so difficult as the posters are right, hair is a big identifier for most of us. I have a GF just hitting perimenopause who has been diagnosed with alopecia. She wore wraps for a while, now she wears a wig full time. I think she’s with the wrong guy and is super stressed because of it but she will not go back to dating and can’t see who would be any better than this boyfriend …