Wonder why most celebrities have hair that looks so glamorous? Ninety-seven percent of them know the ultimate hair secret: hair extensions.
Writing for Condé Nast-owned Glamour.com, Bella Cacciatore argues that “Hair extensions are so ubiquitous in Hollywood these days, it’s almost more shocking when somebody doesn’t wear them.”
If so many celebrities are wearing hair extensions, why do many of them never admit it?
Celebrities sometimes shy away from admitting that they wear hair extensions because while mainstream media loves to promote beautiful stars, it also has the back-stabbing habit of shaming them at the first opportunity. For instance, the Daily Mail describes hair extensions as “cheating,” which can go “humiliatingly wrong.”
Even though some celebrities may not want us to know that they have hair extensions, many have taken the risk and gone public about wearing them. These are the superstars we focus on in this article.
Why Is Hair Such a Big Issue?
When we look at hair extensions, a common question arises: Why don’t women just keep their natural hair? This is a question mostly emanating from a lack of consciousness about women's struggles because of the hairstyles they decide to adopt.
Writing for CNN Business, Jack Guy reports about a Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business study, which concluded that “Black women with natural hairstyles are less likely to get job interviews.”
Guy adds that participants in the Fuqua School of Business study “perceived natural Black hairstyles as less professional, and the effect was particularly pronounced in industries where a more conservative appearance is common.”
An article published by BBC.com warns that “believing that all women who relax their hair or wear weaves do so because they are trying to be white would be simplistic.” It says that “Later in life, some women worry that they will be passed over for promotions and relationships if they keep their hair natural.”
So, which celebrities know that hair extensions can enhance carriers, and have admitted they wear them? Here are the 10 we could find.
Ariana Grande: Hair So Broken It Looks Ratchet
Say the name Ariana Grande and many people think about two things: music and long beautiful hair. However, when you look at her hair, you would never believe that she said that acting for television “completely destroyed” her hair.
Grande says, “I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first four years of playing Cat.”
But when you look at Grande’s hair today, nothing gives evidence of destroyed hair. She has the answer: “I wear extensions, but I wear it in a ponytail because my actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down.”
Taraji P. Henson: Inspired by Personal Hair Problems
The Oscar-nominated actress, entrepreneur, director, and producer Taraji P. Henson’s hair care line is the perfect example of a business that started in the kitchen. She is also a great example of the proverb “necessity is the mother of invention” because she got into the hair business (TPH by Taraji) because of her personal hair challenges.
In an interview for The Oprah Magazine, Henson admits that she wears extensions. She says, “My scalp would itch like crazy under cornrows and extensions.” She adds that she created the products she now sells because “I had a real problem, and I needed a solution.”
Gabrielle Union: Finding the Golden Ticket in a Weave
The American actress Gabrielle Union tells a HarpersBazaar.com interviewer about how she started her hair care line, Flawless by Gabrielle Union. She says, “When we first launched in 2017, the brand coincided with a lot of hair loss due to my fertility journey and having multiple rounds of IVF.”
Talking about her long weaves, Union says, “I found the golden ticket, and it’s a weave. It's a long weave!” She adds, “The longer the hair, the better.”
Camila Cabello: Buckling Under the Weight of Hair Extensions
“I just did a high ponytail for the first time, and it is literally pulling on my BRAIN IT’S SO PAINFUL HOW DO YOU DO IT @ArianaGrande.” This is the tweet that confirmed to the world that singer Camila Cabello had tried hair extensions.
In 2019, Cabello also confirmed that even though her curls looked natural, they are from a perm. Reporting for Condé Nast-owned Allure.com, Marci Robin quotes Cabello, who says, “I got a perm and I’ve never felt more confident.”
Selena Gomez: Admitting to “Very Fake” Hair
When you have attained the kind of success enjoyed by Selena Gomez, there is no need to worry about people judging you for wearing hair extensions. Glamour’s Petra Guglielmetti tells the story of how Gomez admitted that her hair is fake.
Guglielmetti quotes a YouTube interview between Gomez and YouTube star Lilly Singh. When Singh says that her hair is natural, Gomez unapologetically answers, “Mine, however, is very fake.”
Guglielmetti says that no one is shocked that Gomez wears extensions because “everyone knows half the hair in Hollywood is totally man-made.” However, she says, “it’s relatively rare for a star to call attention to this fact like [Gomez] did.”
Lucy Hale: Young Girls Must Know Some of Us Have Extensions
When it comes to whether she wears hair extensions, the former Pretty Little Liars actress Lucy Hale tells no lies. She is quoted in a Yahoo Entertainment article saying, “It’s important for young girls to realize ... some of us have extensions.”
The idea that Hale wears extensions is confirmed by Kaleigh Fasanella, who writes for Allure.com. Fasanella writes, “Lucy Hale’s short hair has definitely become her signature look over the years, but every now and again, she likes to switch it up and experiment with wigs and extensions.”
Chrissy Teigen: Taking Hair Extension Transparency to New Levels
For the American model and television personality Chrissy Teigen, telling fans that she wears hair extensions is not enough—you need to show them too.
Reporting for DailyMail.co.uk, Ashleigh Gray tells the story of how Teigen decided to go for a look she liked on Kourtney Kardashian. She would later regret this decision and ask Priscilla Valles, an extension expert, to lengthen her tresses.
Gray reports that “Wanting to take her fans along for the ride, Teigen used her Instagram Story to document the tedious installation process.”
Kim Kardashian: Prefers Extensions Over Wigs
According to Black Entertainment Television LLC-owned BET.com, Kim Kardashian is one of the stars that will not shy away from admitting that she wears extensions.
BET.com reports that “Kim shared exclusively with her $2.99/month premium content app subscribers that she actually opts for extensions over wigs, and prefers extensions glued rather than sewed in.”
According to BET.com, Kardashian wrote, “When it comes to my hair, I really only like wigs for dramatic transformations, I prefer to dye and style my own hair; then if I need extra length, I use extensions,”
Mindy Kaling: Helped Out by the Hair of Some Other Nice Women
The American actress, comedian, and screenwriter, Mindy Kaling, is grateful that some nice women are happy to make hair available to women who need it like her.
In a series of tweets in August 2014 where she reveals her beauty and hair secrets, Kaling explains what works for her hair: “Oribe fine mist, but mostly I use hot rollers and am helped out by the hair of some other nice women!”
Jennifer Lopez: Natural Hair Is Newsworthy
Jennifer Lopez is so well known for wearing hair extensions that she does not need to admit anything. For instance, when she removed her extensions in August 2021 and posted a natural selfie, magazines like Cosmopolitan.com, Glamour.com, and Lifeandstylemag.com reported extensively about it.
Hair Extension Tips
Now that you know the secret to long and thick hair, you may want to rush to the nearest shop to get your own extensions. Before you do that, Celia Shatzman, a contributor at Forbes.com, has some tips:
Know the types: This involves determining whether you want basic clip-in, tape, or long-lasting keratin extensions. Choose the type that fits your lifestyle.
Get the right color match: Ensure that the extensions match your natural hair because, without this match, anyone can see that you are wearing faux hair.
Spend as much as you can: As you may already know by now, you get what you pay for. Therefore, you need to remember that trying to save money means getting lower quality.
Maintain your extensions: In the same way you would with your natural hair, your extensions require regular washing and maintenance.
Know when to let go: Shatzman quotes Monica Thornton, who owns a hair extension and blowout bar in New York City. Thornton says, “When people say extensions damage your hair, that’s because they weren’t professionally removed.” She advises that “You can’t take extensions that were meant for six weeks and wear them for three months.”