Ree Drummond Reveals How She Achieved Healthy, Extension-Free Hair: 'Been Through the Wringer'

“Btw this is my natural hair color,” the Pioneer Woman wrote of her fire-red tresses — with a throwback pic for proof

<p>Ree Drummond/Instagram (2) </p> Ree Drummond shares her journey to healthy hair using a throwback picture of her high school self

Ree Drummond/Instagram (2)

Ree Drummond shares her journey to healthy hair using a throwback picture of her high school self

The Pioneer Woman is getting into the nitty gritty of her hair journey!

On Friday, May 31, Ree Drummond shared a blog post titled, “How I Finally Healed My Hair,” which details her “several-year” journey to healthy (and entirely extension-free) tresses.

Sharing the link to the post detailing the “crazy” journey on her Instagram Stories, the star, 55, noted that she and her hair have “been through the wringer” together — and shared a throwback photo of her healthy teen locks.

Related: Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond Shares Photos of Her Newly Completed House — See Inside!

“The hair I’m tryna get back to,” she wrote alongside a photo of her ninth-grade self rocking a voluminous blowout. But, she jokingly added, “the Jell-O molds, not so much.”

<p>Ree Drummond/Instagram</p> Ree Drummond in ninth grade

Ree Drummond/Instagram

Ree Drummond in ninth grade

Also alongside the throwback shot, the TV personality clarified that her signature red locks are, in fact, 100 percent natural. “Btw this is my natural hair color, I get that question a lot,” she wrote, adding, “By a lot, I mean once every two years or so.”

In her hair journey blog post, Drummond began by saying that “growing up, my hair was never a problem” — but that all changed about a decade ago.

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In 2010, her hair was a darker, brunette-adjacent shade, but it was still all her own, she said. “I had not discovered hair extensions then and didn't need them,” she wrote. “I didn't do anything beyond shampoo, condition, blow dry and curl with a regular clamp curling iron.”

Related: Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond Shares Workout Video of Herself Stretching and Jokes 'It Won't Happen Again'

<p>Astrid Stawiarz/Getty </p> Ree Drummond in 2012

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Ree Drummond in 2012

Then, in 2012, “things started to go south for my hair,” the TV personality said. “I had noticed the texture had slowly started to change; it seemed drier and a little more frizzy,” she wrote, adding that her locks also started thinning, as evidenced by her ponytails being “a lot smaller.”

By about 2014, the Pioneer Woman star said it “had really become clear that my hair was but a shadow of its former self” — so she started to use hair extensions. A lot of hair extensions.

In one photo included in the post, Drummond claimed her hair was only about 15 percent real, and the rest was extensions. “They may look decent in this photo, but this would usher in about six full years of constant hair extensions,” she wrote. “Because once I started getting hair extensions regularly, it made my already bad hair situation worse.”

“It was a vicious cycle,” she continued. “Because my natural hair was broken and unhealthy, I used hair extensions to get the volume and length that I preferred, but the longer I used hair extensions, the harder it was for my hair to heal.”

Related: Ree Drummond's 5 Kids: Everything to Know

By 2019, not much had changed (and she said she was itching to “run my fingers through my hair and not feel that signature hair extension evidence”) — but then the pandemic happened.

<p>Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p> Ree Drummond in 2021

Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Ree Drummond in 2021

To evade — and "endure" — sickness, Drummond began taking Vitamin D supplements daily. By the fall of 2021, she said she “had noticed improvements to the quality of my non-hair-extension hair.”

She was still using extensions, but far less, and her natural tresses were “picking up more of the slack, accounting for more of the volume,” she wrote.

The TV personality was also feeling healthier overall, she said, which is partially do to a more protein-heavy diet, including foods such as “Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, chicken, beef, egg whites,” she wrote.

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The final steps, she said, were putting a stopper in her hair-lightening habit and using less heat. So, she went for a darker shade and started using Velcro rollers to avoid blow-drying and curling tools as much as possible.

“I'm 55 years old now, so it will never rival my 41-year-old hair at Good Morning America and certainly not my ninth grade hair in my mom and dad's kitchen,” she wrote. “But after struggling for so many years with the health of my hair, it just feels good to be on the other side and not have to spend the time and money to keep that extension game going.”

<p>Ree Drummond/Instagram</p> Ree Drummond in 2024

Ree Drummond/Instagram

Ree Drummond in 2024

In addition to the steps she detailed (taking Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2-45, eating more protein, “Eufora Moisture Intense Shampoo & Conditioner,” “Velcro rollers on barely wet hair,” and opting for a darker shade), Drummond added that patience was also key in her journey to healthy hair — with a cooking metaphor, of course.

“Just like a lot of people pull a pot roast out of the oven way before it's ready and assume they can't cook pot roast, a lot of people stop hair measures after a couple of months because they don't see a change,” she wrote. “But hair cycles are long, and slow and steady wins the race!”

“My race was several years long, but once I started Vitamin D (and especially Vitamin K), it's been a rapid improvement,” she added.

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