While on tour in 2012 to promote her hit single "Whip My Hair," Willow Smith shaved her head. Her dad took the drastic and untimely act as a sign to change up his strict parenting style, Willow says that her reasons were less about rebellion and more about curiosity.
On Jay Z's "Footnotes" project for his song "Adnis," Will Smith gave his account of the events.
"We're on the 'Whip My Hair' tour and she comes off the stage, had a great show, and we were in like Dublin," he said. "She was like, 'Oh Daddy, it was great. I'm finished!' I said, 'Yeah, you're finished for the night.' She's like, 'No, Daddy, I'm ready to go home.'"
It was only the fifth show of a 30-day tour. She had commitments to keep, right? But the next morning, Willow had shaved off all of her hair. The reveal was quite shocking to her dad, but Willow says that all the styling was making her hair weak and unrecognizable.
"I had to recuperate it, and it got to the point that I didn't know what my natural hair looked like because I kept doing all this other stuff," Willow told Refinery29. "I'd look at baby pictures and see what my hair looked like, and I just got curious. Then I ended up bleaching it right after [laughs]."
Now 16-years-old, Willow is evolving into a very self-aware young woman who is finding her voice. Her personal style is an expression of how she views the world and the way she wants to navigate it. While dad Will appears to be more mainstream, it is her mother Jada who is edgy, opinionated, and outspoken. Willow credits her mom for inspiring her.
"We're similar in so many ways," Willow said. "When she was younger, she was all about reforming the paradigms. She's still about speaking for what you believe in, but at the same time, she's grown and she's realized that anger and anxiety don't get you anywhere. She imparts that wisdom on me, allowing us to see what really happens in the world, but also letting us know that we're loved and have a place to be our true selves. That's what's important to me."
We suspect this is true for most of us. Well put, Willow.