Celebrities Who Were Open And Honest About Wearing Wigs

Traditionally, wearing a wig hasn't always been something people have shouted from the rooftops about. This is largely because, despite being a centuries-long practice, wearing hair that isn't 'natural' has been heavily and unfairly stigmatized. But, over time, being more open and honest about the little things we do to boost our confidence is becoming more the norm, and that means there's been a big uptake in famous faces who have felt comfortable coming forward about having a little help in the hair department. In fact, opening up to the world about wearing wigs has almost become the norm for many famous faces. 

Khloé Kardashian, for example, hangs up her multiple wigs and hair extensions in her glam room, while her sister Kylie Jenner has proudly showed off her own collection of rainbow wigs on social media. Then there are celebs like Sherri Shepherd and Wendy Williams, who are so passionate about the hairpieces that they even launched their own wig lines.

And they're not alone when it comes to having a passion for faux hair. Of course, no one ever has to tell the world they're wearing a wig if they don't want to, but there are countless famous faces who have spoken loudly and proudly about their decision. And this is what they said.

Tina Turner opened up about being nervous about wearing a wig in a new relationship

The late Tina Turner was known for her rockstar look, and one key component to that was her giant high-volume blonde hair. However, getting that look wasn't the easiest. In her 2018 memoir, "My Love Story," the singer opened up about the origin of her wig wearing, revealing it happened after a hairdresser ruined her hair with bleach. Turner's locks became so brittle and damaged that she couldn't style it for her next show — meaning she had no choice but to get a hairpiece. "It took an accident, one that turned out to be a blessing in disguise, to prompt me to get my first wig," she explained. After that, Turner began cutting them herself into unique styles. "The wig was a life-saver — but more than that, I loved the way it looked, how the hair moved when I moved, how it was straight and pretty and held a style, no matter what I did," she wrote.

But, while wearing a wig on stage was one thing, Turner wasn't always confident about wearing them when she wasn't performing. In the same memoir, she got very candid about she felt nervous about wearing wigs in her everyday life. The singer confessed, "I didn't know how my wig would be received!" She added, "As much as I loved the convenience and easy beauty. I always ran the risk of meeting a man who might have a problem becoming romantically involved with Tina, with her bountiful hair and glamorous trimmings, but waking up with unadorned Anna Mae," referring to her birth name, Anna Mae Bullock.

Jill Martin took fans along to find a wig after being diagnosed with breast cancer

"Today"'s Jill Martin opened up to her fans about going wig shopping in a series of videos posted to Instagram Stories in December 2023. The star had shared that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer, and was looking for a hairpiece to wear after losing her natural hair during chemotherapy treatment.

She explained in the touching clips that she didn't want to go for anything too different with her new hair. "I will be dressed up as me. I'm excited. I feel like I want to feel like myself," she shared (via People). Martin became emotional as she tried on a few different looks, though, asking her followers in one clip, "This looks just like me, right?" The morning show star then shared during a particularly emotional moment that she was finding the process pretty difficult. Thankfully, she eventually found a wig she liked and even added faux eyelashes to the mix. "The good news is I can't cry anymore because I have eyelashes on. Been through a lot to get to this point. Pretty happy with it," she shared.

Martin continued to update fans on her journey via social media, including sharing videos of her with her new hair. In another Instagram Story (via The Sun U.S.) posted in January, she sported blonde locks (similar to the color she wore before losing her hair) as she opened up about going for a bone scan.

Sherri Shepherd handled a wig mishap with grace

Another celebrity who's made no secret of donning a wig or two? Sherri Shepherd. But she's not afraid to show what her hair looks like underneath at the same time. During a 2023 episode of "The Sherri Shepherd Show," the host and comedian's wig actually fell off as she imitated the moment Sarah Jakes Roberts' wig left her head during a sermon. "What [are] you gonna do? The show got to go on!" Shepherd shouted as her audience cheered, before she then threw her wig into the crowd.

Shepherd wearing a wig was no surprise to fans though as she'd even launched her own line of them three years prior. "I wear wigs all the time," she admitted to Essence while promoting the collection. She revealed she loves them because of how they protect her natural hair from heat damage and because she doesn't have to spend hours in the salon. "I love wigs because they give you such a different look. At any time you can pull a wig out of the box, shake it, and throw it on. I go from short, to long, to curly, to straight, and I love that I can have so much variety with hair," she added. The star also told the outlet that she loved the idea of getting to feel like a different person with a wig on. "You can be what you want to be. That's the beauty about wigs," she said.

Kim Zolciak has been very open about her love of wigs

Former "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" star Kim Zolciak has made no secret of her passion for wigs. In 2019, the Bravolebrity was asked during an Instagram Stories Q&A why she opts for wigs when she has longer natural hair, to which she responded (via Bravo), "It's just easier for me!! I can't imagine sitting [for] hair and makeup for 2hrs a day!" She also shared that she has a specific mannequin she styles her wigs on, named Quinn Zolciak. Zolciak shared a similar reason for her wigs four years earlier on Instagram when she posted a video of her in bed tousling her hair on top of her head. "Yes I have great hair wigs are just easier!! Curled or straighten on @quinnzolciak and then put on my head it's perfect!" she wrote in the caption.

Fans have gotten a glimpse of Zolciak without her beloved wigs, though. In 2020 during the Season 8 premiere of "Don't Be Tardy," the reality star took off her wig to reveal her natural hair. Zolciak showed off hair that wasn't too dissimilar to many of her pieces, rocking curled blond locks that stretched almost to her waist. And despite getting compliments from her family, Zolciak admitted, "I feel naked without a wig on."

She clearly amassed quite the collection of hairpieces too. In May 2023, People reported Zolciak was selling several of her wigs, with prices ranging from $1,500 to $2,750.

Wendy Williams names her wigs

During her time as the host of "The Wendy Williams Show," Wendy Williams repeatedly referred to her wig and would even hide notes under her wigs. The star would repeatedly show off dramatic and totally different looks each day too, so it only made sense for her to launch her own wig line. The collection was announced in 2013, with Williams admitting to Women's Wear Daily at the time, "Working with the wigs is like therapy to me." The brand's specialty commerce chief executive officer Christian Feuer also revealed to the outlet just how big Williams' wig passion is, admitting, "She has a mission: Every woman should wear wigs."

Williams reason for loving wigs goes a little deeper, though. In 2017, she admitted during an interview on People Entertainment Weekly Network that she turned to them due to her Thyroid disease and Graves disease. "People think it's a vanity thing," she admitted. "I have Thyroid disease. There are a few symptoms or a few byproducts of having thyroid disease that a lot of people aren't aware of," she added, sharing that one of them is thinning hair. "Wigs are fun and wigs are cute," Williams then continued, noting she still has some natural hair. She also joked about naming her hairpieces, revealing she has one called New B***h.

Lisa Rinna gets confidence from her wig collection

Another Bravo star who's been open and honest about wearing a wig is Lisa Rinna. The former "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star has shared she has a penchant for the hairpieces, telling People in 2022, "They instantly make me feel better. I'm telling you, the wigs have been so much fun." Rina also shared she likes being able to pretend she's someone else by changing up her hair. "I'm an actor by trade, but I haven't done a whole lot of acting in the last few years so I haven't itched that scratch of stepping into different characters," she said. Rinna also noted that wigs gave her the confidence to be brave and bold while filming for "RHOBH."

As for how her love of wigs originated? Rinna explained she started wearing them after her "RHOBH" co-star Brandi Glanville criticized her for having the same hair cut for decades. That's why she jumped at the chance to then wear a wig during a photoshoot. "It happened organically. And from there? Forget it. Now you can't stop me!" she said.

The reality star's wigs have caused quite a stir since then, including when she rocked a pageboy wig to attend a Vivienne Westwood fashion show during Paris Fashion Week in 2023. "I would've never guessed that little pageboy wig would've created such a stir," she on admitted on the "Virtual Reali-Tea" podcast, confessing wearing wigs is like her version of doing drag.

Kathyrn Dennis introduced the world to her first wig

"Southern Charm" star Kathyrn Dennis got very candid on Instagram about turning to wigs, even sharing in an Instagram post that she'd gotten (and named!) her first one. "Meet my very first wig, her name is Kathryn," she captioned a 2021 photo which showed her sporting a long, curly wig with red tones. She explained that she'd decided to turned to wigs after experiencing a lot of stress that seemingly affected her hair. "Blondes have more fun (sometimes) but way more damage [shaking my head]," the Bravolebrity continued in the caption. "I needed my confidence back and wigs have done that for me. Finally dabbled my toes in the wig world and I'm obsessed."

Dennis has since continued to show off different fun looks using wigs, including trying on a long, platinum blonde number in 2022. She wrote alongside a series of photos shared to Instagram showing her rocking a long, super straight number, "Wigs are so much fun."

Keira Knightly made the jump after years of damaging her hair for movie roles

Keira Knightly is another star who has given wigs a go, admitting she made the jump due to having seriously damaged natural hair. The British actor told InStyle U.K. in 2016 that her years in the industry had really taken its toll on her locks to the point her tresses couldn't take any more styling. "I have dyed my hair virtually every color imaginable for different films. It got so bad that my hair literally began to fall out of my head!" she shared. "So for the past five years I've used wigs, which is the greatest thing that's ever happened to my hair."

Knightly then went on to tell The Cut that she'd begun receiving products to prevent baldness after making the revelation in the interview, but clarified that she mainly wears wigs for her movies rather than her daily life. "I can't tell you how many boxes of hair loss stuff — and there are many on the market — I have at home. And I was like, 'Wait, does someone know something that I don't? Am I like bald?'" she joked. "I wear wigs for films. Which is a great thing and has saved my hair, because when you are on a film set and they are doing your hair every day and dying it a million different colors, it does tend to fall out."

Naomi Campbell started wearing wigs after extensions ruined her natural hair

Naomi Campbell has also been open about deciding to wear wigs, and, similar to Kiera Knightly, explained she decided to give them a go after her natural hair became damaged from the constant styling that goes along with her job. The supermodel told The Standard in 2017 that years of wearing hair extensions had actually left her with bald patches. "I do take more care of my hair now, because I lost all of it with extensions. I am more careful and I do different things," she explained. "Everybody in the world wears wigs. It doesn't matter anymore. I do what I want, or whatever the job calls for." 

Campbell has since sported a number of different wigs over the years. One of her most iconic has to be a stunning afro, while she regularly rocks super long, straight long hair. But she's not afraid to go without a wig on occasion, as she's actually showed off her natural hair a couple of times. In 2018, she posted a since deleted photo to Instagram (via MailOnline) which showed her looking stunning with natural cornrows. "Bare it all," she captioned the upload.

Zendaya turns to wigs when she wants something totally different

Ready for a totally new look? Then Zendaya would recommend a wig. The star has been very open about how she enhances her natural hair and up to fans about all the methods she uses in a 2017 video posted to her website. The star took through all the different types of hair additions, sharing she'd tried extensions, weaves, and wigs. She shared she particularly likes lace front wigs in the clip from her website, which has since been taken down, explaining (via People), "[Lace front wigs] are the best when it comes to full-coverage and looking natural. They can be applied with tape and/or glue. I wear them when I want a completely different look."

It sounds like Zendaya has built up quite a collection of wigs too, which has come in handy for the star. During a 2021 appearance on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," she admitted she'd found a pretty interesting use for her collection... Workout inspiration during the Covid-19 lockdown. "I'd wear a different wig, come down in a different character and try to entertain [my assistant] and make him laugh every single day," she recalled. Colbert then asked, "So you don't feel like working out but the character you're playing feels like working out?" Zendaya then responded, "Exactly. Some inspiration, you know what I'm saying?" She then added, "It's inspiring. Let me tell you, it's motivating. It got me outside."

Cardi B isn't afraid of a wig... or six

It's probably no big surprise to hear that Cardi B, who's rocked some super long hair in all sorts of colors in her time, wears wigs. But you may be surprised to hear that she's been known to wear as many as six at one time. Really. Cardi herself made the confession in an Instagram video in 2021 which showed her in the hair and makeup chair having her locks worked on. The star revealed she was getting ready for a photo shoot, and she and her hairstylist had actually combined multiple wigs to get her look. "This has 6 wigs in one !!!! This was 6 wigs together...Sooo nope we didn't use 30 bundles we used 6 wigs," she revealed.

Cardi is such a fan of wigs that she's even learned how to make on herself. Also in 2021, during an episode of her Facebook Watch series "Cardi Tries," she actually created a wig for a fan with cancer. "This is going to a little girl. I want to see the pictures and everything because I made this with love," she shared in the episode. "Wigs are expensive. I'm really happy that the wig that I made today — with some help, you know what I'm saying — is going to be donated. I hope it goes to somebody very special," she added.

Reba McEntire's signature 'do was a wig (for a while)

Think of country music superstar Reba McEntire and one of the first things you probably think of is her signature stunning red hair. But, it turns out, it's not always been hers. McEntire admitted in her memoir, "Not That Fancy," that she actually wore a wig back in 1996 after being desperate to cut her hair. She explained that she told her team she wanted to have a chop but they encouraged her not to. So, as a compromise, she cut it and then wore a wig to make it appear longer. "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 in the book. "I finally debuted my short hair at the Country Music Association Awards show, and it felt so good!"

McEntire added that she's actually tried out a few other wigs over the years, and she appeared to rock one again in 2021 during an appearance at the Grand Ole Opry as part of "Loretta Lynn's Friends: Hometown Rising" benefit concert. For the show, the star ditched her bigger, signature style for a super chic, super shiny bob with bangs. McEntire never formally confirmed the look was a wig, though she quickly returned to her classic look on social media after, which certainly suggested it was a chic looking hairpiece.

Marcia Cross is known for her red hair and got a wig to match during cancer treatment

Another star almost as famous for her gorgeous red locks as her talent is actor Marcia Cross. The former "Desperate Housewives" star sported vibrant red hair during her years on the show, but told fans that she'd begun to lose her signature locks after being diagnosed with anal cancer in 2017. In a stunning 2018 Instagram selfie, she rocked a pink beanie hat over a wig that was almost identical to her natural hair. "Thanks for all of your love. I am rockin a #beanie and a #hairtopper and getting on with the glory of living!" she wrote in the caption. The following month, she shared a picture to Instagram of her wearing a totally different look via a shorter, blonde wig. "Rocking a blonde do for a new character! Too much fun!" she shared.

In 2019, Cross opened up about how her cancer journey affected her hair, explaining it began to fall out as a result of telogen effluvium, which she experienced due to high levels of stress. "It was disconcerting. I was really trying to be okay about it shedding, but it didn't stop," she told People. But this inspiring star learned to embrace it. "I'm really glad it fell out," she admitted. "It was totally humbling and heart-opening. I am shocked at how many people struggle with hair issues. It widened and opened my compassion for the whole ride."

Serena Williams invested in a wig company

Serena Williams loves herself a wig... and she's not afraid to show it! Back in 2019, she joked about using her husband Alexis Ohanian as a wig stand in a hilarious Instagram Stories upload. "Of course I'm up on the wig craze and I just don't know how to clean my wigs and how to style them," she admitted in the clip (via People). "I did get this new wig head. It doesn't sit very still, but...," she then joked, as she showed her husband sporting one of her hairpieces.

Three years later, Williams put her money where her mouth is when it comes to her love of wigs. Her company, Serena Ventures, was involved in a round of seed funding for Parfait, a wig company that uses AI technology. "Parfait's mission to leverage Al to solve core issues for both the tech industry and communities of color is something we, at Serena Ventures, have believed in since the beginning," Williams said in a statement. "It's been inspiring to witness their incredible achievements so far, and we're proud to invest in this next phase of Parfait's growth."

But that wasn't Williams' last public moment involving a wig. In 2024, she went viral for sharing a video on TikTok that showed her removing her wig as she cradled her baby. In the all too relatable clip, the athlete let out a deep sigh as she whipped off her locks.

Emily Ratajkowski loves to show off her wigs on social media

While promoting her role in "Lying And Stealing," in which she wore numerous wigs as a con artist who repeatedly changes up her look, Emily Ratajkowski admitted she can't get enough of a good wig. Appearing on "People Now," the model and actor said, "I will say, I love a wig. Like, on a Saturday afternoon. Like, I love a wig. So it was very fun [in the movie]." She then added of that she couldn't possibly choose a favorite wig from the movie, joking, "I love all my girls."

And it seems like Ratajkowski would probably struggle to pick a favorite off the big screen too. The star has shared multiple social media uploads showing her wearing different wigs over the years, and she's certainly sported a few very different styles. In 2017, she rocked a red wig with some serious volume at the roots on Instagram, writing in the caption, "Another day, another wig. How do you like me as a redhead?" Then, in 2018 she gave fans a look at a super short brown pixie wig on Twitter/X that she didn't even step out in. Three years later, she wore another red wig on Instagram to declare her love for the head pieces once again. She shared a selfie on Instagram Stories and wrote (via Mail Online): "I [heart] a wig." No kidding!

Oprah Winfrey once wore a wig that weighed more than three pounds

Back in 2012, Oprah Winfrey took to Instagram to share a photo of herself posing with multiple wigs while she was filming the movie "The Butler." The snap showed the iconic talk show host against a backdrop of gorgeous afro-style pieces and wigs with rollers in. "Me and my 'girls' in the makeup trailer," she captioned the image.

Though Winfrey doesn't seem to rely on wigs all the time, that's certainly not the only time she's gone for a hairpiece. In fact, for the February 2018 issue of "O, The Oprah Magazine," People reported the star had three one-of-kind wigs made for a shoot inspired by famous divas. This wasn't the first time the media mogul sported a wig inspired by an icon. During a 2011 Oprah's Lifeclass segment, Winfrey revealed that during the late 1990s season of The Oprah Winfrey Show, she wore a wig inspired by her idol Tina Turner. 

Winfrey also continued to proudly wear wigs for multiple cover shoots in her now-defunct O! Magazine. For the September 2013 issue, she donned a huge afro wig which she named Wild Thang. That wig was so huge, it actually weighed a whopping 3.5 pounds! But the star shared an important message to along with it, pointing out, "As much as I enjoyed hanging out with Wild Thang, I know for sure that your true crowning glory comes not from what's on your head but from what's in your heart."