2020 is a year that will go down in hair transformation history.
Among the many strategies used to cope with lockdown and feeling a loss of control, major hair switch-ups emerged as one way for individuals to mark a significant change in their life—or just say “fuck it” and express themselves without apology. While celebrities are no stranger to transformation, there was a shift toward more directional statement haircuts and colorful hues (hence the newly coined term “self-dye-solation”) that offered both inspiration and an air of optimism in difficult times.
“A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life,” Coco Chanel once said. In that spirit, Demi Lovato “did a thing” by lopping off her chest-grazing lengths into an undercut dyed platinum blonde, while Halsey and Tallulah Willis took starting anew to the extreme with fresh buzz cuts. Others took the plunge with directional layers. As the mullet grew in popularity during the pandemic, Rihanna and Troye Sivan took on the notorious so-bad-it’s-good style with confident aplomb. Rosalía and Gigi Hadid went a more subtle route by adopting curtains of soft fringe. Quarantine also proved to be an opportune time to embrace born-with-it texture. At the beginning of lockdown, Gabrielle Union showed off her natural curls, while over the summer, Megan Thee Stallion unveiled her halo of of tight coils.
On the hair color front, the year saw a wide spectrum of tints, shades, and tones. On one end, there was Kaia Gerber and Emily Ratajkowski, who temporarily traded their natural brunette for golden platinum blonde. And on the other, full-on fantasy color with Lizzo and Kim Kardashian West both rocking fire engine red lengths, Ciara and Lady Gaga opting for icy shades of blue, and Georgia May Jagger debuting a bold, two-tone blue and purple dye job inspired by Harley Quinn in Birds of Prey. Here, a look back at 2020’s biggest year-defining hair transformation moments.