The 22 Most Drastic Haircuts Celebs Have Ever Gotten

August 26, 2019

At first thought, the way a celebrity wears their hair might not seem like that big of a deal. But when you really think about it, their hair is often part of their identity, especially if they’ve always shown off the same type of cut and color.

For example, imagine if Blake Lively chopped off her long blonde locks into a trim pixie cut, or if Kate Middleton went from having long waves to a short, blunt bob. These would be huge, newsworthy changes!

That’s basically what the below haircuts were like when they first happened: a big transformation that totally changed the way the public looked at them. It’s probably no coincidence that a lot of these haircuts coincided with a change in the star’s style, their public persona, their relationship status, or even a big career move.

Here are some of the most drastic haircuts celebs have gotten:

1. Ariana Grande

In 2018, Ariana Grande shocked her fans when she showed off a fresh lob haircut.

The style was a huge difference from her signature super long, sleek ponytail worn on top of her head, and it almost made Grande look like a different person completely. But there was no need to mourn the classic ponytail: that’s basically all extensions anyway.

Don’t worry, she has since returned to her favorite hairstyle.

2. Emilia Clarke

One way Emilia Clarke celebrated the end of Game of Thrones? By chopping off all of her hair.

In September 2018, Clarke opted for a super short pixie cut that was a dramatic departure from how we’re used to seeing her, with long platinum Daenerys hair (which was, for the record, a wig). Clarke had gone platinum the year before, and apparently the color destroyed her hair so much she just decided to cut it all off.

3. Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence looked totally different in 2013, when she snipped off her long locks for a short, spiky pixie cut.

Lawrence had been experimenting with her long blonde hair a little bit before that – she started by dying it a darker brown before deciding to cut it all off. Why? She said she simply didn’t want to deal with it anymore. We’ve all been there!

4. Danielle Brooks

Danielle Brooks went from having a huge mane of curls to having some very tiny, close-cropped curls.

In 2018, the actress decided to go for “the big chop,” a term that refers to cutting off all chemically-treated hair to allow it grow back in natural and much healthier. Whatever the reason, her new cut looked awesome, and was much edgier for her.

5. Charlize Theron

It’s not often that female celebs literally shave off all their hair, but that’s what Charlize Theron did.

In 2012, Theron was so committed to her role in the movie Mad Max: Fury Road that she shaved off all of her hair for a super edgy buzzcut. It was a huge difference from her blonde hair, but like everything else she does and wears, Theron totally rocked the look.

6. Emma Watson

After years of playing Hermione, who was known for her long, “busy” hair, in the Harry Potter movies Emma Watson needed a change.

In November 2010, Watson made headlines at the premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 when she showed up with a daring pixie cut. The cut looked so good that it inspired a trend everyone wanted to take part in.

7. Miley Cyrus

In 2012, Miley Cyrus began her transformation from Disney darling to adult pop star with her rocker-chic pixie cut.

Cyrus, who had always shown off her super long Hannah Montana style hair, shocked her fans when she posted pictures of her signature bun being snipped off for a much shorter look that was a lot more grown-up and had a very different vibe. Little did we know, that was only the beginning.

8. Kaley Cuoco

Another celeb who went from long blonde hair to a super short pixie cut was Kaley Cuoco.

The star surprised fans with a photo of her super short look on Instagram in 2014. She took baby steps towards the pixie, first starting with a trendy bob cut a few months prior. The reason for the shorter look? A movie called Burning Bodhi she was filming.

9. Anne Hathaway

Another celebrity who went for a drastic chop because of a movie role was Anne Hathaway.

In 2012, Hathaway cut all of her long hair into a choppy pixie cut for her role in Les Miserables. While the look quickly became iconic, Hathaway later said she was “inconsolable” after cutting it and was “mental patient-level crying” about it. Honestly, who can’t relate?

10. Kristen Stewart

In 2017, Kristen Stewart embraced her edgier side by shaving off her hair – and looked awesome.

Stewart partly shaved her head for a movie role, but that wasn’t the only reason: in an interview, she revealed that she had been wanting to shave it all off for a long time. She called the cut “practical.” It definitely suited her and her style better than her long hair ever had.

11. Michelle Williams

Who could forget one of the most iconic pixie cuts in celeb history?

In 2011, Michelle Williams went from long blonde locks to a super short blonde pixie cut. The cut had a deep meaning behind it as well, as it was a tribute to Heath Ledger. She explained, “I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it.”

12. Cara Delevingne

Stewart and Theron aren’t the only female stars who have totally rocked buzzcuts.

In 2017, Cara Delevingne shaved off her hair as well. In an interview, she explained that she did it because she thought it would be better for a movie role, even though everyone around her told her not to. She said it was “one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done. I really like it a lot. It’s been really amazing.”

We got to admit, she really rocked this look.

13. Keri Russell

Keri Russell was another celebrity with a truly iconic haircut.

Back in 1999, Russell shocked everyone when she chopped off all of her long, curly hair, which had been her most defining feature in her Felicity days. She went from huge curls to a super close-cropped look, and her hair never went back to the way it had been.

14. Leighton Meester

Leighton Meester went from Blair Waldorf to… well, not very Blair Waldorf at all in 2018.

Meester changed up her signature long brown waves, which had given her that iconic Blair Waldorf look, in 2018, much to everyone’s shock. She opted for a long bob and a new platinum blonde color because she wanted a change. Even though she looked completely different, she also looked amazing.

15. Rooney Mara

Back in 2011, Rooney Mara went full method actor for a movie role by getting tattoos and majorly switching up her hair.

Mara had parts of her long dark hair shaved off completely for an entirely different and much edgier look for her role in Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. She told Allure, “I had parts of my head shaved. I was in that character for over a year. If you’re going to do it, you have to do it.” Makes sense!

16. Pamela Anderson

Before 2012, it was hard to imagine Pamela Anderson without her long, signature blonde hair.

But that year, the Baywatch star chopped it all off into a stylish blonde pixie cut. It was totally unlike her normal style, but it also really worked for her. It gave her style a bit more of an edge.

17. Natalie Portman

Natalie Portman was yet another actress who shaved all of her hair off for a movie role.

In 2005, Portman shaved her hair off for her role in V for Vendetta. It was a look that not everyone could have pulled off, but Portman did it perfectly. The super shaved buzz cut actually accentuated her features even more, and was a daring move that proved to be worth it.

18. Beyonce

Back in 2013, Beyonce surprised everyone when she shared an Instagram photo of her super short pixie cut.

Of course, the pixie looked fantastic on Bey. But because of her ever changing style and looks, the pixie didn’t last very long. A few weeks later, Bey was already showing off longer hair thanks to either extensions or a wig.

RIP to all the hair lost to trying to look as flawless as the Queen… if you were bold enough to chop yourself a pixie, we bet you rocked it!

19. Katy Perry

2017 was a huge year for the female buzz cut, and Katy Perry was another star who jumped on the bandwagon.

She started with a choppy pixie cut before shaving off her hair into a buzz cut. The star said that she did it because the platinum blonde was destroying her hair. Whatever the reason, the change was a big one for her, since Perry’s longer locks were always part of her look.

20. Zayn Malik

It’s not often that male celebrities make news for their dramatic haircuts, but Zayn Malik did just that when he shaved his head in 2018.

The pop star showed off his shaved head, along with a brand new tattoo that went from his left ear to the back of his head. Maybe the tattoo is the reason he shaved his hair off completely?

He also ended up bleaching his hair, so he’s always been pretty open to taking risks! Maybe he got inspired by Justin Bieber?

21. Jennifer Hudson

Jennifer Hudson was another star who went super short in 2013.

The singer decided to opt for something different when she cut her long hair into a choppy pixie cut. Her hairstylist said in an interview, “She felt she was ready for a change and wanted to play with the idea of cutting her hair short.” She definitely made the right move!

22. Britney Spears

It’s impossible to forget when Britney Spears shaved her own head in 2007.

The moment Spears walked into a salon and began shaving her own head was captured on camera by paparazzi, and unfortunately was not a great moment in Spears’ personal life. Still, the look went on to basically become part of celebrity history.