Gabrielle Union-Wade embraces her short, natural curls while staying at home

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Natural hair is bigger now than ever before. Stylist takes you through the celebrities embracing their natural waves, curls and afros for the ultimate inspiration.

Being a celebrity means endless red carpets, shoots, and television appearances. Although ponytails, weaves and wigs help boost hair and protect it, all that heat-styling and colouring can wreak total havoc that’s often irreversible. Many public figures with curly, afro, or wavy hair almost always wear it straight or manipulate its texture, or bulk it out with extensions.

As people become more comfortable with their natural textures, we’re seeing waves of famous people showing off their crowns in all their glory. While they’ve often got an arsenal of hair pros and access to any miracle hair products they choose, the struggle to go natural can be very real for all of us. As we collectively get more used to seeing those we look up to shed the extensions and let the curls come through, our conditioned ideals about what makes hair beautiful are changing.

Whether you’re simply curious or want inspiration to embrace your natural hair yourself, scroll through for the surprising and heartwarming changes from our favourite celebrities.

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Gabrielle Union-Wade

Over the weekend, Gabrielle Union-Wade posted a video of herself embracing her short, natural curls. In the caption, she wrote, “When your natural locks appreciate the lock down. Unlocking the secret soon…” She also included a series of hashtags, one of which read, “#InTheLab”, leading fans to believe she’s working on a new product for her haircare line Flawless. The next day, Union-Wade posted a sweet series of pictures showing her daughter Kaavia on her back. She wrote, “See @kaaviajames mama’s got hair like yours!! When I took my braids out she was like ?? now mom & baby both rocking their natural curls.”

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman usually wears her hair in an array of different styles on the red carpet, but during a recent holiday in Australia, the Big Little Lies star ditched the styling products in favour of her natural hair texture.

Kidman’s natural curly hair was shared in a series of pictures on Instagram, and it looks incredible. Now we’re tempted to skip the straighteners, too…

Taraji P. Henson


Taraji can pull off any hairstyle, but usually has dark straight hair. She recently dyed her hair a light honey brown and rocked a twist out to the 2019 Global Citizen Festival created by her hairstylist Chuck Amos.

Ariana Grande

Ariana in her early teens

The singer has natural dark curly hair, but thanks to fortnightly bleaching and dyeing for her role as Cat in Nickelodeon’s Sam and Cat, it got severely damaged. She’s been protecting it with her signature fake ponytail, and it’s managed to recover.


zendaya hair
Zendaya dyed her hair a dark auburn earlier this year

Although Zendaya can mostly be seen wearing her natural curls, she’s known for playing with every style possible during public appearances. From locs to waist-length wigs, she can literally pull off anything.

Maria Borges

The Victoria’s Secret model is known for opting for her natural afro most of the time, but plays it up with twists and wigs from time to time. She also insisted on walking her third VS show while wearing her hair natural, inspiring several other black VS models to do the same.

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy's signature look is long beachy waves

As she’s almost always seen with beach waves and extensions to lengthen and thicken, we’re not totally sure of what Teigen’s natural texture is. The only clue is in this adorable childhood photo…

Yara Shahidi

Shahidi’s famous for wearing her healthy curls free to bounce, whatever the occasion, but is known to switch it up in elaborate braids or wigs. Her hair picked out into a big ‘fro above shows just how versatile natural hair is. 


Rihanna’s such a hair chameleon, but so many of her looks have been mistaken for her natural hair. Her hairstylists have spoken about how they keep her hair nourished and protected under weaves and wigs, which is obviously paying off. 

Camila Cabello

Camila's go-to is straight hair with a fringe

With her signature long brunette locks and fringe, Cabello usually wears her straight straight or in tonged waves. Lately, she’s been wearing her natural waves on red carpets and in music videos, which tells us she might be joining the curly bandwagon for good.


We’ve seen endless killer hair looks on Queen B: bum-length curls, a honey blonde afro, and even a pixie cut. Her natural texture is loose golden curls, and it’s grown pretty long since she chopped it all off in 2013. Talk about hair goals.


Ciara can pull off any hair type and colour

After a relaxer gone wrong, Ciara lost a lot of hair. Luckily, thanks to protective wigs, it’s grown back thick and long.

Taylor Hill

The models often seen with sleek locks
Natural or not, Taylor really suits curls

We’re used to seeing Hill’s hair straight or in loose tonged waves, so these romantic curls came as a surprise - if it’s not her natural texture, we’re guessing they’re pretty close…

Jessica Williams

Jessica rocking a sleek wig

The actress and comedian rocks her natural afro hair when it isn’t in brightly coloured locs or chunky braids, opting for wigs when she feels like it. 

Vanessa Hudgens

Since her High School Musical debut, we’ve mostly seen the actress in long wavy hair, but she’s been letting her curls shine in recent years.

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Maya Jama

Maya wears extensions that are pretty undetectable

The presenter and DJ’s said she has naturally loose curls, but straightens it more than she should and wears extensions.

Alicia Keys

Keys has been embracing her natural hair in all shapes and styles since the beginning of her career (who could forget those iconic beaded Fulani braids circa 2003?). 

Hailey Bieber

Hailey Bieber with long blonde extensions

Almost always seen with sleek or waved hair, Bieber seems to have her own natural loose wave.

Sarah Hyland

Sarah Hyland with long wavy hair

Hyland’s had straight hair ever since the beginning of her Modern Family days, so it was a total surprise to everyone when she debuted her natural corkscrews on Instagram.

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