Career-Changing Celebrity Hair

These stars have famous hair—that in many cases has helped them laugh their way to the bank. Here, 20 celebs who have used their manes to career advantage

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Jennifer Aniston

“The Rachel” may be the only celebrity haircut ever to get its own Wikipedia page. Last year, Aniston called her now iconic Friends-era layered bob, “the ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen.” However, the cut turned Aniston into a style star and helped propel her to the big screen. In 2011, Forbes ranked her #21 on its list of the 100 most powerful celebrities.

Sylvain Gaboury / PR Photos

Kate Walsh

Walsh had some early success on television as the blonde girlfriend on The Drew Carey Show, but it wasn’t until she went red in 2005 for her role in Grey’s Anatomy that she really made it big. Walsh is now one of TV’s highest paid actresses—on her Grey’s spinoff, Private Practiceshe earns $275,000 per episode. “I felt like an imposter before,” says Walsh about changing her hair color. “I’m stronger and sassier as a redhead. It’s much more me.”

Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

Andie MacDowell

MacDowell has been the face of L’Oreal for over two decades, and she is known for embracing her natural curls. Coincidence? We don’t think so. “I have faced curly hair prejudice!” MacDowell, now in her 50s, said to People. “Sometimes [my hair] gets a little frizzy because of the weather or the products on it. All I can do is put more product on it.”

Andrew Evans / PR Photos

Justin Bieber

In 2011, Forbes listed Bieber’s earnings at $53 million. Bieber Fever’s power boils down to his stylized mop top hair—that has helped captivate tweens and mothers worldwide.

Charles Norfleet / PR Photos

Demi Moore

When Demi Moore shaved her head bald for her role in 1997’s G.I. Jane, she raised more than a few eyebrows. The movie didn’t score with critics but Moore proved to audiences that she wasn’t afraid to take risks—and she took home an $11 million paycheck.


Emma Stone

Though she’s stolen the scene as the fiery redhead in such films as The Help and Crazy, Stupid, Love, Stone’s natural hair color is blonde. It was during her first major role in 2007’s Superbad that producer Judd Apatow convinced her to embrace the ginger hue, and it has since helped her win an ad campaign for Revlon. Forbes recently predicted that Stone is “on her way to joining the $20 million per film league.”

Andrew Evans / PR Photos


Arie made a statement about being beautiful without hair in her song “I Am Not My Hair.” She says the last verse was inspired by Melissa Etheridge’s performance at the Grammys after losing her hair in chemotherapy. "At that moment in time, her performance was a juxtaposition of pain and beauty,” Arie said.

richard shotwell / PR Photos

Blake Lively

When Gossip Girl and The Town star Lively changes up her style, it makes as many headlines as when she swaps boyfriends. Her beachy blond waves are highly requested in salons everywhere and have helped her land two covers of Vogue and a Chanel ad campaign. All of this has prompted New York Magazine to declare the "Blake" "the new ‘Rachel.'"

David Gabber / PR Photos


Romance novels mean Fabio. The Italian model’s long blonde locks—along with his chiseled physique—have made him the go-to hunk for the cover of lurid paperbacks and ad campaigns (“I can’t believe it’s not butter!”) for over 20 years.

Lee Roth / RothStock / PR Photos

Jessica Simpson

A decade ago, Simpson was just another head of hair in a sea of blondes with pop singles. Today, she’s turned her covetable coif and unique style into a booming business. Her empire of fashion and cosmetic products—estimated to be worth $1 billion—includes a line of hair extensions called Hairdo.

Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Emma Watson

What does a starlet do when she wants to take herself from little girl to leading lady? Watson chopped her long Harry Potter curls into a polished pixie. Since then, she has landed a role in the Oscar-nominated My Week with Marilyn, and she just signed on as one of the leads in Sofia Coppola’s next project.

Solarpix / PR Photos

Sarah Jessica Parker

As Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City, Parker became a fashion icon. Throughout the show’s six-year run, SJP modelled a variety of hairstyles—natural ringlets, stick straight, long, short—that acted as the ultimate accessory to her trendsetting ensembles. Today, thanks in no small part to the show’s syndication, Parker is one of Hollywood’s highest earning actresses, making $30 million last year.

Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Willow Smith

Smith was barely 10 years old when she took the dance floors by storm with her anthem “Whip My Hair.” The daughter of Jada Pinkett and Will Smith, Willow landed a record deal from the single and has since earned an estimated $4 million, according to People. She continues to make a statement with her coiffe, and recently debuted a shaved head.

Andrew Evans / PR Photos

Kim Zolciak

Zolciak has endured her fair share of wig- and weave-pulling fights on The Real Housewives of Atlanta—particularly involving own blonde hairpiece. Though Zolciak doesn’t need one, she’s open about her preference for wigs over natural hair; she is currently working on starting her own line of faux hair.

Janet Mayer / PR Photos

Taylor Swift

Swift’s mega-popularity as an artist is as clear as the numbers in her bottom line: She earned $45 million in 2011, according to Forbes. And she’s known (almost) as much for her all-natural spirals as for her Grammy Award-winning songs. A Google search for Swift’s hair brings up hundreds of video and blog tutorials for fans looking to capture her style. "Taylor has always been about enhancing and embracing her individual look, not hiding it," her hairstylist Jemma Muradian has said.

Bob Charlotte / PR Photos

Bruce Springsteen

Though it’s not exactly his hair, The Boss’ trusty bandanna has been keeping his curls out of his face on stage for decades. The look began with his 1984 album Born in the USA, which established him as a rock icon. We bet the headband resurfaces on his upcoming 2012 tour, which—if you judge by his $156 million 2009 tour—is sure to make a pretty penny.

PR Photos

Gwen Stefani

Stefani likes to take risks with her music and her clothing, so it’s no wonder that she does the same with her hair. The rock singer has experimented with so many colors that, in an interview with People, she said she hasn’t seen her natural color since the 9th grade! These days she maintains her high-octane blonde without breaking the bank by using hair color from L’Oreal—the brand she endorses.

Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos

Diana Ross

When Ross emerged as a star for Motown in the 60s, she wore a beehive wig, but it was when she came out as a solo singer that her personal style reined supreme. Her big hair and wild curls helped her to stand out—an iconic look that still defines the pop diva today. As popular as ever, the first leg of Ross’ 2010 tour earned over $4 million dollars.

Glenn Harris / PR Photos


When Pink first emerged on the pop scene in 2000 with a double-platinum first album, her rose-streaked hair was as loud and attention grabbing as the pop singer herself. After wearing her hair blonde for the last few years, the star recently returned to her namesake ‘do—again making headlines.

Glenn Harris / PR Photos

Billy Ray Cyrus

The mullet goes mainstream. When Billy Ray Cyrus came along in 1992 lamenting his “Achy Breaky Heart,” the world became intimate with the “business in the front, party in the back” haircut. Cyrus’ debut single went to number one and became his signature song. He has since to match its success, and in 2006 he released the single “I Want My Mullet Back.”



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First Published March 16, 2012

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Kim 09.04.2012

Isn't it odd you didn't picture the career changing hairstyle?

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