Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: Why We're Obsessed With Celebrity HairstylesKaren Belz

Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by “The Rachel”. (I’m imagining at least 5 of you are raising your hands. It’s the internet, so I can’t really tell.)

There wasn’t anything wrong with “The Rachel”. It was a darn cute haircut in the 90’s. The problem is, it didn’t transform any of us into Jennifer Aniston. Also, we didn’t have the professional hair team that Jennifer Aniston had. When I was an awkward pre-teen, I realized soon after getting the cut that I had no idea how to maintain it.

In a 2011 interview with Allure Magazine, Jennifer admitted that she didn’t even like the ‘do, stating “How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen. What I really want to know is, how did that thing have legs?”

Jennifer cut her hair shorter recently, after a somewhat disastrous Brazilian blowout. “The minute I cut my hair I want it back,” she said to Elle UK. “Always. It’s a guarantee. I’m trying really hard to love this one.”

Having hair idols is nothing new – we’ve generally been fascinated with celebrity hair for quite some time. Think about how legendary Farrah Fawcett’s winged-out blonde hair is, and how Reese Witherspoon’s introduction of wispy bangs sent everyone to the salon, despite the fact that she only got them to cover up a scar from when she was hit by a car in 2011. The newest celebrity haircut that’s all over the news? Why, it’s on the head of the amazing Jennifer Lawrence!

Jennifer recently cut off her trademark long hair in favor of a pixie cut, and while this shouldn’t necessarily be “news”, the reaction seems to be split 50/50. While some think the drastic change is adorable, others are comparing it to Kate Gosselin – who, back in the day, sported a short and spiky look that was quickly emulated by mothers and fans of her show. Jennifer joked that she cut it to make Francis Lawrence, her Hunger Games director, angry at her before clarifying that “It’s just fried from being dyed so much.”

Jennifer isn’t the only celebrity that has made the headlines based on cutting down her mane – there was Natalie Portman, who shaved her head for the film V for Vendetta, Emma Watson before she enrolled at Brown University, Beyonce, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, and of course – Miley Cyrus.

We also can’t forget about the queen of haircuts: Ms. Keri Russell. In 1999, Keri decided to chop off her signature curls, and ratings for her show Felicity fell tremendously.


“I think it was a brave, crazy, sudden, extreme thing to do, but those are all things a girl in college are, and I think it was quite appropriate,” Russell said. “It was a good thing for me as a person as well. That long hair is how I was identified.”

Isn’t it a bit much to explain a show’s decline based on a haircut? Sadly, it was the topic most people were interested in discussing during interviews with Keri – even months after the fact. “I think it turned some audience away, in particular men and some women,” said Susanne Daniels, who at the time was the WB Entertainment President.

However, I think Keri hit the nail on the head with this one – hair is how we help identify ourselves. It could be why a bunch of us go to the salon after a break-up, or before starting school for a new year. Many feel like in a world where there’s very little control (whether it’s your work schedule, school schedule, or if you just became a new mom) a haircut is a way to gain control over something. As Meghan Krein wrote, “Hair is both emotional and sensual to women. They have ties to their hair and it is one of the easiest, most tangible things to alter on someone’s appearance. How many times have you seen a women leaving a hair salon—crying?” It’s a quick way to show change, and define a new chapter in our lives.

And since some of us look to celebrities for style inspiration, they’re normally the first people we look to for hairstyle tips. Just make sure you’re getting the cut for the right reasons. And if you forget, or if it’s not how you imagined it’d be, remember that it’ll grow back.

Here’s a hair plug (bad pun intended!): If you plan on taking the plunge and rocking a pixie cut like Jennifer, consider donating your hair to a great cause.

Our girl Zooey is involved with the Pantene Beautiful Lengths campaign, which will start their “Donate Your Hair Week” on November 11th. You can help out cancer patients while also getting a stunning new style.

Have you ever gotten a celebrity haircut? Do you think there’s too much hype over celebrities who go short?

Image Credits: Facebook (featured) People (Russell)

  • Gina Vaynshteyn

    If I was fearless, I would go with Ginnifer Goodwin’s pixie. But I’m not so split ends it is!

  • Laura Elizabeth Donovan

    J-Law is so gorgeous!

  • Jaclyn Rogerson

    Zooey should donate hers ;)

  • Nicole Buford

    I found it incredibly amusing that just as I closed my searches for new cut and color ideas for myself, this article popped up on my FB page. This last year I was forced to cut about 12 inches off my hair due to a very bad dye job that left my hair literally breaking off by the handful. (I should know better than to do it myself) Now, I am a plus size woman with a chubby face and double chin, so I was trying to find some inspiration on how to treat this new length that barely touches my shoulder in such a way that might help my face look a bit more trim. I need something that will look great until I either lose weight or the hair grows out. (Wanna start bets on which one will come first?! lol) As I was looking at what the search engine had to offer, all I could find were photos of skinny celebrities and models who all #1 never had to worry about a double chin in their lives and #2 have professional stylists to style their hair before the photos. How am I to really know which is going to look fabulous on me when the only styles we apparently see fit to put photos up of are of people who are my complete opposites? As you said, our hair is such a defining part of out appearance so we so often go into the salons looking to come out completely transformed (and not just our hair but in our lives too). It is hard to find a balance between what looks good on us, what is on trend, and someone who we can trust to pull it all off. As much as I love seeing the beautiful hair styles on gorgeous women such as the Jennifers, Keri, and even Miley, they are not good examples for me and most of the world to follow because most of us will either never have their faces that are free of double chins or we will never be able to have stylists do our hair every time we have anything to do outside of the house.

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