Most Dramatic Celebrity Hair Transformations: Before and After Photos – SheKnows

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by Delilah Gray
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Coco Chanel once said, “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life” — and that couldn’t be more true! After a huge event, whether it be a breakup or a move to a new city, there’s always one call to make first. We’re older enough and wise enough to know not to cut our own bangs or invest in a box dye, and when our hairdressers do their magic, it’s like we’re a whole new person — the same thing goes for a bunch of our favorite celebrities!

When a celebrity we know and love changes something up, we can’t help but geek out. Whether it be a blonde celeb going to the darker side of the hair world or someone shaving it all off, it’s like a whole new person is standing on the red carpet!
You can’t deny it: when a Kardashian steps out in a new hair color that’s unlike the usual ‘dos — you wanna know every detail.
Whether it’s a new color or a huge haircut (or even both), a bunch of celebrities know how to change their entire image with one trip to the salon. From Kristen Stewart’s surprising color and chop to Kourtney Kardashian’s newest hairstyle, we love a good hair transformation.
Check out the most dramatic celebrity hair transformations ever below!
The latest star to mix up her usual look is none other than Kourtney Kardashian! On March 2023, she shared a series of snapshots on her Instagram, showing that she ditched the iconic black Kardashian ‘do for a chic blonde bob!
Jennifer Lopez is also no stranger to experimenting with her hair, going from brown curls to luscious long blonde locks. Most recently, in March 2023, she debuted a much darker hairstyle no one quite expected. Here’s to many more different ‘dos in the future!
While we all know Christina Ricci as one of the Queens of darkness with her darker hairstyles, that didn’t stop her from rocking the platinum bob in 2017. In an interview with Into The Gloss, she revealed she cuts her own hair a lot of the time, “I also cut my own hair. I use a cutting razor – I think that’s what it’s called? I practiced a good amount.”
Now she’s married to hairdresser Mark Hampton, so he’s typically the one with the cutting razor!
Paramore frontwoman Hayley Williams’ most iconic look was her choppy red hair, an instantly iconic look from the punk, early-2000s era. However, the Good Dye Young co-founder shook things up in 2014 when she debuted a curly, pixie blue haircut. She also tried out green hair, black hair, pink hair, platinum hair, and more — reminding everyone she can rock any style she chooses!
“There’s a part of me that wants to remind myself that I can still envision myself as whoever I want to be, and whether I have orange hair, white hair, black hair, blue hair—it doesn’t matter,” she said in a previous interview with Vogue.
2022 and 2023 have been all about Shania Twain and her gorgeous hair transformations! The brunette babe has recently shown fans she can rock any color, from her pink ‘do at the 2022 People’s Choice Awards and the blonde look she debuted in 2023!
Anne Hathaway is known for her luscious brown locks, something she’s sported almost her entire career. However, there was a time when she not only chopped it all off for a pixie cut but bleached it as well! Back in 2013, she debuted the daring chop at the Met Gala, telling HuffPost: “It’s temporary. But as soon as I did it, I thought I didn’t want it to be temporary any longer.”
Hilary Duff turned heads back in 2015 when she debuted a daring pastel blue hair color. She originally dyed it back in April 2020 (at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic) and then again two years later. In a previous interview with Allure, her hairstylist Nikki Lee gave all the hair dye details to fans. 
“I had to first pre-lighten her hair with Joico’s Blonde Life,” she said via email. Next was Joico’s Color Intensity True Blue and Mermaid Blue, and then “[we did] Mermaid Blue with a splash of Peacock Green. After we did a deep conditioning treatment on her hair with In Common’s Crystal Cashmere to lock and seal everything in.”
If you watched Victorious while it was on Nickelodeon, then you remember when the public was introduced to Ariana Grande with their extremely bright red hair. As soon as the show ended, she swapped those red locks for her iconic high ponytail look and much darker hair. 
Grande dyed her hair every other week throughout the hit show’s four seasons, and the hair started to fall out. So as soon as her contract with Nickelodeon ended, she focused on hair care, making sure her locks were hydrated and healthy. “Coconut oil just goes with everything,” she said to Allure.
Did you know Margot Robbie’s natural hair color is actually brunette? That’s right, Robbie is a natural brunette, and she ended up having to dye her hair blonde for different roles. She told Elle, “I always dyed it dark in high school. I was devastated when I had to go blonde.”
She also previously told UK Glamour that she couldn’t live without the Oribe texturizing spray and the Klorane dry shampoo.
Miley Cyrus hit superstardom with her brunette curls (and the switching to blonde for her character Hannah Montana!) However, we all remember back in the early 2010s when she made the daring chop and color, showing off her iconic blonde ‘do, and she’s kept that color since! However, she says she still faces scrutiny and judgment for her hairstyle.
“[Fans think] my hair is some sort of reflection for my sanity, my sexuality, my sobriety,” she said to SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show. “The public really makes my hair, I guess, the kind of monitor of how I’m doing. “It’s really not their fault that they associate my hair and my identity and my wellbeing so closely, because basically, we drilled that into their brains for eight years of [Hannah Montana].”]
While Katy Perry is no stranger to trying daring looks with her shows, she did seriously turn heads when she chopped off her long black hair for a blonde pixie cut.
Perry revealed in a previous interview per Insider that there was a deeper meaning behind the sudden chop. “I’m really strong as Katy Perry and then sometimes I’m not as strong as Katheryn Hudson,” she said. “People like talk about my hair, right? They don’t like it or they wish that it was longer. I so badly want to be Katheryn Hudson that I don’t even want to look like Katy Perry anymore sometimes.”
Charlize Theron has seemingly tried every hairstyle imaginable, but the most iconic transformation was definitely when she waved goodbye to her blonde locks for a gothic, black ‘do.
Ciara is another star who can pull off any look (including effortlessly rocking an orange ‘do!) The most dramatic hair change, however, was when she went from this light, curly mane from the 2022 baby2baby gala to this blunt black bob only a few months later!
Everyone was so shocked when Selena Gomez ditched her black hair for a daring blonde look back in 2017 (and again in 2021!)
(In a previous interview with Vogue, she revealed she adores the Pantene Air Spray!)
Along with her pop-punk anthems, Avril Lavigne is known for her rocker-chic style. When she first came onto the scene in the early 2000s, she sported her natural brunette locks for everyone to see. However, soon after, she entered a new era: one where she let out her iconic blonde hair. 
Over the years, she’s added color to her blonde hair, from black to green streaks, orange highlights to probably the most well-known: her pink streak. However, here’s a fun fact: she has naturally curly hair!
In a previous interview with Allure, the Over the Hedge star said, “I have curly hair. Google it… I f**king hate it.” So she’s not abandoning the straight-hair look anytime soon! 
(And in the same interview, she revealed she swears by the Moroccanoil Treatment Hair Oil!)
We’ve seen a lot of hairstyles from Lindsay Lohan over the years, from bleach blonde to gothic jet black, and all the way back to her natural red curls. In a previous TikTok where she simulated having a conversation with her younger self, she revealed how much she loves it now.
Her younger self asks her, “Do I like my red hair?” and “Do I like my freckles?” Lohan says she loves them, adding, “They used to make me uncomfortable as a kid but now I realize how beautiful they are!”
We grew up with Emma Watson, and knew her for her big curly hair from the Harry Potter series. However, as soon as the films wrapped, she chopped off all of her hair for a shocking and stylish pixie cut. 
“I didn’t get to experiment with dyeing and chopping off my hair like most teenagers,” she said to Metro. “I also felt, right, I’m 20, I’m not a little girl anymore. I’d been on Harry Potter for ten years so I needed to mark the end of it in some way. I needed a drastic change and that’s what the crop was all about.”
(She previously told Into the Gloss that she gets rid of the warmth in her hair with the Maria Nila Sheer Silver Shampoo!)
Kristen Stewart was known for her gothic glam dark hair, but she drastically changed it up in in the mid-2010s when she both chopped it off and dyed it blonde. She started experimenting with it, doing a buzzcut, adding color, and doing half-shaved before landing on a tousled look like this one from the 2022 Oscars. 
Stewart is actually a natural dirty blonde, but because of her roles in Twilight and Snow White & The Huntsman, many assumed she was a natural brunette.
Billie Eilish rose in the music industry with that silver, blue hair that everyone wanted to recreate for themselves. However, she’s changed it up a lot over the years: going from silver-ish to blue, green and black to blonde. And in a previous interview with Vanity Fair, she said her blodne hair made her more comfortable with going outside. “My attitude used to be like, ‘I can’t go out, I can’t go here, I can’t go there.’… I wasn’t able to go to a park or go get coffee, It freaked me out. But in the last year I opened up to it,” she said.
Soon after, she went back to her iconic gothic black hair!
Like quite a few stars in the 2000s, Ashlee Simpson was no stranger to experimenting with her hairstyle. The pop-punk princess’ most memorable look in her music career was her edgy black ‘do, and when she looked at a picture of it for InStyle, she couldn’t help but laugh!
“Oh, my God! This is hilarious. OK, so that was the first time I went for something different. I rebelled and bought a box of hair dye,” she said. “I had wanted to go black, and I can see here this is probably soon after I had dyed it myself because I feel like some of the browns are kind of popping through. Having dark hair with my roots, it would look like I was bald when my roots came in. But it was so me at that time. With that album [Autobiography], it was just where I was at, like ‘Yeah! I’m feisty!’”
Since then, she bounced from red to blonde, along with different heights before landing on her iconic blonde curls. In the same interview, she said: “My look now just feels like me. I’m just in my me moment. I feel like it’s not too long, it’s not too short. It’s just being me. Most of all, my hair is easy.”
Katie Holmes’ long brown hair was a staple for her look, but in the past 15 years, she’s frequently bounced back from that to a chic pixie cut. (We especially love her pixie cut from the 2019 Met Gala because she showed some of her natural grays!)
Zoe Kravitz is always ready to try something daring with her look. She went from her iconic black ‘do to this shocking blonde bob in 2014, and switched back soon after. Since then, she’s experimented with different styles, and heights, but has kept the black hair going on strong (along with her love for Bumble and Bumble Invisible Oil!)
 “I felt really insecure about my hair,” she said to the Guardian, “relaxing it, putting chemicals in it, plucking my eyebrows really thin. I was uncomfortable with my blackness. It took me a long time to not only accept it but to love it and want to scream it from the rooftops.”
Before the 2020s, Halle Berry usually rocked her brown hair in varying lengths, but she did a total 180 in 2022 when she debuted a silver pixie cut. Later, she’d shake things up further with buzzed details and even purple hair!
In a previous interview with ELLE, she said why she adores changing up her style. “I love short hair—that’s me, that’s who I am. I just feel confident and feel like my best self when I have short hair,” she said. “But it’s fun to change sometimes. I get a little bored and, as a woman, I want to change my shoes, my outfit, and my hair. And thanks to extensions, it’s easy to do.”
Kate Hudson’s blonde look is something we can almost always expect to see from her on the red carpet. However, in 2017, Hudson shaved all of her hair off for her role in Music. Now how did she feel about the daring move? She told Harper’s Bazaar that she thought “the shaved head was awesome!” She added, “I didn’t think I’d love it so much. The connection to it [her hair] was powerful and I wasn’t prepared for that. It’s so liberating.”
If you’re a Felicity fan, then you remember this one vividly. Keri Russell rose to fame with her luscious curly mane, and caused a media circus when she chopped it all off in this chic, curly pixie cut for the show!
“I did not expect all the hysteria,” she said to W Magazine. “I feel like it was so the right move and I’m really glad they did it.” 
Like everyone in the Kardashian family, Kim Kardashian’s black hair color has become an iconic look — but she still loves to experiment. One of the biggest transformations was when she ditched the black-colored do for a platinum blonde look for the 2022 Met Gala.
“Yes, the blonde hair. The roots are definitely growing out. I’m going to dye it soon. I’m going to stay blonde for a minute,” Kardashian said on Live with Kelly and Ryan. “I’ve just been lazy. It’s so much work!”
So going from curly to straight hair may not be as dramatic as others, but when Taylor Swift did it — everyone was losing it. Swift was known for her ringlet style, and when she straightened them (and later chopped it off ), it showed fans she was entering a new era in her music.
Disney alum Alyson Stoner made a powerful statement when she shaved off all of her hair in the music video for “Stripped Bare.”
“Shaving my head is an act of mental health and confidence, not self-destruction,” she said to People.”I can’t tell you how many beliefs and opinions and insecurities fell to the floor with every tuft of hair, and I’m leaving them there.” 
Since then, she’s experimented with different colors like dark brown, platinum blonde, purple, and more with her pixie cut!
Truly, Rihanna looks good with any and every hairstyle she tries out. From her black bob to the red bob, blonde curls to her iconic pixie cut and back to the black curls she started with, she can do it all!
We’ve known Aubrey Plaza since her jet-black look from Parks and Recreation, and fans lost it a bit when she decided to lighten it up in 2021. But that was nothing compared to how fans reacted to the gorgeous blonde hair she debuted in 2022!
Many wondered, “Why blonde?” And Plaza told everyone why through Access Hollywood, saying, “It’s for Megalopolis. It’s for a character. I would never do this on my own. I didn’t wake up one day.”
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