With any good viral video comes 15 minutes of fame. It seems every day a new internet sensation is dominating our social media feeds, appearing as a guest on talk shows, and being referenced in casual conversation. Then, just as quickly as they reached national fame, they exit the zeitgeist altogether. But these shooting stars aren't always gone for good. Sometimes they boomerang for a "where are they now" moment, which is exactly what we're getting from Tori Locklear. After a video in which she burned off her hair went viral back in 2013, we were left with so many questions: Did her hair ever grow back? Did she ever use a curling iron again? Well, we're finally getting our answers.
Let's give you a quick refresher: Inspired by the then-rising beauty stars of YouTube, like Michelle Phan, a 13-year-old Locklear decided to make her own hair tutorial. So, she grabbed her laptop and filmed herself curling her hair with a wand. "Count to 20," she advised, holding a section of hair on the curling tool — Does this ring a bell yet? — Well, spoiler alert, she cooked her hair off. "My hair just burnt off," Locklear ends the tutorial saying.
The video would go on to get nearly 52 million views total, and the young viral star was even invited to go on Ellen to talk about the mishap. But that was the last we heard of Locklear on the internet... until now.
The 19-year-old is back and doing another hair tutorial with Pantene. The brand sought out Tori to front the U.S. launch of Rescue Shots, a single-use deep conditioner that's already a best seller in Brazil. One thing is for sure: Testing out a moisturizing mask is a lot safer than toying with hot tools (although we're pretty sure Tori learned her lesson the first time around).
Six years later — and with a new brand partnership under her belt — Tori can see the pros of her epic fail. "I feel like if I didn't burn my hair off, it wouldn't have been a good tutorial. So, I'm glad I burnt my hair," she tells Refinery29. "It was one of those things that was like, 'Oh, great. Now I have this little chunk of hair just sitting here.' I wasn't sad about it. It was nice having people laugh and think that it's funny." It took Locklear over a year to grow the short patch back, but it was well worth the perks. Along with the laughs and internet fame, the Florida native received enough cash from the video to set up a college fund. "It was a pretty decent amount," she says.
And even though the video is a genuine #TBT, Tori still goes back to the comments from time to time to respond to new viewers who never saw it at its prime. "There are mean comments for sure, but I don't let that stuff get to me," she says.
As for her future, don't expect to see Locklear join the beauty vlogger world post-Pantene partnership. She actually has a different vision for her career. "I want to start posting [song] covers. I love singing, I've always loved it," she says, while also admitting she has another video buried. "I had a makeup tutorial from when I was 13 that I never ended up posting. I'm glad that I didn't, because it's really bad." While we failed to convince Tori to release this hidden tutorial, she did leave us with one solid piece of advice that has gotten her this far: "You've just got to laugh at yourself."