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Why Reba McEntire Wore a Wig for 5 Months in the 1990s

The country legend and Voice Coach had to keep something a secret from fans. 

By Jackie Manno

The Voice Coach Reba McEntire has been rocking fiery red locks for all her life, but she once wore her 'do in a much different style than the cute bob we know today

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In the early 1990s, McEntire wore her signature red hair in a long, voluminous style. “My hair was so big back in those days that my fans could recognize me just from my silhouette,” the country star wrote in her 2023 memoir, Not That Fancy. “But I didn’t just wake up like that. It took hot rollers, more hot rollers, teasing, and enough hair spray to choke a horse.”

However, McEntire actually had to wear a wig for a stretch of time back in the '90s. Find out why, below. 

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Why Reba McEntire wore a wig for 5 months in the 1990s

When McEntire wanted to shake things up by getting a drastic, much shorter haircut, this apparently made her team "nervous." She eventually swayed them if she agreed to own the new look as part of her transformation for her 1996 album What If It's You. But this meant that she had to keep her new style a secret from the public for several months. The solution? A wig, of course!

“I had actually cut my hair off in June, but the album didn’t release until November, so I had to wear a wig until we were ready to reveal the new look,” she wrote. “I finally debuted my short hair at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show, and it felt so good!”

What If It's You went double platinum in sales, per Us Weekly. It looks like self expression paid off for McEntire!

A split of Reba Mcentire performing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno

“So I guess you could say it worked,” McEntire reflected in the book. “A new style may seem like a small thing, but it helped me feel more like myself, and I think my fans liked that. It just goes to show — trust your gut and do what’s right for you. Everyone else will catch up.”

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In a 2020 interview with Country 102.5, McEntire gave more details behind why she chose to chop off her tresses. "I cut it just because I wanted to and it took me a long time to talk everybody into it. So I cut it in June. So, we had to go to Cancun, Mexico to do a photoshoot for the album coming out next and all the publicity photos. And we did teasers like me sitting on the beach with my short hair and just from the back.”

She continued: “I had to wear a baseball cap with a ponytail sewn in the back and then wear wigs and tail. That was from June on the photoshoot all the way up until the CMA’s. That’s when I came out with my hair cut off. But I’d had it cut off for six months.”