So here’s the tea: The year 2020 was a damn good year for celebrity hair, and thus far, 2021 is following suit. Hollywood heads that have always been draped in long extensions are finally going the way of sleek bobs, folks are letting their natural curls flow freely, and colorists are doing really interesting and bold things with their clients’ manes. We are more inspired by the chic celebrity hair transformations we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021 than we’ve been in the years prior combined. So we rounded up some of the best ones.
Below, find our curated list of the best recent celebrity haircuts and dye jobs. May these before-and-after shots serve as inspo for your next in-salon move. Oh, and be sure to bookmark this page because we’ll be updating the list in real time as soon as we catch wind of a new celebrity hair look. In the meantime, though, here are our faves…
For years now, Amandla Stenberg has been the undisputed queen of rapid-fire hair changes. From curly cropped cuts to blunt bobs and tresses in every imaginable hue, the actress has proven time and again that she’s not afraid to make a bold statement. But it looks like she’s going back to basics on the hair front to kick off 2021, and we can’t get enough. In an Instagram post shared to her feed on Tuesday, the 22-year-old dawned a makeup-free face and a thriving, stretched afro hairstyle accompanied by the caption “I ain’t bald no mo.” This comes after years of consistently short haircuts punctuated by the occasional weave and braids in varying lengths (and colors). From the looks of it, these protective styles have made way for Stenberg’s natural tresses to recoup some enviable volume and serious length. Healthy, happy hair is a vibe we’ll always get behind. There are many hair chameleons among the celebrity set, but Lucy Hale just might be the queen of eye-catching transformations. From cut to color, there isn’t much we haven’t seen from the actress, although her latest hue—a gilded shade of coppery red courtesy of her longtime hair pro Kristin Ess—is the one color Hale seemingly had yet to debut. And now, she can officially cross crimson off from her list. (FYI: Our panel of celebrity colorists predicted various shades of red would be one of the most-wanted color trends this fall.) Not surprisingly, Hale is right on target. In her latest post celebrating Hale’s change from brunette to red, Ess gushes: “Lucy Hale has had every hair color under the sun EXCEPT red. My lil colorist heart is full, and now we officially know this chick looks good with any hair color.” Color and vibrancy maintenance for red hair is key, so we recommend a shade- and strand-protecting shampoo like the below from Redken if you’ve already dabbled in fall’s red trend or if, thanks to Hale, your interest has been officially piqued. There aren’t many redeeming qualities about the year that shall not be named (you know, the one that starts in a 20 and ends in a 20), but Robyn Rihanna Fenty has come through with the bright spot we all need right now: a mullet. Sure, we’ve all been patiently waiting (and mildly harassing her on Instagram) for her highly anticipated album, but when the queen bestows a gift, any gift, we extend our palms and receive it. And this perfectly choppy cut—complete with wispy bangs, long side pieces, and a divinely wide rattail in the back—is, indeed, a gift. The singer-turned-designer-and-beauty-mogul gives a glimpse of the new cut in the trailer for the second Savage x Fenty fashion show, which is set to debut on Amazon Prime Video on October 2. And whether it’s a wig she’s wearing or if she’s fully committed to that “business in the front, party in the back” life, we are here for it. If we’re not mistaken, model Cara Delevingne, who will appear in the show alongside stars like Rosalía, Lizzo, and Normani, can be quickly spotted in a similarly edgy cut in the short snippet. So apparently, it’s mullet time in Fenty land. Those with trained eyes might also notice that this particular cut looks astonishingly similar to the signature haircut of unbothered Black aunties from the ’90s. In case anyone needed another cherry on top, that’s it. Perfection. Leave it to the queen of everything, Jennifer Lopez, to jumpstart fall with a beautiful take on one of the season’s most sought after haircuts: the curly bob. The icon’s longtime hairstylist Chris Appleton shared a quick Instagram snap of the gorgeous new look on Monday with the caption, “It’s the length for me,” alluding that the shorter cut is a new development for 51-year-old Lopez. It’s the length for us, too! While J.Lo is no stranger to a good ole hair transformation (she’s even sported a bob or two in her day), this particular look hits on a couple of the biggest fall haircut trends celebrity stylists have already called out for the season. The short bob haircut has been trending hard for some time, but the voluminous shape created with lots of textured curls is another style our experts say we can likely expect to see more of in the coming months. Whether or not the picture is a throwback isn’t immediately clear, but we’re still thankful to J.Lo for showing us all how it’s done! It’s bangs season, everyone! Of all the fall haircuts already taking off among celebrities and fashion girls alike, eyebrow-grazing fringes in a variety of textures seem to be gaining momentum, and actress Priyanka Chopra is the latest to take the plunge. The Quantico star took a quick break from posting snapshots of her adorable dogs and her husband, Nick Jonas, to share a playful selfie captioned, “New hair, don’t care,” over the weekend. The photo depicts what appears to be brand-new bangs and maybe even some layers and fresh highlights. A departure from her typical long layers, the cut is a fun and youthful take on a seasonal switch-up. And just like that, we’re ready for a fall hair refresh, too! Kaia Gerber just can’t stop changing her hair color. Just weeks after she debuted a platinum blonde makeover to her signature cropped tresses, the model took to Instagram yesterday to show off yet another color update. This time, it’s a Kurt Cobain–inspired shade of pastel pink that she carried out herself! Gerber documented the entire experience in a video posted to her IGTV channel with the enthusiastic caption, “I went pink!” The 19-year-old brought in iconic editorial hairstylist Guido Palau to virtually walk her through the entire process because, you know, 2020. “I never thought I would have colored hair, but here we are,” Gerber laughed before sharing that quite a few of her most epic hair changeups—from cutting it hair short to bleaching it and now dying it pink—have been an ode to the late Nirvana front man. “Slowly, every year, I take another step to becoming him,” she said in the video. Ariel Winter’s longtime gig on ABC’s Modern Family recently came to an end, and it looks like the actress celebrated the milestone with a visit to her colorist. After 11 seasons playing Alex Dunphy, the overachieving bookworm with onyx-colored strands, and a recent off-screen switch-up to a soft strawberry tone, the 22-year-old revealed a brand-new, ultrabright blonde dye job via an Instagram post on Monday with the caption, “Winter Is Coming!!!!!!!!!!!” Now, Winter isn’t the only star adopting blonde hair for summer. In fact, she joins the ranks of newly converted blondes, including models Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowski, who have all but proven that high-maintenance flaxen colorways are the trendiest hair move of late. But we have to admit that this particular color choice is the most platinum take we’ve seen come out of Hollywood salons in some time. A big reason this look gets a bum rap? The upkeep! To put it plainly, it’s a beast. Hair health is another big concern to consider, but we have no doubt Winter’s strands are in the most capable of hands. We can’t say for sure that the aforementioned Instagram caption was an homage to Game of Thrones protagonist and the blondest of them all, Daenerys Targaryen, but our girl sure is serving some Mother of Dragons realness. If you’re contemplating a similarly drastic color lift, be sure to stock up on bond-building hair products to keep your strands strong and healthy. Kim Kardashian West and her famous sisters are no strangers to jaw-dropping hair transformations. In fact, the Jenners and Kardashians are frequent flyers within this very gallery. That said, it’s been a minute since we’ve seen Kardashian West debut something other than platinum or deep brunette. So understandably, when her longtime hairstylist Chris Appleton took to Instagram to share and confirm that he did, indeed, dye the celeb’s famous tresses, the internet went a little bit wild. (This isn’t a drill in the form of a wig, folks. This is the real deal!) A juicy pop of cherry red is Kardashian West’s newest hair vibe, and honestly, we’re so into it. For fellow (or future) redheads looking to preserve the shine and vibrancy of your crimson shade, we recommend investing in a color-infused deep-conditioning treatment gloss, like the below from DPHue. As salons begin to reopen their doors across the country, one of the biggest questions on our beauty-centered brains is how hair trends will shift from our original (pre-pandemic) predictions. After months sans professional cuts and color, will people be hankering for something more low-maintenance? Or will everyone be craving a dramatic shift? Honestly, we were predicting the former, but as celebs like Emily Ratajkowski and Kaia Gerber debut bold, very high-maintenance hair color transformations, we just might be proven wrong. Gerber has been gradually lightening her deep brunette strands for a while now, but just yesterday, we caught wind that the model had gone dramatically lighter toward an almost-platinum hue. Then, Ratajkowski took to her Instagram to display a similar vibrant shade of blonde, thanking beloved haircare brand Kérastase for the change. So will the second half of 2020 be all about the blonde? If so, a brass-busting leave-in like the below from Amika is a crucial product addition. (As a blonde myself, I swear by it!) Oops, she did it again? Actually, no. While die-hard fans might remember Spears sporting this look on The Mickey Mouse Club, yesterday marked the first time she cut her own bangs. “Who would have thought bangs could make you look waaaaay younger?” she posted last month on Instagram in a photo that fanned out her face-framing layers and professionally cut fringe. “It was such a big deal to expose my forehead… Only pretty people in the South could do that, and I never felt pretty enough to pull it off,” Spears recalled. . After years of switching up her hairstyle, Spears has gone back to her roots—if not literally then figuratively. “I stopped having bangs in the 3rd grade, and I remember like it was yesterday… People choose different ways to protect themselves… When I pull my bangs in front of my head, I feel like I’m protected… almost like I’m in 3rd grade again.” With the right tools on hand, we have a feeling she’ll soon become a pro at-home bang trimmer—no oops about it. Ever the hair chameleon, Bella Hadid has been known to take a risk or two with her mane. Her color regularly ping-pongs between deep brown and beachy blonde, and the 23-year-old model has even been spotted in pixie-cut wigs more than once (including on the red carpet of last year’s Met Gala). Suffice to say, homegirl seems down to try new things. Just weeks after singer Rosalía threw us all when she revealed she’d cut her own bangs, Hadid took to Instagram Stories over the weekend to let us know that she’d done the same while social distancing with a friend. “I cut my own bangs,” she captioned the video, in which she could be seen tousling the fresh-cut fringe with her fingers. Hadid then posed a question to her followers via the app’s poll feature that read, “Would you let me cut your bangs. Be honest” before revealing in a subsequent slide that her quarantine buddy, Leah, actually took the model up on her offer. “Well, Leah let me cut hers, so whoever said ‘NO,’ look at me now,” she wrote on the video documenting the styling session. Go off then, Bella! We’re so curious to know what Hadid’s trusted hairstylist, Jen Atkin, has to say about her sudden affinity for snipping strands. If you’re not yet familiar with megapopular Spanish singer Rosalía, it’s officially time to get acquainted. The Grammy Award–winning artist known for serving up Latin R&B hits set the internet ablaze on Tuesday when she debuted freshly chopped bangs on social media. Yes, you read that correctly. Rosalía got isolation bangs, which leads us to believe that she might have actually cut them herself! The Instagram debut of her new do, a video in which she playfully posed to show off her handiwork, boasted just three cryptic haircut emoji as the caption, with no further explanation as to how she procured the brand-new style. A scan of her Twitter feed turned up the same video, only this time with the caption, “I just got bangs,” written in Spanish, followed by the same haircut emoji she used on Instagram. All signs point to a solo haircut, and if that’s the case, we have to give the girl some props. The piecey, brow-grazing fringes are actually so cute. But if you’re thinking of taking shears to your hair during this period of quarantine, we’d advise that you consult a trusted hairstylist to guide you through (or out of) the process. Ariana Grande is letting her hair down. The 27-year-old songstress seems to be giving her tresses a well-deserved break from her signature sky-high ponytail, according to a March 30 Instagram post captioned, “get a load a dis.” The dimly lit selfie shows Grande looking fresh-faced (with a cat eye, of course) and wearing cascading dark brown ringlets, complete with shaggy, fashion girl bangs. The pared-back look is different for the star, who’s rarely (if ever) photographed sans a snatched ponytail. Obviously, it’s her hair, her choice, but we’re seriously feeling the natural curls. We’re calling it now: 2020 is going to be Selena Gomez’s year. And she’s been dishing up the screenshot-worthy hair looks to match. From chic bangs to a curly shag to her newest look—a retro vibe that’s one part Jennifer Aniston circa Friends, one part Goldie Hawn circa her hit movie, The First Wives Club—there’s simply no stopping the singer’s hair winning streak. Last week on The Kelly Clarkson Show, Gomez paid tribute to her favorite show and real-life friend, Aniston, with a look very reminiscent of one of the most iconic haircuts of all time, “The Rachel.” Gomez’s hairstylist, Marissa Marino, confirmed on Instagram that the rumor mill was correct and said Rachel Green truly was the main inspiration behind the singer’s voluminous layers (with a touch of Hawn thrown in for good measure). We’re keeping this on hand for our next salon appointment and snapping up this volume-building blow-dryer in the meantime. Don’t get us wrong, Nyong’o’s hair is never not fabulous, and taking a historical scroll through her red carpet looks is better than a trip to the candy store when we were 5. However, we’re seriously obsessed with the actress’s latest braided riff on the red-hot bang trend that’s overtaken Hollywood in the last year. Posed next to author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nyong’o shares in her Instagram caption that her plaited, pulled-up look came courtesy of hairstylist Zubi at 3130 Naturals, an Accra-based salon. We recommend taking screenshots and scooping up the below sparkler from Lelet NY to make your next braided style or updo just as elevated as Nyong’o’s. It’s no secret Blake Lively’s long, lustrous locks could, quite possibly, be the most iconic in Hollywood. So when the actress does something drastic, as she sometimes does for a role, it creates some pandemonium. Though we’re pretty sure her latest look is a wig (Lively wears numerous looks for her upcoming film, The Rhythm Section), we’re still bowled over by the blunt, short chop she posted to her Instagram earlier this week. We’re already (very) excited to see the film adaptation of the buzzed-about book by Mark Burnell, but Lively’s forecasted series of hair transformations is giving us even more cause to anticipate the release later this month. Over the course of her on-screen career, we’ve seen Jada Pinkett Smith take enviable hair risks, like a dark pixie cut, a mullet, and closely shaved sides with long box braids. For her latest switch-up, the Red Table Talk host debuted a striking platinum blonde color on her natural curls. The star gave us our first glimpse of the effortlessly chic new do in an Instagram post on January 8, proving (yet again) that she’s still hair goals. We’ve seen Miley Cyrus pull off pretty much every cut and color under the sun, but until recently, she had yet to wear her father’s iconic ’90s style—the mullet (which, by the way, is very much trending). The singer knows how to start the year off right and debuted her newest hair look this week on Instagram with a very appropriate caption: “New hair. New year. NEW MUSIC.” Miley, you have our attention. Alert: Charlize Theron has a bowl cut now. The star has been pretty consistent with her mid-length, shaggy lob over the last few years, but it looks like she’s ushering in fall with an ultrachic, multitone blonde chop. Even though her younger sister Kylie is the one better known for head-turning hair moments, we couldn’t help but notice (and immediately screenshot) Kendall Jenner’s major blonde moment while walking Burberry’s London Fashion Week show. Interestingly, not all the models debuted blonde hair, so we’re left wondering if Jenner’s new look is more permanent than a quick flick of a wig backstage. Regardless, we’re into it. Um, hello chicness. Yesterday, January Jones debuted this sleek summery bob by her hairstylist, Bridget Brager, who captioned her Instagram post of the cut with “Welp, we finally did it! … @januaryjones has sent me #bluntbob hair inspiration pics for months!! We’ve been waiting for her (old) bangs to grow long enough to give that perfect blunt bob, middle part look. Patience.” Forever a hair chameleon, Kiersey Clemons can pull off anything. We are living for her newest look: a super-short blonde crop, which she just debuted on her Instagram with the tennis ball emoji. Accurate!
Sensing a trend? Kim Kardashian West had onlookers shook when she stepped out last week donning a blunt bob much like January Jones’s. A breezy, low-maintenance cut to go with her new-mom life.
We are loving how natural-hair icon Logan Browning, star of Netflix’s freaky new thriller The Perfection, is growing out her curls. Check out how much progress she’s made since January of this year. (Click to watch a Vogue video of how the actress masters her signature bouncy curls.) We’ve never seen Games of Thrones star Sophie Turner with bangs before, but now that we have, we don’t even remember what she looked like without them. Her hairstylist, Christian Wood, really nailed this one. Undercuts are a subtle way to switch up your hair look. Halle Berry is proof: In May, the 52-year-old icon arrived at the screening of her new film, John Wick, wearing a messy topknot and a creative and wavy new undercut by her genius stylist, Ohre Kilpatrick. Kendall Jenner has been known to play with faux bangs, and we are fans of it every time. (They add a certain vintage, East Coast vibe to her Cali-girl look.) She wore this sleek pony with short, blunt fringe to E!’s upfront event in NY this May. Want more celebrity beauty transformations? Don’t miss our favorite celebrity makeup looks of late.
Things are already looking up.
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