The 32 Most Iconic Celebrity Hair Moments

Cuts and colors that became synonymous with the stars who wore them.

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Celebrities are constantly and chronically changing up their hairstyles. But sometimes, they hit on a cut, a style, or a color—often a combination of all three—that becomes synonymous with their brand. From Marilyn Monroe's golden curls to Diana Ross' waves and even Elvis' voluminous swoop, we're talking about the iconic hairstyle that springs to mind when you visualize your favorite stars.

Which isn't to say that these hairstyles are—or were—permanent. (With stylists on hand and so many colors and cuts to play with, why limit yourself to a single look?) But more often than not, the celebrities in question return to their trademark style time and time again. In some cases, their signature hair moment is more than just a great hairstyle: it represents feminity, risk-taking, or even transgression.

Ahead, some of the most iconic celebrity hair moments of all time.

Grace Jone's Geometry

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Model, singer, and actor Grace Jones was never afraid to experiment with the most daring of styles, to amazing effect. But her geometric, architectural flat top style she wore for the Bond film in which she starred, A View to a Kill, will forever be the coolest.

Louise Brooks' Bob

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There's blunt, and then there's so blunt it looks like it could cut something. Louise Brooks' bob falls into the latter category; She popularized the style at the height of her career in the 1920s and '30s (the look is now pretty synonymous with a "flapper" style).

Felicity's Curls

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While most people might remember The Haircut (when Felicity made the choice to cut the character's hair super short as a plot line after she suffered a break-up; fans basically rioted), I choose to remember happier days of Keri Russell's gorgeous curls.

Veronica Lake's Waves

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Veronica Lake's shiny, vintage waves, usually styled in a deep left part so it hung gracefully over her right eye (and called the "one-eyed hairdo"), became her trademark style. The exception was during World War II, in which she debuted a pulled-back updo that was practical for wartime work.

SJP/Carrie's Waves

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Carrie's signature curls in Sex and the City were a fairly welcome change at the time—most beauty trends at the time focused on the allure of straight hair. Carrie's mane, by contrast was wild and gorgeous, much like her character, and it gave girls with curls (like me) much-needed inspo.

Victoria Beckham's Lob

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The erstwhile Posh Spice was known for a bob that was as sharp and high as her strappy heels. In its original iteration, it was incredibly angular, with the front pieces long and extending back towards the nape of the neck, but Victoria Beckham experimented with softer, more layered bobs after this.

Sia's Wig

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Depending on which interview you're drawing from, Sia's oversized wigs (that maybe make it hard to see) are a result of her wanting a bit of privacy—we can't really see her face when the wig is on—or hoping to inject a little mystery into her performance art.

David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust

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For the hairdo that helped define his androgynous alien persona, David Bowie turned to the hairstylist who worked with his mom. The short, red, spiky 'do took some time to perfect, with Suzi Ronson taking samples of his hair to experiment with color before dying his actual locks.

Shirley Temple's Curls

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If you've ever had curly hair deemed "Shirley Temple curls" (I've heard it too many times to count), it's referring to this child star with perfectly coiled hair. Apparently, it was actually naturally straight (which tracks, actually: These curls are a little too neat to be natural).

Ariana Grande's Ponytail

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Back in her Nickelodeon days, Ariana Grande had to dye her hair red constantly. As she explained on Facebook back in the day, "I wear it in a pony tail because my actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down." But, despite the origins, Grande became infamous for the high pony for a while.

Julia Robert's Red Curls

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When Julia Roberts' character's blonde wig came off in Pretty Women to reveal...the most gorgeous red curly hair imaginable, we were all Richard Gere falling in love with her at that moment. Roberts has had many a color and style, but when she returns to the classic, she looks just as amazing.

Twiggy's Pixie

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Twiggy's hair was one half of her exciting look that everyone wanted back in the '60s (the other half was her slender, "waifish" look). The femininity combined with just a touch of androgyny—hair had been much longer in the prior decade—was all the rage.

Anna Wintour's Blunt Bob

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Like many style icons, Anna Wintour found a signature cut and color and then has stuck to it through thick and thin. She said the one time she tried to change it, it was a "disaster" and she had to wear a hat to cover it up; Since then she's been too "anxious" and "lazy" to switch it up.

Meg Ryan's Long Pixie

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Sometimes known as the "bixie" (combining the best aspects of a bob and pixie—short pieces in front, long pieces in back), Meg Ryan's signature cut apparently debuted back in 1995 with French Kiss. We've seen many iterations of it throughout her career, but the classic cut is always the best.

Billie Eilish's "Roots"

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Even though Eilish doesn't always have her hair green, apparently the fact that she kept it this color for this long is a sign of her happiness and "mental stability." When fans criticized her, she shot back, saying the color is a sign of her “not being depressed anymore.”

Tina Turner's Tease

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Sometimes referred to as the "mega mullet" (lol), Tina Turner's high and spiky wig was part of her rebrand after splitting from her abusive ex. According to a hair historian, “As she stepped into her own in the ’80s and left behind the toxicity of her past, the hair provided the perfect visual shorthand that something had changed...It’s hair that’s all about power—it’s hair as armor.”

Joan Jett's Shag Cut

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(Contrary to popular misconception, this is not actually a mullet. The more you know!) Apparently the original inspiration for Joan Jett's signature cut came from fellow icons like Keith Richards and David Bowie (also on this list!). Back in the early days, she cut it herself!

Sinead O'Conner's Buzz

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Sinead O'Connor's "secret weapon" was her shaved head. She would later explain in interviews that her childhood was traumatic, including instances where her mother “would introduce us as her pretty daughter and [Sinead's sister as] her ugly daughter...And that’s why I cut my hair off. I didn’t want to be pretty.”

Mia Farrow's Pixie

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There were rumors that Roman Polanski had Mia Farrow's hair shorn short to play the hapless, helpless lead in Rosemary's Baby (and, indeed, the pixie cut and the character have now become iconic). But Farrow explained, "I had literally cut it myself earlier that year—with a pair of fingernail scissors...My then-boyfriend, Frank Sinatra, loved the cut, and so I kept it short."

Cher's Looong Hair

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Even in the '60s, when her career was on the rise, Cher was experimenting with her hair: Cutting off the front edges and giving us a cool alternative to the traditional bangs and long hair. She would grow it long and luxurious in the '70s, and the jet-black tresses (in all its cuts) would be an important part of her style.

Amy Winehouse's Beehive

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In its first iteration, Amy Winehouse's huge beehive was apparently her own hair, backcombed. But eventually it became a huge hairpiece. "It’s quite a sensitive area because Amy did suffer from hair loss, and that actually transpired as her career moved on," said stylist Tracey Cahoon.

Alicia Keys' Braids

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Alicia Keys has shown off a multitude of protective styles throughout her career, including with Fulani braids in the video for her breakout hit "Fallin,'"and she's continued to honor that style over her career. The beads are an incredible, colorful '90s/'00s moment.

Brigitte Bardot's Messy Updo

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When you think of the traditional beehive, you probably think of the classic circular style, as chic as it is enormous. But Brigitte Bardot's beehive (sometimes worn completely up, sometimes worn half-up, half-down), was messy in the extreme—and incredibly sexy.

Jackie Kennedy's Bouffant

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As she settled into life as First Lady, Jackie Kennedy's look was extremely emulatable, not just in her polished skirt suit style but also in her chic bouffant hairstyling. Her White House hair was more polished than some of her more free-flowing cuts and styles of her youth.

Audrey Hepburn's Chignon

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Speaking of beehives! This uber-chignon, with a huge hairpiece in the back, tiara in the middle, and micro-bangs to finish off the look, became known as Audrey Hepburn's (and her character's) signature look from Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's a testament to her power—seriously, microbangs!

Farrah Fawcett's Fringe

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It's hard to believe Farrah Fawcett was only on one season of Charlie's Angels, because the second that viewers laid eyes on her fringe-y blonde hairstyle, with its bangs and angled layers and loose curls, we were in love. It inspired hair for a decade (and beyond!).

Elvis' Swoop

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Elvis was known for many things—and his pompadour was one of the most instantly recognizable. He didn't invent it, but boy oh boy did he popularize it. The height and volume of his jet-black hair (secured with gel, in case you're curious) remains a cut that people emulate to this day.

Angela Davis' Afro

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An afro was seen in the media and politics as being "militant and threatening," which is why—when author-activist Angela Davis wore one (and continued to opt for the hairstyle throughout her life), it was both an act of rebellion and also an inspiration to people all over the world.

Diana Ross' Curls

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In her early years, Diana Ross had a very styled bouffant bob, but her curls began showing up more and more the later she got in her career. The '70s and '80s were a particular opportunity for her to show off her natural hair, and it became integral to her (incredible) style.

"The Rachel"

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The opposite of "the Felicity" is "the Rachel": Instead of everyone disavowing the hairstyle and the character along with it, fans fell in love with Jennifer Aniston's character through her hair. Even though the actor has admitted she herself didn't like it, just about everyone in the '90s wanted the cut.

Halle Berry's Pixie

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Deemed "the unofficial face of short haircuts," Halle Berry's pixie is the perfect example of how, when your face structure is this flawless, you can pull off a short cut. Berry has actually had a variety of types of short haircuts throughout the years, but this piece-y one has to be my fave.

Marilyn Monroe's Blonde Bob

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Has there ever been a look more recognizable or iconic? (And still popular today!) She was a natural brunette, dying her hair platinum in 1948 and keeping the color through the rest of her life. Needless to say, it transformed her look and our association with the hair color ever since.

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.