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Jada Pinkett Smith Gets Real About Her Hair Struggles Over the Years
Amy Sussman/WireImage

Jada Pinkett Smith Gets Real About Her Hair Struggles Over the Years

"I always had to do my hair in ways that wasn't natural to me."

Jada Pinkett Smith

Jada Pinkett Smith is reflecting on past hair struggles that she has faced in her career. In celebration of the Crown Act being passed by the House of Representatives, the actress took to Instagram to share some insight on her hair journey as a part of her “Story Time with Jada” series.


For those of you who don't know, the Crown Act is a bill that disallows hair texture- and hairstyle-based discrimination commonly seen in the Black community.

With the caption, “Crown Act. Be proud of your crown,” Jada started the video off by saying,

“I had some definite hair regrets for sure specifically on covers. Where it was just, ‘what the hell?’” She then went on to explain what it was like being in Hollywood in the ‘90s where straight hair was “in.”

“Being a Black woman and dealing with hair in Hollywood, especially in the era that I came up in, having your hair look as European as possible was always the thing and that was really challenging,” she said. “Because I liked my hair out wild and curly but nobody wanted that.”

Due to pushback, the Girls Trip star found herself falling victim to society’s standards and wearing hairstyles she wasn’t comfortable with.

“So I always had to do my hair in ways that didn’t feel natural to me because of trying to play the game. So if I’m doing a cover, everybody’s like ‘no we love your hair straight and flowy’ and it’s like, alright, cool but that’s not really what my hair likes to do.”

She continued, “So I had to learn to get the courage to just go ‘nah, I’m not doing that.” Which is why I feel the freedom today. I don’t give two craps what people feel about this bald head of mine ‘cause guess what, I love it.”

Jada recently shaved her head bald due to alopecia, however, we have seen the beloved actress rock a variety of hairstyles over the years. Let’s take a look back at some of her biggest hair moments.

Pixie Cut

Jada Pinkett Smith in 1997.

Joe McNally/Getty Images

The pixie cut became the hairstyle that the mom of three was known for. Whether her hair was dyed platinum blonde or black or it was finger waves or curly, the cropped cut was her signature since the ‘90s.

The Nutty Professor Bob

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Last year, Jada spoke about the bad experience she had with a hairstylist on the set of The Nutty Professor. During Red Table Talk, she explained that the reason why her wig looked so bad was that the hairstylist wouldn’t straighten the roots.

“She thought that the roots should be not smooth, but the hair should be straight,” she said. “She was like, ‘Well, usually for Black women, you don’t have straightened roots.’ And I said, ‘Oh no, we do. We either straighten it with a hot comb or we perm it.’ But she didn’t believe me. So, she made it with roots that weren’t straight, but the hair was.”

Set It Off Braids

Jada Pinkett Smith and Blair Underwood in the 1996 film 'Set It Off.'

New Line Cinema/Getty Images

Jada’s box braid bob in Set It Off is one of her most iconic looks and a classic ‘90s hairstyle. On an episode of Red Table Talk, the actress who played Stony reflected on the moment her character cut her hair off in the film.

“Cutting my hair in Set It Off, So that particular scene I had already had so much loss and I had already, like, lost so many friends, and so I really reflected on those that I loved that I had lost, you know, and how everybody doesn’t make it and how you can be sitting with great fortune and have so much loss have so much pain,” she said.

Inches for Days

Jada Pinkett Smith in 2003.

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage via Getty Images

In the early to mid-2000s, Jada was all about length and rocked hairstyles that allowed her natural hair to flourish. From tight curls to loose waves, to low buns and wearing it straight, Jada showed that her long locks had range throughout much of the decade.

Bald and Beautiful

Jada Pinkett Smith in 2018.

Gabriel Olsen/WireImage via Getty Images

In 2018, the actress made the tearful admission on her Facebook Watch show that she was suffering from hair loss. After trying to disguise the hair loss by wearing turbans, she finally decided to chop all of her hair off last year. She debuted the new look in an Instagram post with her daughter Willow.

“Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT … my 50’s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed,” she wrote.

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Featured image by Amy Sussman/WireImage via Getty Images

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