Celebrity Thick Hair Inspiration at Every Length

With luscious hair comes infinite styling opportunities.

celebrity thick hairstyles jennifer lawrence
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So, you have thick hair. Welcome! (Also, I'm jealous.) You have enviable hair density that allows for natural volume and richness in your styling; no matter the texture, you can pull off hairdos your fine-haired friends cannot. (Do it for me!!) Luckily for you, many celebrities also have thick hair, either naturally or with the help of extensions. They also have the assistance of expert stylists—lucky them!—to help wrangle and make the most of all that hair.

While most of us do not have such extensive resources, we can still use these photos as inspiration. A quick note: We're mostly talking about celebrities who have straightened, relaxed, or curled their hair to achieve these looks. (We have a dedicated inspo board for curly hairstyles if you're looking for that.)


celeb thick hair adele

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One of the simpler ways to deal with all that wonderful hair is to just throw it back into a semi-messy bun. Adele here has the right idea, with a ponytail sitting high on her head and then the hair wrapped around it, secured with a ton of hair pins.

Jennifer Aniston

celeb thick hair jennifer aniston

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This is more for someone with medium hair thickness, but forever hair icon Jennifer Aniston gave us simple bob perfection in the later years of Friends. For simplest upkeep, it's easier if your hair is straight or wavy; curly hair would benefit from more layers.


celeb thick hair shakira

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Crimped hair can easily skew '90s, so the trick is to do a gentle crimp starting several inches from the roots. If you have the time and inclination, setting your hair with braids the night before can help give you a similar wave without having to break out a crimping iron.

Thandiwe Newton

celeb thick hair thandiwe newton

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Thandiwe Newton has the most beautiful, thick, lustrous curly hair here, and it's the perfect shape too (which means she has long layers starting at chin length). This looks deceptively simple but in reality benefits from the right curly hair products.

Carrie Underwood

celeb thick hair carrie underwood

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Wearing your hair down might feel too basic, but a nice uplevel (aside from the dimensional highlights Carrie Underwood has in her hair) is to have a deep, deep side part so that your hair sweeps gracefully to the side. The better to show off your earrings!

Julianne Hough

celeb thick hair julianne hough

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If you want an extra "oomph" to your hair when it's parted to the side and worn down, add just a touch of curl throughout for some dimension. (Julianne Hough's hair is all one color, so it's easy for the hair to look flat, even though it's thick. Some waves give it necessary body.)

Sarah Hyland

celeb thick hair sarah hyland

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If you're trying to dress up your hair but loathe an updo, make like Sarah Hyland and pin the two front pieces of your hair back. Then tease the top and give the bottom a little curl. Voila! A polished look that's not all that different from an everyday look.

Connie Britton

celeb thick hair connie britton

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Connie Britton has been making people envious of her hair for decades at this point. So, let's not kid ourselves that we can somehow obtain her natural color and shine without a ton of help—but, if you have the same length and a curling iron with a wide barrel, you can pull of this easygoing hairstyle.

Salma Hayek

celeb thick hair salma hayek

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The hairband is the ubiquitous accessory, popularized in the '90s, that could easily look silly on anyone older than 20. Salma Hayek is showing us how it's done by a) making the headband fancy, b) leaving some hair pieces in the front to frame her face, and c) having the band placed gently so it's not tightly hugging her scalp.

Keri Russell

celeb thick hair keri russell

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We all remember Keri Russell's curls from Felicity, but in her modern years as an actor, she's been giving us some cool straight styles to emulate. This is givine me modern-day brunette Farrah Fawcett, with the curtain bangs and ombre blonde highlights.

Elizabeth Banks

celebs thick hair elizabeth banks

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Elizabeth Banks often gives her hair some curls on the red carpet, but I'd argue this straighter version is just as chic (and she can pull it off because her hair is so thick). The side part and angled ends make it perfectly face-framing—meaning it's more effort than a purely straight style, but worth it.

Zooey Deschanel

celeb thick hair zooey deschanel

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Should you be tempted to do a half-up style, but don't want to look too "juvenile," follow Zooey Deschanel's lead here. There are still some front pieces left down (you can pull this off with our without bangs), so the pulled-back pieces are subtle.

Halle Berry

celeb thick hair halle berry

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The curly pixie—or any pixie, for that matter—is not to be undertaken lightly. A short cut can a massive change, and you want to make sure you have the right face shape and hair density for it. But if you can, Halle Berry is probably your north star of how to style it.

Lily Collins

celeb thick hair lily collins

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Unlike a full-on pixie cut, a short bob is longer and less intense if you're just dying to cut your hair. If your hair has some natural wave to it, going with a choppy cut like the one Lily Collins is sporting here can make it easier to style—and it grows out more easily too.

Katie Holmes

celeb thick hair katie holmes

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Katie Holmes, possessor of some very thick and gorgeous hair, has experimented with short hair quite a bit—including some very blunt cuts. My favorite is probably this gentle lob (that's long bob if you're unfamiliar), which has a soft side fringe and few layers.

Jennifer Hudson

celeb thick hair jennifer hudson

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This is definitely a pixie cut, but Jennifer Hudson has wisely kept the top section of her hair long—and when you have thick hair, it looks voluminous instead of just silly. This cut does require a good amount of upkeep as it's growing out, though.

Taylor Swift

celeb thick hair taylor swift

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When Taylor Swift started cutting her hair short, fans were tickled pink. Probably the most intense part of this cut is the blunt bangs, which obviously look great on her but might feel too intense for some people. The layered lob is way easier to emulate.

Kerry Washington

celeb thick hair kerry washington

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A lob without layers can make thick hair look triangular (which is a shape lots of people dislike on their own head, myself included). So Kerry Washington's relaxed hair is curled under here to avoid that (and she also has some front side fringe for some dimension).

Jasmine Sanders

celeb thick hair jasmine sanders

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Very few people can pull off Jasmine Sander's natural curl pattern and density—it's one of the features she's most known for, in fact—but anyone with naturally curly, thick hair should still have her on their hair Pinterest board, because her hair shape here is to die for.

Jasmine Sanders

celeb thick hair jasmine sanders

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You don't have to have curly hair to pull off a slick updo. Here, the front is slicked back, probably with gel, and the ponytail is braided and wrapped into a bun. If you don't want to use a ton of hairspray and pins, your hair needs to be on the longer side with few layers.

Gabrielle Union

celeb thick hair gabrielle union

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Even if you need extensions to pull of the kind of long ponytail Gabrielle Union is rocking here, it's a fairly simple procedure once you know what you're doing: The ponytail extension can sit on top of your natural hair and give you immediate length.

Isla Fisher

celeb thick hair isla fisher

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To be a redhead with thick hair! I think to myself every day. This gentle updo keeps her face-framing pieces down, and the ponytail is semi-messy (including some flyaways), so the end look feels a little more easy-breezy than a slicked-back 'do.

Mindy Kaling

celeb thick hair mindy kaling

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The ponytail braid is a classic, and Mindy Kaling's is messy perfection: Her stylist keeps the hair at the top of her head carefully smoothed, which is a nice sleek choice, and then doesn't make the braid look too "done" (i.e., she has flyaways sticking out of it with just a touch of frizz).

Blake Lively

celeb thick hair blake lively

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This look on Blake Lively achieves the updo/downdo hybrid. The front is teased and pulled back, then (as far as I can tell), some of the back pieces are lifted with hair pins and then left to flow down behind her ears. It's both away from her face and showcasing her thick locks!

Eva Mendes

celeb thick hair eva mendes

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The low ponytail is something many of us have tried to master (and Eva Mendes is pulling off). Teasing the hair around the crown prevents it from feeling too flat, and keeping some front fringe framing the face prevents it from being too severe.

Padma Lakshmi

celeb thick hair padma lakshmi

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If you have a ton of hair (natural or not), the enormous bun is a fun choice. Padma Lakshmi shows us how it's done—the key is that because there's no volume in front, there needs to be volume in the back. A thick french twist works just as well.

Sandra Oh

celeb thick hair sandra oh

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Sandra Oh has naturally curly hair—but you can still do a high curly bun if you have the time to style your hair (which...depending on how thick your hair is, could be a lot of time). The benefit of this updo is that it can remain on the messy side, with tendrils going every which way.

Jessica Alba

celeb thick hair jessica alba

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I've always been a sucker for Old Hollywood curls, and they work better when you have thick hair. Jessica Alba, who has some of the most enviable hair on the planet, is giving us a modernized version with a side part and the most defined curls on one side of her head.

Sarah Jessica Parker

celeb thick hair sarah jessica parker

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Sarah Jessica Parker's hair is naturally wavy (her character's curly hair on Sex and the City isn't quite natural, in other words), and her most effective hairstyles just showcase that natural pattern. For any style where you're wearing it long and curly, you at least need long layers, as we see here.

Andie MacDowell

celeb thick hair Andie MacDowell

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When Andie MacDowell started showing up at events with her natural gray hair, a whole generation of women cheered her on. You can mostly style in the same way as you do when your hair is any other color, but make sure it retains some shine as with these stylized curls.


celeb thick hair zendaya

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Zendaya's modern curly bob was a hit with a lot of thick-haired women, partly because it puts a twist on a classic. Normally a long bob like this would have more layers, but by keeping most of the hair the same length, it creates a cool (almost triangular!) shape.

Jennifer Lawrence

celeb thick hair jennifer lawrence

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I've always loved this messy updo on J. Law here (and have never been able to pull it off, due to my lack of hair density). So if you can pull it off—do it. Keep the long layers long and curled, then tuck the rest of the hair under at the nape of the neck. Perfection.

Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.