The Academy Awards are a night full of fashion and stunning gowns, but the stars who really rock the red carpet manage to turn a beautiful garment into a moment by completing the look with the perfect hairstyle. Complementing their gown with everything from complicated updos and jewel-studded hair accessories to a simple blowout, these Oscars hair moments became instantly iconic.
Let’s take a look back at some of our favorite recent Oscar hair moments and let us know which of these ‘dos is your favorite. For more on the films and actors nominated for the 2021 awards, check out all of PopCulture’s Oscar coverage and stick with us for the big night.
Jessica Alba, 2008
The plum dress Jessica Alba wore to the 2008 Oscars would have been eye-catching on its own, but the plaited updo she chose kicked the whole look up a notch. Talk about adding small details to elevate the whole look!
Kate Winslet, 2009
This sleek, classic chignon proved to be lucky for Winslet, as she accepted the Oscar for Best Actress for The Reader after rocking it alongside an asymmetrical gown with a some sheen to add a little glamour. Winslet always looks classy on the red carpet, so this look was a perfect one in which she could take home the win.
Reese Witherspoon, 2011
The darling actress’ voluminous high ponytail was a winner at the 2011 Academy Awards. The simple but chic hairstyle paired with a simple and stunning black and white gown was giving us all the Elle Woods vibes that year, and the pop of emerald earrings added just enough color for the star to show off her personality.
Scarlett Johansson, 2011
Leave it to the Black Widow star to bring some sexy bedhead vibes to the red carpet! Pairing some sunkissed messy beachy waves with her raspberry lace gown was just a touch of casual to Johansson’s otherwise formal look, and the bob allowed her to showcase the keyhole back of her gown. Simply perfection!
Jennifer Lawrence, 2011
Jennifer Lawrence’s 2011 Oscars look is one of our favorites of all time. The starlet’s blonde blowout was the perfect accessory to her figure-hugging red Calvin Klein gown, and gave just enough volume to the look to turn it from simple into classic.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 2012
Gwyneth Paltrow knows how to do chic, and this shiny low ponytail she rocked to the 2012 Oscars is a prime example. Looking regal in her stunning Tom Ford gown and cape, Paltrow let the garment take center stage by keeping her healthy-looking long locks tied back. Queen vibes all the way!
Jennifer Lopez, 2012
Jennifer Lopez’s stunning champagne gown with starburst detailing may have made her a standout of the 2012 Oscars, but the “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” artist was also giving us bun goals with her sleek updo. Showing off her strong shoulders and the dramatic lines of the dress, Lopez proved that sometimes less is more when it comes to making an impact.
Michelle Williams, 2006
Michelle Williams looked like spring personified in her goldenrod ruffled gown at the 2006 Oscars, and her young and flirty updo was the perfect accessory. With face-framing pieces freed to give her look a little more movement, Williams’ look captured her youthful elegance and energy.
Sandra Bullock, 2010
If there ever was a look made for winning an Oscar, Sandra Bullock nailed it in 2010 before taking home the Best Actress award for her role in The Blindside. Her stunning gold gown was paired with sleek long locks showing off her beautiful natural chestnut color, and the look managed to shine even more than the trophy she took home at the end of the night!
Lupita Nyong’o, 2014
Lupita Nyong’o was Cinderalla personified at the 2014 Oscars, accenting her natural curls with a stunning 18-carat white and gold headband by jeweler Fred Leighton. The look went perfectly with her stunning powder blue gown, and Nyong’o’s look was a gasp-worthy one as she took to the red carpet.
Lady Gaga, 2015
Lady Gaga’s statement gloves might have been a bit divisive as she took to the red carpet in 2015, but the singer’s matching flower-wreathed ponytail was the perfect way to match her boundary-pushing fashion sense with the classic white gown she was wearing.
Zendaya was all about the Hollywood old glamour in 2015, as she looked every bit the starlet in her pale pink silk gown, which she paired with dreadlocks styled into a half-up, half-down look. The Euphoria star was praised for bringing locs to the red carpet and for her embrace of Black culture, and we can’t get enough of her on every level!