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Reba McEntire Wore a Wig for 5 Months to Hide Her Drastic 1996 Haircut

Reba McEntire Wore a Wig for 5 Months to Hide Her Drastic 1996 Haircut
Reba McEntire Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Reba McEntire’s red hair has always been her signature — to the point that her team once weighed in on her styling decisions.

In her new book, Not That Fancy, McEntire detailed the moment she decided to cut off her then-long hair for a shorter look that ended above her chin. “My hair was so big back in those days that my fans could recognize me just from my silhouette,” she wrote. “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.”

McEntire had wanted to cut her tresses “for a long time,” but the idea of chopping her signature locks made her team “nervous.”

They ultimately came to a compromise: McEntire would cut her hair, but the new style would become a major component of the marketing plan for her 1996 album, What If It’s You.

“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 recalled. “I finally debuted my short hair at the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show, and it felt so good!”

McEntire went on to note that What If It’s You — which spawned the hit singles “The Fear of Being Alone” and “How Was I to Know” — outsold her previous contemporary albums and ultimately went double platinum.

Reba McEntire Wore a Wig for 5 Months to Hide Her Drastic 1996 Haircut

“So I guess you could say it worked,” she joked. “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.”

While McEntire has tried a few wigs over the years, she was born with red hair — and she’ll never lose her devotion to the color. “I loved my red hair,” she told the Dallas Voice in 2015, recalling her days growing up in Oklahoma. “My mom was a redhead, so I felt she gave me her red hair. I’ve always been very, very proud of it.”

Rex Linn and Reba McEntire CMAs 2022 Red Carpet Relationship Timeline

Related: Reba McEntire and Boyfriend Rex Linn’s Relationship Timeline

McEntire’s mother, Jacqueline, died in March 2020 at age 93 after battling cancer. In the introduction to Not That Fancy, McEntire revealed that she didn’t want to keep singing after losing her mom.

“I just didn’t have it in me,” she wrote. “You see, my mama, Jac, has always been my reason for singing. Singing was her dream long before it was mine, and I’ve always done it for her.”

After spending time with family during the coronavirus pandemic, though, McEntire found inspiration again and decided to keep performing. “My spark for singing is back stronger than ever,” she explained. “I’m still doing it for Mama.”

Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots is available now wherever books are sold.

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