The Night Willow Smith Shaved Her Head Was When Will Smith Learned to Let His Kids Be Free Spirits

Will Smith talks fatherhood for Jay-Z’s “Footnotes of Adnis.” Photo: Getty Images

In Jay-Z’s new “Footnotes of Adnis” video, released in conjecture with 4:44’s “Adnis,” Will Smith joins Chris Rock, Bill Burr, Mahershala Ali, Lil Rel Howery, and, of course, Hov in opening up about the lessons they learned from their fathers and explaining the lessons they had to learn from parenting their own children. During his interview, Smith looks back on one important incident that helped him become a better dad to daughter Willow. After debuting her hit song “Whip My Hair” in 2010, the now 16-year-old singer let her father know exactly what she thought of his insistence that she continue touring, despite her expressed desire to just go home. Recalls the actor, “We came downstairs and she had shaved her head bald. She shaved her head bald in the middle of her ‘Whip My Hair’ tour. I was like, ‘Oh, shit.’”

An older and wiser Smith now says that moment was a turning point for him. “I’m looking at that girl and I’m like, ‘Got it. I understand. You will not have this trouble out of me ever again. Let’s go, baby. We can go,’” the actor explains. “For me, it was that soldier that was pushing and wasn’t paying any attention whatsoever to what was going on emotionally with this beautiful little creature in front of me. That was the first part of the collapsing of my father’s suit that I was wearing that wasn’t mine.” In case you were ever wondering why the Smiths weren’t the giant stage parents they very well could have been, now you know.

Willow Shaving Her Head Taught Will Smith About Fatherhood