I'm in Love with Ariel Winter's New 'Little Mermaid'-Inspired Red Hair

Modern Family's Ariel Winter just debuted a huge hair change (totally inspired by The Little Mermaid) by dying her normally dark brunette hair a bright, funky orange-red color. Considering that the character in the film is named Ariel, just like her, the reference is seriously meta—and actually totally gorgeous on her, in my opinion.

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(Image credit: Hollywood To You/Star Max)

OMG, I totally get this reference! Modern Family's Ariel Winter just debuted a huge hair change (totally inspired by The Little Mermaid) by dying her normally dark brunette hair a bright, funky orange-red color. Considering that the character in the film is named Ariel, just like her, the reference is seriously meta—and actually totally gorgeous on her, in my opinion.

The actress debuted the new 'do on Instagram yesterday, complete with a bunch of mermaid emojis so we know that the reference is 100% deliberate. Even better, Ariel was spotted out and about in L.A. with the beautiful, flowing locks. It looks like that is her actual hair, not a wig or extensions—which, in my opinion, is even more daring, because it's more permanent. Ariel's got a youthful, trendy, fashion-forward style, and she's absolutely unapologetic about her look. She just recently shared unretouched photos from a Pulse Spikes magazine shoot (opens in new tab), looking utterly gorgeous, of course. 

Back to this new 'do: I could clearly never pull this off (my curls would make the red hue look like a clown wig, and my husband would laugh himself silly). But I actually think Ariel is pulling it off.

This is what Ariel's hair looked like just a couple days ago (the texture and length looks about the same, to me):

A post shared by ARIEL WINTER (@arielwinter) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

And here's Ariel's new lewk:

A post shared by ARIEL WINTER (@arielwinter) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Now she and I both are singing "Part of Your World" at the top of our lungs, so thanks Ariel!

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Katherine J. Igoe
Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.