Still think celebrities are out here walking around with natural hair flowing down their shoulders? Nope. They can pay other people to grow it for them. There's such a huge demand for high quality, paparazzi-fooling fake hairpieces that an entire celebrity wig industry is booming right now.
According to Refinery29, professional hairpiece makers and stylists can make profits of $15,000 per wig they install. For perspective, they can install multiple wigs in just one day. Imagine the coin they're making!
These pros are worth their prices, though. In the past, it used to be easy to spot the lace, glue, or wig tape that was visible when celebs stepped out with someone else's hair on their heads. These days, wig stylists make it nearly impossible to tell whose hair is natural and whose came in a bag. Luckily for us, stars who share their every waking moment with fans on social media have given us rare glimpses into the world under their wigs.
The truth is: it's not always pretty. Years of wearing hair installations have left a lot of stars with edges that are more than snatched. They've got visible bald patches, breakage, or just hair that's so damaged it's been 'big chopped' inches from the root. Others have maintained some hair health, while even more of them have natural hair that's almost unrecognizable because they've been hiding it for so long. Scroll down for the picture proof of exactly what’s hiding under the styles we see most often.
21 Jennifer Lopez
JLo's natural hair isn't a total secret because she's been in the game for so long that it's easy to Google the styles she wore in her early days. Dark and curly, this Latina pop star kept her hair natural-looking for years, until going honey-blonde in the Jenny From The Block days. Since then she's rocked silky smooth long ombre locks.
She posted this pic of her hair in its current natural state on a long-haul flight across the USA, according to Hollywood Life. It seems like her curls have lasted underneath all the hairpieces and treatments she's had over the years, and she's still a proud curly girl. She captioned the pic "curlyhairdontcare #myNYlook #gonnamissNY #greatvacation"
20 Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks has had a long career with literally dozens and dozens of different hairstyles. That's typical of a professional model who's had to transform herself for photographers and campaigns all over the world. These days Tyra does less modelling and more appearances as a plain old public figure, so she can take her hairstyling into her own hands.
Despite wearing wigs most of the time, Tyra posted this snap to Twitter and spoke out against the natural hair haters last July. "Some people might not like to see me in my natural hair and face, but this is as real as it gets," she wrote.
19 Lady Gaga
Most of us see Lady Gaga as the bleached blonde Barbie-looking singer of her first album, but the real Gaga is more like the character she played in A Star Is Born. She went back to her natural roots (literally) for the film, in which she played an aspiring singer with a humble home life.
The shoulder-length, mousy-brown hair that naturally grows out of Gaga's head was perfect for that character, so the film's stylists decided to work with what Gaga already had on her head, according to Vox. She also went makeup-free for a lot of the film, showing the kind of vulnerability that earned her some major award noms.
18 Emilia Clarke
Game of Thrones is in its final season right now, so if you don't already know that Emilia Clarke has been wearing a wig for the whole series, you're really late to the game. The 'Mother of Dragons' doesn't actually have waist-length, intricately-braided, white-blonde hair.
Here's a pic of the natural Emilia, a brunette with a bluntly chopped lob (long bob) with a few lighter brown highlights at its ends. For a while her hair WAS dyed blonde to make it easier to blend in with the show's wigs, but she tells Marie Claire that it was too damaged to last that way.
17 Blac Chyna
Blac Chyna wears wigs so often that we wouldn't be surprised to learn that she had no natural hair at all. In reality, she actually has a lot of real hair, and it's naturally lush, thick and gorgeous! Look at all those locks she's rocking between wigs at her salon!
Chyna wears wigs just to switch up her look and not to hide any baldness or patchiness on her own head, apparently. She goes from platinum blonde to firetruck red and back all the time, so it makes sense that she chooses to wear wigs instead of damaging her own hair with all the color changes. Smart move, girl.
16 Nicole Kidman
Yes, this is Nicole Kidman's actual natural hair. She has been in the spotlight for so long with wavy blonde hair that we hardly recognize this version of the Aussie actress, but it's true! This is the exact hair that grows naturally out of Nicole Kidman's head.
She says that now that she's a mom, she's finally learning to accept the hair she was born with. Even though the public never sees it this curly anymore, Nicole says she wears it this way at home because her youngest daughter likes it this way, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. "I almost never straighten it any more," she says. "I let it go curly and wild."
15 Kerry Washington
Here's another woman with beautifully healthy natural hair who chooses to wear wigs to switch things up, not to hide any actual problems. Now that Scandal has ended and Kerry Washington doesn't have such a demanding styling schedule, she's starting to go au natural as often as she can.
"Wearing my natural hair has a lot to do with me being a mom now and wanting to reflect that for them," she tells Glamour. "It’s that idea that there’s not just one way to be beautiful and that there are lots of ways to bring out your best self. You don’t have to follow one prescription of what beauty is."
14 Khloe Kardashian
We're used to seeing Khloe all glammed up on red carpets, on her social accounts, and even on KUWTK (does that family ever go makeup-free at home?) but here's a shot of our girl completely natural while running errands around LA. Without the wigs or weaves, Khloe's hair grows a natural brown shade and has a pretty typical straight-wavy texture.
It also looks pretty thin, which could be because of hair loss Khloe experienced after losing her dad. "After my dad died and I lost the majority of my hair, [I started using] great weaves to conserve the hair I still had and help it get healthy again," she told Refinery29.
13 Cardi B
If you're looking for a celebrity who's down-to-earth and talks straight, look no further than Cardi B. She's never afraid to tell it like it is since becoming famous, showing off her fierce new wardrobe, a brand new smile, and a wig wardrobe that would make even King Kylie jealous.
Here's Cardi with her natural hair flowing while she's relaxing at home as a new mom. In her words on IG: "I just be leaving it in braids for such a long time and changing wigs, but since I'm gonna be home more often, I'm going to be taking care of my natural hair by myself."
Look at this baby-faced little Shakira! If you thought this singer's hair grew out of her head in the blonde spirals we see her wearing these days, this is proof that it does not. She's naturally dark-haired, although the curly texture is authentically hers. When modern-day Shakira performs, however, the curl factor gets turned up a few notches with clip-in extensions.
She posts behind-the-scenes videos of herself getting ready on her IG, and it looks like her hair stylist has his work cut out for him, curling and clipping Shakira's mane into place. As she captioned one of the videos: "Getting ready, no one said it would be easy."
11 Rita Ora
Look at this sweet baby angel! Would you have guessed that she was Rita Ora? Before the fame, Rita wore her natural hair brown. These days we all know her for her cropped-short, bleached blonde look. It's transformed a lot over the years, but her trademark blonde hair and red lip are still going strong in 2019 (lasting longer than her relationships with dudes like Andrew Garfield, for example).
Rita sometimes offers her fans a peek into her natural hair texture, which is wavy or curly, but can rarely show the world her natural color anymore after so many years of bleach and tones. This old picture is some of the last remaining proof that Rita is a natural brunette.
Rihanna is #stylegoals at ALL TIMES, even when she's rocking nothing but her natural hair. Like with most things, Rihanna doesn't care if you like her natural hair texture and color or not. She'll wear it however she wants to wear it, whenever she wants to wear it that way - and lately, she's been wearing her hair natural more and more often.
Bad Gal Riri has enough spare cash to keep full-time stylist Yusef Williams all to her self, and Yusef does everything he can to keep Ri's hair healthy despite all the wigs and installments she wears at events and performances. His main secret? Olive oil, according to Allure.
9 Ariana Grande
Ari's hair has been through a lot. She had it bleached and dyed bright red when she was a Nickelodeon actress, which damaged it so much that in her words, she had to wear "weaves" until her edges were able to grow back out naturally. That's how she came to rock her famous high pony. She even calls out her wig habit in "7 Rings": "You like my hair? Gee thanks, just bought it."
That's why it was such a big deal when Ariana IG'd some selfies of her WITHOUT any kind of extensions, wigs, or alterations in her hair. She showed the world that her natural hair is brown, curly, and healthier than ever.
8 Kylie Jenner
In May 2017, Kylie showed fans a side of her we'd never seen before. After years of wearing weaves, wigs, and flawlessly-styled extensions, Kylie Snapchatted shots and short videos of herself playing with her "baby hair," which we think basically looked like bangs at that point.
Kylie's wig-free hair is patchy, thin, and limp, barely falling to a mid-neck length. No wonder she always covers it up with other people's hair. Even Kylie herself admitted that her hair sans-weave is a bad look, writing "My hair is just so crazy" across the bottom of the snaps. We're not going to argue with that.
Do you remember when Queen Bey surprised fans with this shot of her wig-free in a dressing room? Reports ran with headlines declaring that she had a new pixie cut style, as if the wide variety of long looks she usually wore on stage or at appearances was her own hair. Pop stars wear wigs, people!
It's not as if Beyoncé couldn't pull this look off in public if she wanted to. We all know she has a face that can pull off almost anything. But true to her chameleon style habits, the next time pics of Beyoncé surfaced she had her long hair back on again. This was just a quick glimpse at what lies beneath.
6 Nicki Minaj
If you've seen anything from Nicki on her socials (she's definitely worth following) then you'll already know that this rapper loves her hair long. She wears wigs that are almost comically lengthy, with ends sometimes swishing on the actual floor when she walks. It's not surprising, then, that even without her wigs and weaves, Nicki's natural hair is long, dark, and straight.
She gave fans a look at her natural hair in this picture from behind the scenes of a promo shoot. She captioned it: "No perm. No extensions." That's an impressive amount of hair for someone with no extensions! We wonder why she always covers it up.
5 Amber Rose
Amber Rose is a rare case of beautifully bald style on the regular. We rarely see her with hair - especially not her own hair - unless it's shaved short and bleached white-blonde. She's stepped out a few times in wigs lately, but she looks almost unrecognizable in them. She also doesn't personally like them, and tells Us magazine that "they're not comfortable."
We had to go way back to find this shot of Amber with her natural hair - apparently a dark brown if you notice her roots here. This is Amber at 18, according to People. She looks cute, but totally different.
4 Oprah Winfrey
Oprah is all about going natural lately, and that includes her hair routine. Gone are the relaxing treatments and weave installations she wore on her talk show. The modern, more private Oprah spends her days wearing her hair long and free on her own personal farmland.
Here she is harvesting avocados, because of course. We think this natural look suits her! It's definitely healthier than the big curly wig styles she famously wears on her O Magazine covers and on TV. In an interview in O, her stylist explains how her natural hair stays healthy these days: "Oprah gets a deep conditioning twice a week — and a heat-protecting spray when styling with a hot tool."
3 Taraji P. Henson
It's rare to see Taraji's natural hair, which is why this pic caused such a stir. She posted it to her IG after filming for the most recent season of Empire ended as a sign that she was embracing her natural texture from then on. Since posting the pic, Taraji has sported this undercut with natural texture everywhere, from red carpet events to casual shopping dates around LA.
According to her stylist Tym Wallace, Taraji wanted a big chop to start fresh and help her natural curls thrive after years under weaves. He tells Glamour that Taraji wanted to go big or go home. As she put it: "If we're gonna cut it, we're gonna cut it all."
2 Emma Stone
Emma Stone has landed major roles in Hollywood while rocking red hair, but you might not know that that's not her actual hair color. This likable babe is a natural blonde! She has director Judd Apatow to thank for her iconic red look, according to Allure.
When she was auditioning for Superbad (her breakout role as Jonah Hill's romantic lead), Emma dyed her blonde hair to brown in order to look edgier. Judd walked in and said "make it red," Emma told Allure. Since then she's mostly kept it red, but underneath all the dye and products is a sweet blonde fooling us all.
Zendaya can really work a wig. This starlet has worn blunt red bobs, glossy bowl cuts, and long silky waves on red carpets all over the world. Wondering what's underneath all those wigs? Gorgeous natural curls, of course!
We'd expect nothing less from this fresh and pretty young celeb. OF COURSE her hair is as gorgeous underneath the wigs as it is when she wears them. She works hard for this healthy hair, though! As she tells Essence, these curls come from "avoiding heat, wearing wigs and trying every natural product in the world." Whatever products she's found, it looks like they're working.
Sources: Refinery29, Marie Claire, Vox, Sydney Morning Herald, Allure, O magazine