Everyone loves a good haircut, though some people are more limited in their hairstyles. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Gone Girl’s Rosamund Pike explained, “Actresses generally aren’t allowed to have haircuts, because short hair isn’t considered as versatile.” However, you wouldn’t know that was true by looking at this list of celebs who’ve dared to shake up their looks in major ways. After all, wigs exist for a reason — and people should be able to have the hair they want when they want it. Like the oft-quoted, popular Pinterest adage goes: “Life is too short to have boring hair.”
Haircuts are all at once thrilling, nerve-wracking, and liberating. A good haircut will have you feeling like you can conquer the world, and a bad haircut… well, a bad haircut will grow back eventually. While us non-famous folk are able to try a new ‘do without becoming headline news, many celebrities don’t have the same luxury. Luckily for these stars, however, chopping off their locks only served to prove that they can rock pretty much any cut there is! Here’s a look at the celebrities who completely changed their look with the power of a haircut.
Hilary Duff's Lizzie McGuire-inspired haircut
If you were a girl in the early aughts, you’re likely well acquainted with the total sensation that was Lizzie McGuire. Played to perfection by Hilary Duff, Lizzie McGuire was #goals before hashtags were even a thing. Unfortunately, some of her hair choices haven’t exactly held up throughout the years — such as those crimped locks and messy half-up ‘dos. Still, Lizzie McGuire’s influence is alive and well today, as Duff herself proved by paying hair homage to her famous character.
For years, Duff sported long honey-blonde waves with flattering side bangs, but, in June 2019, the Younger star took to Instagram (via Refinery 29) to show off a brand spankin’ new haircut, complete with fresh highlights and shorter, forehead-sweeping bangs. If Duff’s new look seemed familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it before. As the star revealed to Refinery29, the cut was inspired by none other than the early 2000s teen beauty icon Lizzie McGuire herself. “I kind of have been itching for my Lizzie McGuire bangs for awhile,” Duff told the publication.
Taylor Swift's short haircut transformed her style
Taylor Swift redefined country music forever when she released her first studio album, Taylor Swift, in 2006. Since then, the world has seen Swift evolve from a soft-spoken country crooner to an outspoken pop music queen. And just as her musical style has changed immensely throughout her career, so has her look.
When Swift first stepped into the spotlight, her long, blonde, and curly hairstyle was her signature look. It was nearly impossible to imagine the budding superstar without her famous mane — but in 2014, Swift fearlessly chopped off a major portion of her locks. The “Sparks Fly” singer debuted her chin-length bob with Little Mermaid-esque bangs on Instagram in a February 2014 post (via Vanity Fair) — and, according to Swift’s famous friend Karlie Kloss, Swift’s cut was inspired by the model’s own ‘do.
Kloss explained to The Cut in a 2013 interview that Swift was a fan of Kloss’ hair from the moment they met. “I met Taylor Swift last night,” Kloss revealed to the publication. “And she said, ‘Ohhh, I want to cut my hair. Karlie, if you see me in a few months with that haircut, know it’s because of you.'”
Jenna Dewan's chin length haircut changed her whole look
Jenna Dewan’s big break came in 2006, when she was cast to play Nora in the romantic-drama dance flick Step Up. Since then, the mega-talented dancer and actress has made a name for herself by starring in various films and TV shows, such as 10 Years and American Horror Story: Asylum, as well as hosting the first two seasons of the hit NBC reality competition show World of Dance.
When the world was first introduced to Dewan in Step Up, the star was sporting long brown wavy locks with honey-blonde highlights. The actress kept that length for years, eventually losing the highlights and opting for a much darker brunette shade. However, in 2012, Dewan shocked fans by debuting a blunt, blonde bob. Before posting a picture of her new haircut, Dewan tweeted (via Glamour), “Do blondes really have more fun?? About to find out.” Following the photo, the star tweeted, “Oh, and the new hair is just for a role guys…started a new movie today.”
Dewan later went back to her dark brown color, though she seems to be a fan of the long bob, also known as the ever-popular “lob.”
Rihanna's super short haircut was just one step in her style evolution
Rihanna has been a star since 2007, when her hit song “Umbrella” broke through to the top of the charts — and her talents reach far beyond the music industry. In addition to being one of the world’s most recognizable musical acts, Rihanna is an accomplished actress, as well as the founder behind Fenty’s beauty and fashion lines. To put it simply, Rihanna is a versatile gal — so it only makes sense that her look continues to evolve as she does.
The singer has sported a number of different haircuts throughout the years, but one of Rihanna’s most shocking hair transformations came in 2012, when she cut off her long, burgundy-tinted locks, trading them for a cropped, jet black pixie. However, this wasn’t the singer’s first short hair rodeo. Rihanna sported shorter cuts in the beginning of her career, and, according to her hairstylist, Ursula Stephen, she had been craving another big chop.
“We had been talking about going short for a little while now,” Stephen told Us Weekly. She continued, “I just felt like, why wait? Let’s do it today! … She was ready for her short hair again!”
Khloe Kardashian cut off the negativity with this haircut
Khloé Kardashian spent many years feeling inferior to her big sisters, Kourtney and Kim — largely due to comparisons of her physical appearance with those of her sisters. The youngest Kardashian sister revealed on Revenge Body (via MTV), “I always had blonde, really curly hair, and when you’re young and you’re chubby and tall … I would have teachers be like ‘Oh, you’re Kourtney and Kim’s sister?'”
However, in 2016, Kardashian shut down any talk of her being the “chubby” sister by debuting an incredible 40-pound weight loss transformation. In addition to the extra pounds, Kardashian also shed a few inches of hair — something she said “needed” to happen following now-ex-husband Lamar Odom’s months-long hospital stay.
“I cut all of my hair off because I was in the hospital and I just felt like I needed … to get rid of this negativity,” Kardashian explained on Live! With Kelly and Michael (via People). The reality star continued, “You shouldn’t do haircuts when you’re that emotionally confused but I did, and I love it, though! It’s so much easier.”
Charlize Theron's Mad Max haircut got her into character
Charlize Theron is no stranger to undergoing a major physical transformation for a film, as she’s proved with her roles in movies like Monster and Tully. So, it should come as no surprise that the actress went all in while prepping for her role in the 2015 post-apocalyptic mega-hit Mad Max: Fury Road. Theron played the role of Imperator Furiosa, the film’s central protagonist and warrior-woman. However, in order to fully encapsulate Imperator Furiosa’s essence, Theron had to wear her famous blonde locks in a super-short buzz cut, which eventually grew out into a perfectly flattering pixie. And, for the record, Theron totally recommends a big chop.
“It’s the most freeing thing,” the actress revealed to Ryan Seacrest during a 2013 Academy Awards red carpet interview (via HuffPost). Theron continued, “I highly recommend it.”
In 2019, Theron was spotted sporting the pixie haircut again (via Cosmopolitan) — this time, however, her previously-platinum locks were dyed a deep chestnut brown hue. One thing’s for sure: This gal can pull off any hairstyle in the book. Just try and prove us wrong.
Emilia Clarke, mother of haircuts
Emilia Clarke made a name for herself by playing the woman with too many names to remember — Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men… you get the picture. While her breakout role as the Mother of Dragons on HBO’s smash hit series Game of Thrones had the actress sporting long, flowing platinum locks, Clarke herself has proven that in the real world she prefers to walk on the shorter side.
In 2018, the Game of Thrones star debuted a fresh new pixie haircut while enjoying herself at a Florence and The Machine concert (via Harper’s Bazaar). Later, Clarke took to Instagram to reveal the inspiration behind her new hairdo, posting a photo of the super-short cut and joking that she’d asked her stylist for a style reminiscent of “when Gwyneth [Paltrow] and Brad [Pitt] had the same hair cut.” Mission accomplished!
Tyra Banks' pixie dream girl haircut
If you were a teenager in the early 2000s, it’s likely that you learned everything you know about taking the most flattering selfie from world-renowned supermodel Tyra Banks. After all, no photo has been the same since Banks introduced the “smize” to the world, and we’re still hanging on to any piece of beauty advice Banks throws our way.
In March 2015, Banks revealed that she’d chopped her long, voluminous locks into a face-framing pixie cut (via Us Weekly), posting a picture of her new haircut on Instagram with the simple caption, “Snip.” The model and television personality also added the hashtag, “#NotTooShort.”
As anyone who’s ever had lengthy locks knows, the very idea of getting a pixie cut can be incredibly daunting. However, Banks is a proponent of taking that leap of faith and living your best hair life. “Don’t just consider a pixie cut,” Banks wrote in a December 2017 tweet. “Do it! People with strong bone structure can usually rock a pixie quite fiercely.” Be right back, getting a pixie cut ASAP.
Emma Watson's magical haircut after wrapping Harry Potter
Much like Emilia Clarke, Emma Watson was skyrocketed to international fame for portraying a beloved character with a signature mane. However, unlike Clarke’s character’s long, enviable, platinum tresses, Watson’s Hermione Granger had a famously thick, bushy hairdo. To be fair, Hermione was far too busy saving Harry Potter and Ron Weasley from certain death to spend much time at all on her hair — but that’s a story for another day.
After the original Harry Potter film franchise wrapped its eighth and final film, Watson decided it was time to shed Hermione’s voluminous locks and rock a haircut that was all her own — a Tinkerbell-inspired pixie cut.
“It was weird. My hairdresser was like, ‘When are you going to freak out?’ Most people cry or go into shock,” Watson revealed to Entertainment Weekly. She continued, “But I was very calm. I knew it was the right thing.” While we thought the actress totally rocked the shorter cut, her father made sure to keep Watson the down-to-earth gal we know and love. According to the actress, her pops told her, “You’re not Audrey Hepburn yet, darling.” Oh, Dad.
Miley Cyrus' daring haircut and new hair color shocked everyone
If you’re even a casual follower of Miley Cyrus’ evolution, both physical and career-wise, you know the actress/singer has come a long, long way since her days playing Hannah Montana. Her path to the “Wrecking Ball” headline-making Miley began in 2012, shortly after her first engagement to actor Liam Hemsworth. In August of that year, Cyrus took to Twitter (via Us Weekly) to reveal that she’d chopped her long, honey-brown tresses into an ultra-short pixie cut — even ditching her natural hair color for an eye-catching platinum blonde.
Of course, some people don’t take too kindly to change, and plenty of folks took to social media to share their unsolicited opinions of Cyrus’ new haircut. Tyler, the Creator tweeted that Cyrus’ barber was an “a**hole.” However, the “Malibu” songstress didn’t let the haters get her down.
“My dad Billy Ray Cyrus used to tell me, ‘[Opinions] are are like a**holes — everybody has one.’ LOVE my hair. Feel so happy, pretty, and free,” Cyrus tweeted (via Us Weekly). That’s the spirit!
Beyoncé's fierce pixie proves she can rock any haircut
Is there anything Beyoncé can’t do? Of course, that’ a rhetorical question, as we’ve all learned the answer is a resounding, “No.” Even if you’re not a part of the “Beyhive” (though you totally should be), you have to admit that this woman has proved time and time again that she can absolutely conquer anything she puts her mind to — including pulling off a hairstyle most of us would be too terrified to try.
In August 2013, Beyoncé shocked fans by cutting off her long, wavy, blonde tresses into a short, trendy pixie — sending the media into a frenzy. To be fair, many celebrities had entered the pixie realm before Mrs. Carter — however, there’s not much Beyoncé can do without making headline news. Speaking with The Guardian, Beyoncé’s stylist, Kim Kimble, revealed that the songstress’ new ‘do was much more than a simple haircut — it was a statement. “It’s a statement that, ‘I’m young, I’m beautiful and I can do it all,” Kimble revealed to the publication.
Like we said — there’s nothing Bey can’t do.
Shailene Woodley's bangin' new haircut got her ready for Big Little Lies Season 2
To get bangs or not to get bangs — that is the question so many women have been faced with at some point (or multiple points) throughout their lives. Of course, it doesn’t help that bangs constantly go in and out of popularity, à la mom jeans and thick eyebrows. Luckily for bang-lovers, they seem to be all the rage these days — so much so that superstars like Shailene Woodley have hopped aboard the bang train, too!
In the premiere of the second season of HBO’s Big Little Lies, the thing that had everyone talking (aside from the juicy drama) was Woodley’s new bangin’ haircut. Jane Chapman, Woodley’s character, was no longer sporting a dark brown, slicked-back ponytail. Instead, her locks were darker and choppier, and the cherry on top of it all was the added touch of Woodley’s blunt bangs.
This edgier look was a far cry from the long, blonde hair Woodley sported in 2017 — and we have to say, we’re totally here for Woodley joining the dark side.
A '70s inspired shag was a totally new haircut for Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway is one of the most celebrated and skilled actresses of our generation. However, we’ll always remember her as her Princess Diaries character, Mia Thermopolis — you know, the girl whose thick, unkempt mane literally broke a hairbrush.
Of course, Hathaway has come a long way since her Princess Diaries days, and she’s sported a variety of haircuts throughout her years as a Hollywood It girl. From her super short, Les Miserables pixie cut to her short-lived platinum blonde color, to her signature shoulder-length, chestnut brown tresses — Hathaway has always been #HairGoals. However, the actress completely switched up her look in April 2019, with a ’70s inspired ‘do — and the new look had us running, not walking, to the closest salon.
On April 27, 2019, Hathaway’s stylist, Adir Abergel, took to Instagram to post a photo of Hathaway’s new, layered shag. “New cut. New vibes,” the stylist captioned the photo.
Hey, Anne, the 1970s are calling — and they want you to know that you’re totally pulling this look off.
Jennifer Lawrence's dramatic haircut transformed the actress' look
There’s perhaps no celebrity more relatable than Jennifer Lawrence — thanks to her lack of a filter to her love of all things food, to her openness about, well, everything. However, the one characteristic of Lawrence’s to which we can’t quite relate is her ability to rock any hairstyle, haircut, or hair color of her choosing. Teach us your secret, Jen!
In November 2013, Lawrence took to Facebook to reveal that she’d chopped off her long, beautiful locks for an adorably short pixie cut. It was quite the change from what fans had grown to expect from Lawrence. While the actress switched her color from blonde to dark brown to blonde again — no one had considered that she’d one day take the plunge and cut it all off. Well, no one except for Lawrence herself.
According to the actress, she decided to get a pixie after growing tired of her too-long lob haircut. “It grew to that awkward gross length and I kept putting it into a bun, so I just cut it off,” Lawrence explained (via Teen Vogue). Like we said: relatable.
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