Hair on the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show runway is suddenly looking a bit different from what we’ve grown accustomed to. For years, the look for the lingerie retailer’s big event — which is happening on Wednesday in Paris, airing for public view on Dec. 5 — has been long, beachy waves. But this year, VS is letting tradition fall by the wayside as its models hit the stage with hairstyles that more accurately reflect their natural looks.
“It’s so important for Victoria’s Secret and any brand in general to represent women with all types of hair, all types of skin colors,” Tanzanian model Herieth Paul told Yahoo Style backstage on Wednesday. “It wasn’t a big fight not to have the [traditionally used] wigs on the runway, because more people are realizing that natural beauty is what’s in right now. Natural beauty has always been in, but more people are starting to trend on it. I’m so excited to be a part of the Victoria’s Secret 2016 fashion show with my natural hair!”
While plenty of models are still rocking the waves, VS Fashion Show hairstylist Sarah Potempa says to expect varying textures — and more short hair — on the runway this year. “We want to embrace everyone’s natural beauty. We’re giving a carefree approach to the length and type of curl. Some women with shorter hair, maybe a lob, will walk with that hair,” Potempa told Refinery 29. “We’re not going to add extensions to make it super-long. And if someone has short hair on the side or a tight haircut, we’re not going to put a wig on or put extensions on their head. We’re going to embrace it. There are 51 women, and we’re going to make them feel their most beautiful.” And while extensions are still in play, Potempa explained, they’re being used more to enhance the models’ looks, as opposed to trying to make everyone look the same.
Model Maria Borges, who made headlines walking the runway last year with her naturally kinky hair on full display, says that getting her hair ready this year was a snap — much like it was in 2015. “I took, like, one minute to get my hair done. Just spray and that’s it,” she dished. “I think it’s pretty amazing. Thank You, Victoria’s Secret, for giving us this opportunity. I saw two other girls with short hair — it’s fantastic, I love it.”
Alanna Arrington echoed the sentiment. “My hair is all natural today and I am so excited to be rocking my natural curls on the runway,” she told Yahoo Style. “It’s exciting for me because I hope girls take something from it and are inspired to rock their natural curls.”
Dilone is another naturally curly model, but she’s opted to straighten her short hair for a more practical reason — to accommodate one of the accessories included in her runway outfit. “My hair is usually curly, like super-natural Dominican curls, and I straightened it because I’m wearing a hat,” she explained, “so I’ll have a nice little swoop going on.”
Of course, Victoria’s Secret models don’t look like the average woman — and are not supposed to, after all. But seeing less uniformity in favor of the uniqueness of each of these glamazons is a welcome change to the show.
So move over, Becky, because at the VS Fashion Show this year, all hair is good hair — as long as it’s on the head of one of the 51 models hitting the runway, at least.