Reba McEntire's Gorgeous Hair Transformation

If you closed your eyes and imagined Reba McEntire, we're guessing one of the first things you'd think about is her stunning red locks. The country music icon has been rocking her mesmerizing red tresses ever since she first hit the scene decades ago; and it's become known as her signature look. so much so it's arguably become one of the most recognizable things about her (alongside her incredible talent, of course). And that was something was never going to change for anyone (and rightly so!) "I loved my red hair [as a child]. My mom was a redhead, so I felt she gave me her red hair. I've always been very, very proud of it," she told Dallas Voice in 2016.


But while her red hair has been a constant throughout the years, one thing you may not realize is that this star has rocked quite a few different hair cuts over her lengthy career. From super short locks to super big (and when we say super big, we mean super big) curly hair, McEntire really has almost done it all as one of the most recognizable stars in country music. So we're taking a look back at her stunning hair transformation and revisiting some of her most iconic looks.

Reba McEntire embraced the big hair trend in the 1970s

Never let it be said that Reba McEntire doesn't follow a hair trend. For one of her earliest photo shoots in Nashville from back in 1976 (yep, this country queen may not look old enough, but she has been in the industry that long!) she wore a hairstyle that was oh-so-'70s. The star, who would have been around 20 years old at the time, wore her now signature, straight red tresses in big, healthy ringlets that proved she was glamorous even back then.


The same photoshoot showed that at the time, she rocked a shorter take on the curtain bang, a foreshadow to what would be many years of different takes on bangs. As for why McEntire loves a bang so much? Well, that may well be because she's joked about the size of her forehead before. In December 2015, she posted a jokey photo to Instagram showing herself pulling her hair all the way back to reveal her forehead. "As Sam would say, 'That's not a forehead. That's a 5-head!!!'" she quipped in the caption.

The next decade saw her try a very 1980s perm

Moving on to 1980s, Reba McEntire decided to change things up with her 'do. This time, she kept the volume fans had come to know from her, but, like many other singers of the time, experimented with a perm. Various photos of the singer at events in 1986 show her rocking some seriously big curls with a hint of fluffy bangs over her forehead. The style had plenty of volume on the top of her head and down her neck for a shorter take on the big trend of the decade. Totally 1980s!


This look was clearly good luck for the star, too. It was around this time that she really started to make it really big in the country music world. The star dropped one of her most successful albums around this time, "Whoever's in New England," which became her first number one album on Billboard's U.S. Top Country Albums chart. The title track was also a big hit for the star, hitting the top spot on the Billboard's U.S. Hot Country Songs chart.

The big hair continued into the next decade (but even bigger!)

It's safe to say Reba McEntire was someone who really embraced big '80s hair. In fact, she kept it going into the 1990s. In 1991, while attending the Oscars, McEntire showed us her biggest hair yet, with a sky-high perm and volumnous bangs that could rival that of Julia Roberts' "Pretty Woman" character. It's safe to say she was abiding by Dolly Parton's "The bigger the hair, the closer to Jesus" rule. And, if that's true, was clearly pretty close to Jesus with her locks back then.


The star wowed with a whole lot of volume in her tresses, which this time were longer than her shoulders, with some absolutely gorgeous big curls. One thing that was the still the same though and would long into her career? The color of her hair. The country star was still rocking the red shade that's become her signature color, but appeared to have a little more of a blonde tint to her red locks around this time.

Reba McEntire turned to a wig to cover her short hair in 1996

Believe it or not, Reba is one of few celebrities who has been honest about wearing wigs. Writing in her memoir, "Not That Fancy," McEntire recalled how she wanted to cut her hair before the release of her album "What If It's You," but was told by her team it wasn't a good idea. But the "On The Radio" singer was determined, so, as a compromise, she agreed to wear a wig until her team gave her permission to debut the new look. "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. I finally debuted my short hair at the Country Music Association Awards show, and it felt so good!" she shared.


McEntire later reminisced about the time period in a 2020 interview with Country 102.5 touching on how she had to keep her hair a secret, despite doing a photoshoot in Mexico where she already had shorter locks. "We did teasers like me sitting on the beach with my short hair and just from the back," she told the radio station. But, back in the U.S., she said, it was all about keeping the long hair illusion up. "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 CMAs," she shared.

In 1998, even shorter (and redder) hair was in

By the time the late 1990s rolled around, short hair was all the rage, with celebs like Winona Ryder, Halle Berry, and even fellow country singer Martina McBride sporting shorter locks. Always one to participate in trends, McIntyre also joined in on the ultra-short hair trend with one of her boldest hair looks yet. Appearing at the 1998 American Music Awards (where she won the award for Female Artist — Country) the star showed off a long pixie cut with bangs in a fiery red shade that was darker than the star's natural strawberry-red. 


McEntire was clearly a fan of this super short 'do, too. In 2024, she shared a throwback on X, formerly known as Twitter, with her wearing the same style at the 1998 People's Choice Awards. "#TBT to 25 years ago today...backstage at the @PeoplesChoice Awards I got to host with Ray Romano!" she wrote. She added a snap of herself getting her short tresses tended to by her glam team, plus a snap of herself and the "Everybody Loves Raymond" star posing on the red carpet together.

2004 saw one of her least voluminous hairstyles yet

Following her success as a country star, Reba embarked on a television career with her series "Reba," which aired from 2001 to 2007. As someone who was regularly seen on screen, it makes sense that her go-to look for that period was fittingly on-trend for the time: lots of layers, straightened with flipped out ends. 


However, though this may have been the hot look of Y2k, it turns out it was far from McEntire's favorite. The reason? Well, as you've probably noticed by now, she prefers her hair with some volume. If it's not big? She's probably not going to love it so much. And she made that very clear in 2016 when she took to Instagram to share a throwback snap from a 2004 photoshoot of her sporting that Y2k style. In the photo, her omnipresent bangs were pushed into a side-swept look, while her layered, straight tresses flicked out slightly at the back of her head. Her locks also appeared to be a lighter red than we'd seen from her before. "We shot this in LA around 2004. I didn't like my hair that flat...but everyone loved it so I gave 'em one set up with it," McEntire confessed of the hair look in the caption. "Looking back, it wasn't so bad...but this gal likes VOLUME," she noted.


The signature style she'd rock for years also first reared its head in 2004

2003 marked Reba McEntire's full return to the music scene since the 1990s with her studio album, "Room To Breathe." And with that comeback came a return to volume, too. The star's album cover featured her donning a short cut with super flipped up ends — a big switch from her flat pixie that had appeared on her 1999 album cover.


By the end of 2004, McEntire really seemed to settle on the hair cut many people will now associate with her the most. While performing on "Today" that year, the country legend brought volume back to her tresses with a high-volume feathered flippy hair that many would deem her signature style. She continued to sport the look while serving as the supporting act for Brad Paisley's 2005 country tour, "Two Hats and a Redhead."

The star wore her hair with a good few more inches to it than we'd seen in years prior, and had one of her now instantly identifiable voluminous blow dries. Though her hair was still much shorter than in the very early days of her career, she appeared ready to embrace slightly longer locks by flicking out the ends of her tresses for a super glamorous style. She was also rocking the bangs she's tended to incorporate into her look no matter what the style, but in a less blunt and more piecey way.


But that signature style didn't stay too long (at first)

Though her 2004 cut is probably her most famous to date, and the one she's returned to the most, Reba McEntire didn't actually stick to it for too long that first time around. In fact, she was already opting for something sleeker in November 2005 when accepting the award for Best Actress at the Annual Family Television Awards. Instead of her typical outward flicks throughout her hair, the country star actually had the ends of her hair turned inwards towards her face while only the bottom flicked outwards as it skimmer her shoulders. She'd also had her tresses cut into more obvious layers, for a look that was very of the time.


Of course, this is McEntire though, so there were still a few nods to her favorite styles. She still kept the bangs we know and love her for, opting for a style that just grazed her brows. This specific look didn't last too long either though, as she was back to her now classic look a few months later.

She changed things up again in 2007 (albeit it temporarily)

Moving on to 2007, Reba McEntire decided to change things up again for a night out at the 2007 Academy of Country Music Awards. The singer, who hosted the award show, once again appeared to have had the chop to try something new. This time, she rocked a look that finished just above her shoulders for a stunning lob with rounded ends. She also decided to say goodbye to the blunter fringe we'd seen her sport with so many hairstyles before, instead wearing it as a side fringe that swept over her forehead from her left side.


But it seemed like this style was only temporary, because McEntire showed off quite a few styles while hosting the show. Later that night, she was back to her classic slightly longer and blown out look (which may have included a little help from extensions for a little extra length and volume).

2008 brought us a rare up-do from the country music queen

In 2008, after years of primarily wearing her hair down for big award shows, we saw a rare up-do look from Reba McEntire. Though the star is most famous for wearing her hair down when she steps out, she proved she looks just as gorgeous with her hair tied back while attending a QVC event in New York City. The glamorous pulled back look perfectly complimented her fancy (get it?) attire, as she walked the red carpet in a floor length black velvet gown.


She didn't quite pull all of her locks back, though. She let a little of her hair down to frame her face for a gorgeously glamorous effect. Not only that, but her typical bangs were still on show for the dazzling and upscale look, and she also made sure she added plenty of volume at the crown. Hey, as they say, you can take the country out of the girl...

One of her longest looks ever came in 2009

After experimenting with an up-do in 2008, it seemed like Reba McEntire was ready to make the move back to the longer side of life when it came to her public appearance look. The star appeared at the 2008 TV Land Awards that year and showed off one of her longest hair looks yet when she walked the red carpet and appeared on stage.


Aside from super early on in her career, we were used to seeing the country star with a hair length that was pretty much in line with her shoulders — or even shorter! But she clearly decided to grow her tresses out a little more this time. With her classic bangs swept just to the side, she attended the event with healthy and full looking locks that stretched several inches past her shoulders. Her signature look was still clearly in there though, as she had a few strands in line with her chin turned inwards to frame her face.

2012 brought another hair change

We didn't see much of a change in Reba McEntire's locks after her long look in 2009. She attended various events wearing her hair down and flicked out, occasionally changing up the length just slightly. But we did see her stray from that a little in 2012 when she stepped out for the opening night of the Hollywood Bowl in January. Clearly, McEntire had a case of the new hair, new me's as the year kicked off, as she walked the red carpet sporting a choppier cut with face framing layers.


Notice anything else different? Yep, for this event, the star also opted to change the direction of her bangs, which is something we hadn't really seen from her before. Her bangs were also much choppier than we'd seen in the past, and she opted to ditch her more blunt style bangs for a look that was longer on her left side.

By July of that year though, her staple flicked out look was back. Appearing at the 2012 TCA Summer Tour event as part of the cast of the TV show "Malibu Country," her fringe was back to normal and so were the length of her tresses.

Reba McEntire decided to return to blunt bangs

Once again, for a while, Reba McEntire decided to revel in the hair look we've come to know and love from her. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that whatsoever. But that changed in April 2016 when she decided it was time for another change (see, we told you she'd had more hair changes than you might remember!) This time, McEntire decided it was time for another cut, as she chopped a few layers into her hair and tried a new bang look.


Appearing at Muhammed Ali's Celebrity Fight Night, McEntire wore a sophisticated and practical cut that only just ended past her chin. Gone was her opposite way bangs too, and in its place was a much blunter and fuller cut. She continued to rock shorter locks for a while after that, appearing at several awards shows over the next few months sporting her super voluminous short cut in a rounded style as it grew longer.

Around this time, McEntire revealed that she was back to her natural locks after trying out a few wigs over the years. "It's my real hair now. I did wear the big wigs and had my short hair at the end. And I've done it on vacation, ya know," she told Dallas Voice in 2016.

She gave us a totally new style in 2020

When the world went into lockdown in 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it seemed like Reba McEntire kept herself entertained by sharing a drastic new look on social media. In April 2020, McEntire took to X to share a photo of herself rocking hair that was pretty darn different to any look we'd seen from her before.


Though we were used to seeing her with super big hair and flicked out tresses, this time, the country queen opted for totally slicked back greaser style hair. She had a small lock of hair draped over her forehead, but both sides were taken back and appeared to be gelled to her head. Yeah, we told you this was a pretty different look for the singer. 

In the caption of the upload, the ever self-depreciating star joked about her out there new style. "Felt cute. Might gel my hair and stare out the window while I wait for my grocery delivery. IDK," she quipped.

2021 brought one of the biggest hair changes we've ever seen from the star

After decades of different hairstyles, you'd be forgiven for thinking Reba McEntire had pretty much tried it all. But in September 2021, she proved she still had more to give. The star caused quite a stir in the hair world when she left her voluminous signature style behind for something super sleek and modern. McEntire made an appearance at the prestigious Grand Ole Opry to perform for "Loretta Lynn's Friends: Hometown Rising" benefit concert — and her hair was fashioned into a super sleek and shiny bob with full, blunt bangs.


The look was pretty similar to the wig McEntire sported in the music video for her duet with Kelly Clarkson, "Because of You," which had some fans speculating if she may have been wearing a wig like she did in the video. McEntire never officially confirmed if the look was a hairpiece, though she didn't keep the style for long. In an Instagram photo posted just a few weeks later as she posed alongside Trisha Yearwood, McEntire was back to rocking her signature shoulder-length locks and with her classic blow out. That makes us think it may well have been just for the night.

And it was all about the choppy layers for Reba McEntire in 2023

When 2023 rolled around, Reba McEntire seemed ready for another change to her locks. The star rocked a slightly sleeker hair do than we'd seen from her in a little while, appearing with choppy layers and full, heavy bangs in a video posted to Instagram. The September clip was shared to celebrate a huge achievement received by of one of her biggest hits to date, "Fancy." "Thanks to y'all, 'Fancy' has officially hit 100 million streams on @Spotify! What a milestone!" McEntire wrote in the caption of the clip, with her choppy new style just skimming her shoulders.


Fans were clearly loving the change to her locks, and they made that clear in the comments section of the upload. "This is your hairstyle look 29," one fan told the then 68-year-old. Another fan wrote in the comments section, "Reba, I love your new hair style." Clearly, this look was a big hit with her followers, but there's no doubting this is a star who can pull off almost any look under the sun.