These celebs unwittingly started pop culture history’s most memorable hair trends with their iconic hairstyles, past and present. Some of these fashionable hairdo’s have faded into obscurity, others have crept back into relevance, and still new trends are being born with the stars today. Many of the celebs on this list are so distinctly known for popularizing their unique hair trend that the style was named after them.
Check out these 14 iconic hairstyles made popular by celebrities.
Poetic Justice Braids
Braided styles have long been a part of black culture, stemming back to African tribes centuries ago, but braids enjoyed particular popularity in the ’90s, namely box braids (so called due to the sectioning of the hair at the scalp which resembled little boxes). Janet Jackson in her movie debut Poetic Justice, rocked a head full of stylish box braids that became known by admirers as “Poetic Justice Braids.” The look was a staple on the heads of young black women and varied in size. An up-and-coming Brandy also heavily contributed to the popularity of the box braid style, choosing the slightly thinner variety.
The Justin Bieber Haircut
When Justin Bieber landed on the scene he took the music world by storm with his baby face, kid-friendly pop tracks, and trendy hairdo. That magical feathered swoop that whirled clockwise around his head and never seemed to lose its shape became known as “the Justin Bieber haircut.” Young boys desired the do almost as much as they liked to make fun of it. Bieber had popularized the bowl-cut for the modern boy. Yes, that’s right, Bieber’s hair was nothing but a glorified bowl-cut.
Arguably one of the most famous/infamous and sought-after hairstyles to hit the masses, “The Rachel” was born on the hit sitcom Friends. The hairdo was named after Jennifer Aniston’s beloved character Rachel Green who sported the bouncy, layered shag for the first two seasons of the show. Women everywhere were enamored with the look, and insisted on duplicating the cut at the salon. Unbeknownst to them, Jennifer Aniston was much less in love with the do that was created by stylist Chris McMillan on a stoned whim. “I love Chris, and he’s the bane of my existence at the same time because he started that damn Rachel, which was not my best look. How do I say this? I think it was the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen…,”Aniston told Allure. Still Jen finds it “hysterical” that she of all people “who grew up with the worst hair” is known for a super famous hairstyle.
Bo Derek Braids
Bo Derek became an instant star and trendsetter when she made her debut in the award-winning comedy 10. Her braided cornrows adorned in beads at the ends was a hairstyle that many white women had never seen let alone wore. Even the hairstylist for the film, Ann Collins, had never seen a white woman with braids until the day she and a friend spotted a pre-10 Bo Derek in a restaurant wearing plaits that she had done herself. “We saw this white woman walk by,” Collins recalled in an interview. “Her hair was in braids and we were really knocked out. We’d never seen anything like that.” Collins, who is African American, asked about the hairstyle and ended up redoing Derek’s hair to such satisfaction that she became the official hair-braider for 10. Black women had been wearing braids and cornrows for as long as they could remember but Derek turned the style into a cross-cultural craze in 1979. Women in Beverly Hills were calling black beauty salons in Watts to set appointments to have their hair braided like Bo’s.
The Farrah Fawcett Flip
At a time when the Afro, the shag, and the bouffant ruled the ’70s hair scene Farrah Fawcett introduced a tress revolution of flowing femininity. Her long golden locks, feathered and flipped at the ends, provided a soft fluffy accent to her butt-kicking detective persona as one of Charlie’s Angels, and set a trend amongst women of the disco era, becoming one of the most iconic hairstyles of all time.
The Partly-Shaved Head
In 2009, Cassie proved that underneath her long raven-colored tresses and sweet, innocent smile was a rebellious fashionista waiting to break loose when she shaved part of her head. The punk-inspired hairdo left her with a buzz cut on one side and her long dark locks flipped to the other. Of her extreme do, Cassie said in 2012, “I just wanted to do something for me that kind of set me apart.” The style certainly set her apart and set off a trend amongst celebrity women who followed suit like Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Kesha, and those who added their own flair to the do like Lady Gaga, who shaved the back of her head, and Mel B., who shaved part of her head completely bald.
Since the reign of the Spice Girls in the ’90s Victoria Beckham, aka Posh, has become quite the style icon, rocking the latest in high fashion, the hottest sunglasses, and looking like a runway model while she’s at it. Her influence has gone beyond cool threads and awesome accessories, though; she’s also known for her hair. The classic bob she donned in her Spice Girls days has evolved into an angular, more edgy crop known as “the Pob” (Posh+bob). The style is short in the back but gets progressively longer on the sides and in the front. In 2007 the Pob was dubbed the most wanted style since 1995’s “The Rachel.”
Louise Brooks Bob
1920’s silent film star Louise Brooks was at the cutting edge of fashionable hair with her signature black bob. Cut short to ear-length and curled at the ends, this sleek and sophisticated hairdo became known as the “Louise Brooks bob” or simply “the Louise Brooks.” Women of the flapper era duplicated this iconic hairstyle to imitate Brooks’ edgy look.
Mop-top Beatle Cut
The Beatles were all-around icons from their indelible impact on music to their influence on fashion. These four young British cats were at the forefront of style during their tenure of the 1960s and ’70s. Chief among their contributions was “the mop-top” aka “the Beatle Cut,” a straight collar-length cut at the back that came down over the ears at the sides, and finished with straight fringe across the forehead. The hairstyle was adopted from Jurgen Vollemer, a young photographer whom The Beatles befriended on a trip to Germany in the early ’60s. The mop-top is sometimes humorously referred to as “Arthur” by fans after a reporter asked George Harrison, “what do you call your hairstyle?” to which he replied “Arthur.”
Twiggy’s Pixie Crop
British teen modeling sensation Twiggy was a breath of fresh air fashion in the mod era of the mid-1950s and 1960s with her adorable short-do. The sleek style was a cross between the Louise Brooke’s bob and a pixie cut. The boyish crop managed to be both sweet and feminine, making it totally cutting-edge for women especially in London.
British singer Dido is not exactly the type of artist one would expect to be a trendsetter. Her music, largely consisting of love and heartbreak ballads, is subtly infectious but often borders on melancholic. Still, the “White Flag” singer was quietly stylish with her high-street image and managed to make her mark in fashion with her signature eponymous choppy shag hairdo known as the “Dido flip.” Her short, uneven cut had wisps of hair flipped up on either side of the head. The style gained a surprising amount of attention in the early 2000s. Many women, especially fans of the singer, sported the cut to which Dido once remarked, ” I love it when you turn up at gigs and the first few rows all have your haircut.”
The Caesar Cut
Who knew a haircut worn by ancient Romans thousands of years ago could make such a fashion statement in the 90s and early 2000s? Ah, the famous Caesar cut! That goofy short cut with the extremely short fringe across the forehead that every hot guy wore, thinking it was cool but later looked back and realized that it wasn’t. Yeah, we can thank George Clooney for popularizing that one. The salt and pepper-haired hunk sported the look in his early career while on ER and the vampire cult classic From Dusk to Dawn. Other pop culture figures at the time also worked the Caesar like Justin Timberlake and J.C. Chasez of Nsync, Brian Littrell of the Backstreet Boys, and even the tough anti-pop rapper Eminem.
The Audrey Hepburn Updo
Audrey Hepburn was a style icon that brought us the little black dress, her stylish over-sized sunglasses, and that sleek updo in Breakfast at Tiffany’s that women of the 1960s just adored. Hepburn’s hair, pulled back and gently piled at the crown in a high chignon meets French pleat style, was the epitome of elegance and sophistication. The style is still widely copied by celebs for red carpet events and women for special gown-worthy occasions.
Blake Lively’s Touseled Tresses
During its 5-year run, CW series Gossip Girl managed to make an impact on pop culture, particularly in fashion. Blake Lively made a name for herself as the show’s “it” girl Serena Van der Woodsen, and carved out a place in fashion as the hair crush of many female viewers. Her signature long, layered, tousled waves were the number one request at salons in 2009. Fans went to their hairstylists asking for the glossy “Gossip Girl look,” “the Serena cut,” or more often “Blake Lively’s hair.” The style doesn’t necessarily need to be achieved at a salon, though. Lively and her Gossip Girl stylist revealed that the secret to her look is letting damp hair dry in a simple ballerina bun or chignon.