Celebrities are seemingly always impeccably coiffed – they never have a hair out of place and their locks always look smooth, shiny, and gorgeous. However, since everyone’s hair has a different natural texture, you have to wonder – how long does it take to tame those locks into submission if your hair is naturally less than sleek and shiny? And more importantly, why would you need to change your hair style or texture to make it look more like everyone else’s? Sure, most celebs likely have hairstylists that will take care of all the work for them, but nonetheless – that’s a lot of time to spend in the stylist’s chair, and for what?
Suffice to say, whenever a celeb shirks convention and steps out with their hair au naturel, we’re big fans. Why not be your best you, and rep whatever style you like and comes easiest rather than torturing your hair? Quite honestly, we far prefer most of these celebs when they’re rocking their natural style or texture rather than showing up ultra-groomed and sleek.
So, wondering who had the guts to step out and rock it au naturel? These 15 ladies, who inspired every woman to put down the curling wand or straightening iron and step out with confidence.
15 Jada Pinkett Smith
Jada Pinkett Smith is a woman who doesn’t hold a particular loyalty when it comes to her hair – from a long, sleek ponytail to a closely cropped mane, she’s definitely up for taking risks. This includes stepping out au naturel. She shared a gorgeous shot of herself with her hair loose and flowing in the wind, and commented that “I know you all often see my hair in various ways, but what you see in these pics is MY natural hair.” For those who are wondering, Pinkett Smith claims the Carol’s Daughter products are what keeps her hair looking gorgeous.
14 Solange Knowles
Life must be tough being the little sister of a mega-superstar like Beyoncé, but Solange Knowles definitely hasn’t let it slow her down – and she hasn’t let it tone down her larger than life fashion sense. Knowles is frequently spotted in bright colors, and she’s always changing up her hairstyle. While she rocked the braids for quite some time, she also spent a period rocking the natural, somewhat closely cropped afro. It was fun, it was fabulous, and it made us all wish we had that natural texture. Whatever hairstyle she decides to rock next, we’ll probably dig it, but we can’t help but hope she sticks with the ‘fro for awhile.
13 Gabrielle Union
Okay, when you see Gabrielle Union’s hair on the red carpet, it pretty much seems like it belongs to a doll. It’s impossibly shiny, perfectly groomed, and makes her look 100% more gorgeous than she already is. However, she’s not afraid to show her fans what it looks like when it’s a little less groomed – which, of course, is still fantastic (life’s just not fair sometimes). What’s her secret? Luckily, Union shared it with fans on her Instagram account – apparently, it all comes down to wearing weaves (responsibly, of course – steer clear of the hot glue!)
12 Taraji P. Henson
Let’s be honest – while she’s always been a super talented actress, ever since Taraji P. Henson landed the role of Cookie on Empire, we’ve been pretty much obsessed with her. The sass! The attitude! She’s utterly fabulous. She generally shows up on the red carpet with her trademark smooth, shiny, shoulder-length locks, but she revealed her hair in its au naturel state on her Instagram account. And honestly? That volume, that texture, it was altogether just too fab. I mean, were you surprised? This diva has enough attitude to pull off anything, from pink hair to blonde curls.
Awhile ago, Zendaya shared a natural hair selfie on her Instagram account that made us ask two questions. One – how on earth is a human being allowed to be that gorgeous? And two – seriously, Zendaya, how, please tell us. She rocked an insane amount of volume and texture, hand strategically fluffing it up, and all that natural hair perfectly contrasted those razor sharp cheekbones. I mean, she always looks gorgeous on the red carpet, but can we just advise – she needs to rock this look all the time. Seriously. She is absolutely slaaaaying it in this incredible selfie.
Raven-Symoné got her start as a child actor known for being adorable, and then gained popularity for her hit Disney series That’s So Raven, but lately? Most of us know her for being a totally badass woman who knows what she wants and isn’t the least bit afraid to speak her mind. She’s also not afraid to play around with her look, and has sported a wide variety of hairstyles. While she looks totally glamorous with her hair all sleek, we can’t help but have a soft spot for her natural look.
Oprah is basically the original queen, let’s be serious. The crazy empire she built proves how incredibly talented she is at what she does, and how hard-working she is. She spent years and years groomed to perfection as the star of her show, but lately, she’s been willing to kick it a little more casual. Case in point – the incredible shot she shared on her Instagram of a friend braiding her hair, captioned “some things never change.. Mississippi to Maui. Hair braidin’ on the porch.” First of all – she looks totally gorgeous. And second – who has the job of braiding Oprah’s hair, and how can we snag it? We can totally French braid, and just imagine the amazing life advice she’d give.
8 Tyra Banks
You know who is surprised that Tyra Banks allowed herself to be captured with her natural hair? Absolutely no one, because Banks has always been a big proponent of being yourself and rocking your look. I mean, who can forget her telling all the fat-shamers out there to kiss her fat ass? It was iconic. Plus, when you’re that gorgeous, you literally can #wake up like this. Miss Banks is crazy beautiful, and thanks to all those years of modelling, can master any look, from larger than life curls to ultra sleek locks. I mean, it’s all about the smizing, right?
7 Sanaa Lathan
Many celebs step into the salon and are shrouded in mystery, all until that moment where they emerge looking groomed to perfection. Ladies know that’s not always the case – there are some weird times in between when there’s hair all over the place. You know that moment during a blowout when your hair is all crazy, covering half your face, and you feel more like an electrocuted rat than a top supermodel? Well, Sanaa Lathan wouldn’t know anything about that feeling – according to the selfie she posted to Instagram, she basically looks like she belongs on a Vogue cover after a blowout. Her hair looks healthy and utterly fabulous… and we’re not even going to mention those cheekbones (seriously, Sanaa… can we have them? Please?)
Instagram selfies from celebs are basically one of our favorite things ever. Why? Well, we always see them looking groomed and gorgeous on the red carpet, rocking a dress that their sharp stylist has selected to showcase all their assets. However, it’s really fun to get a peek into who they are in their down time, when they’re just hanging out being regular humans. Brandy’s selfie is perfect proof. Before she decided to cut her locks off, she shared a photo of herself rocking a natural fro – and it was fab.
5 Viola Davis
Okay, we’re pretty much obsessed with Viola Davis. From her killer role in The Help (for which she received nominations for basically every movie award that exists) to her current role as crazy talented lawyer and law professor Annalise Keating on Shonda Rhimes’ thriller How To Get Away With Murder, her career is absolutely red hot. And you know what else is smoking hot? Davis, rocking her natural hair. Many actresses decide to go full-extensions when they attain a certain level of fame so that their locks are looking perfect at all times, but we totally commend Davis’ choice to rock her real hair. It’s gorgeous!
4 Willow Smith
Budding star Willow Smith, the daughter of Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, is perhaps best known for her infamous and ultra-catchy song “Whip My Hair.” During that period in her life, she rocked long braids, but nowadays, her look is a lot more closely cropped as she opts for wearing her hair short, in its natural texture, with some blonde highlights. She looks absolutely stunning, but don’t get too attached – according to Smith, she’s looking to change it up with dreads sometime soon. I mean, this girl is 14 and she’s basically cooler than any of us could ever dream of being.
3 Esperanza Spalding
Esperanza Spalding is a crazy talented musician who has received a ton of accolades and critical acclaim, and has four Grammy Awards to her name. Through it all, she’s made the choice to pretty much always rock her natural hair. It’s voluminous, it’s gorgeous, and it definitely sets her apart from the crowd. While everyone is entitled to change up their look whenever and however they want, there’s a huge part of us that hopes Spalding decides to sport this look forever. It’s just so unbelievably fabulous. Honestly – you should have to choose between being an insanely skilled musician or having insanely beautiful hair. You shouldn’t get both, it's just not fair.
2 Shanola Hampton
She might not exactly be a household name yet, but if you watch the Showtime series Shameless, you’ll probably recognize Shanola Hampton immediately as the actress who plays Veronica Fisher. Hampton is an incredibly talented actress with a bright career ahead of her, and we give her all the props in the world for wearing her hair in its natural texture rather than sticking with weaves all of the time. It’s unique and totally gorgeous. According to an interview she had with Vibe, Hampton has been rocking her locs for more than 15 years, so chances are she’s going to keep this look.
1 Tracee Ellis Ross
Okay, we’re not sure if it’s just because her mama (superstar Diana Ross) instilled a flair for style and drama in her, but Tracee Ellis Ross definitely knows how to rock a look with confidence. And, if we’re being totally honest, we kind of want her to be our best friend. While she can sleek it back for an ultra-glam look when she wants, we’re totally crazy about the frequency with which she lets it all breathe and keeps her hair in its natural state. This woman could do no wrong in our eyes, but even from an objective standpoint, her hair game is on point, always.