Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Woman & Home
Woman & Home
Lucy Abbersteen

32 of the best-ever hair looks from the Oscars, from short bobs to elaborate accessories

Collage of three images showing Viola Davis, Halle Berry and Emma Stone at the Oscars.

Ah, the Oscars. One of Hollywood's biggest evenings and possibly the red carpet event of the year.

For more than 90 years, the most celebrated names in the entertainment business have flocked to the awards, which have been held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles since 2001. As well as the excitement of finding out the winners, the red carpet (and the Oscars after party) sees dozens of incredible outfits and gorgeous hair and makeup moments, year after year.

From classic moments served up by Halle Berry and Cher to more recent looks on Emma Stone and Viola Davis, below we’ve rounded up 32 of our favourite ever looks from Oscars history.

32 of the best-ever hair looks at the Oscars

1. Emma Stone's vintage waves

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

For the year she won best actress for her role in La La Land, Emma Stone wore her long bob in gorgeous vintage-inspired waves, complete with a heavy side part which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, her hairstylist Mara Roszak set with L’Oréal’s iconic Elnett hairspray.

2. Lupita Nyong'o's sisterlocks updo

(Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Updos are a popular choice for the red carpet and Lupita Nyong’o wore this intricate hairstyle for the 2022 Oscars. Her hairstylist Vernon François explained on Instagram that he used a combination of basket weaving, wefting and loc extension techniques when creating the sisterlocks updo.

3. Halle Berry's layered pixie

(Image credit: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage via Getty Images)

Pixie haircuts are such a classic and Halle Berry’s layered style remains one of the most iconic celebrity examples. Here she is pictured with the style at the 74th Oscars in 2002, where she won best actress for her role in Monster’s Ball. 

4. Helen Mirren's short bob

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

Dame Helen Mirren looks great with hair of any length and this short bob with a deep set side parting and feathered side fringe suits her face shape perfectly. The star stepped out wearing this hairstyle at the 90th Academy Awards back in 2018.

5. Michelle Yeoh's classic waves

(Image credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

For the 95th Oscars where Michelle Yeoh won the award for best actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All At Once, she stepped out with her hair styled in classic undone waves. The look was perfectly accessorised with a jewelled headband that matched her earrings. 

6. Jennifer Lopez's sleek side bun

(Image credit: SGranitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

A throwback to an Oscars ceremony more than two decades ago and a beauty look that has a real noughties feel Jennifer Lopez wore this sleek side bun on the red carpet of the 2003 event. Proof that a chic updo is always a good idea. 

7. Viola Davis's piled-up curls

(Image credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Another excellent curly hairstyle from the red carpet archives, we love Viola Davis’s voluminous half-up hairstyle, worn to the 93rd Academy Awards back in 2021 – at which she was up for best actress for her role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

8. Margot Robbie's loose ponytail

(Image credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Most A-listers have added a fringe to their look at least once, including Margot Robbie. The star opted for this low, loose ponytail, complete with face-framing sections and a full fringe, for the red carpet of the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021.

9. Salma Hayek's accessorised updo

(Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Accessories are a great way to elevate any hairstyle, particularly if one is attending an evening do or special celebration – which is why you often see them on the red carpet, too. Salma Hayek’s look here is a great example.

10. Scarlett Johansson's quiff

(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Scarlett Johansson has had so many different hairstyles over the years, but for the 2017 Academy Awards red carpet, the star styled her shorter pixie cut – which has been kept longer on the top – into a voluminous, swept over quiff. 

11. Cher's curled updo

(Image credit: Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Cher has had some very iconic red carpet looks at the Oscars, including that feathered headpiece. However, this curly updo worn to the 1988 ceremony was also the year that she won best actress for her role in Moonstruck, so it’s extra memorable. 

12. Priyanka Chopra's deep side parting

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

Worn for the 2017 Oscars, Priyanka Chopra’s sleek and straight hair has an element of vintage Hollywood glamour to it, thanks to the very deep set side parting. Keeping the hair tucked away from the face also accentuates her features.

13. Julianne Moore's heavy side part updo

(Image credit: Dan MacMedan/WireImage via Getty Images)

Featuring a heavy side fringe, this side parted and sleek bun is such a winning look, worn by Julianne Moore to the 87th Academy Awards in 2015. This was also the year that she won the best actress Oscar for her role in Still Alice. 

14. Regina King's sharp box bob

(Image credit: Chris Pizzello-Pool/Getty Images)

Boxy bobs have been a key hair trend over the past few years and are a statement look. Plus they can make your bone structure pop, just as Regina King demonstrated on the 93rd Academy Awards red carpet back in 2021. 

15. Angela Bassett's low ponytail

(Image credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

There are so many iterations of the ponytail and it’s style that can be worn at any height. This chic, low and centre-parted one seen here on Angela Bassett is a great red carpet style, seen at the 91st Academy Awards in 2019.

16. Gwyneth Paltrow's sleek half up

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

At a glance, it looks like her hair is worn down, but this sleek look on Gwyneth Paltrow, seen at the 87th Oscars in 2015, is actually a half-up style. Something about it reminds us a little of ‘60s hairstyles, just less voluminous. 

17. Anne Hathaway's pixie cut

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

A style that really suited her, Anne Hathaway cut her hair into a super short pixie crop for her role in Les Miserables, which had grown out a little by the time of the 2014 Oscars – the year after she won best supporting actress for said role. 

18. Jessica Chastain's swept back ponytail

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage via Getty Images)

A ponytail is a classic look that can be dressed up for any occasion, which is why it’s a style that’s so often seen on the red carpet. It was also the hairdo of choice for Jessica Chastain at the 2022 Oscars, the year she won best actress for her role in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

19. Oprah Winfrey's voluminous curls

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

Entertainment icon Oprah Winfrey is no stranger to the Academy Awards, having been nominated for both her acting and producing work. At the 87th Oscars back in 2015, the star opted for a gorgeous voluminous curly hairstyle for the red carpet. 

20. Nicole Kidman's wispy side bun

(Image credit: P. Lehman/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

Complete with face framing sections, this heavily side parted bun is a great example of an elegant updo and feels like a modern twist on a classic look. This particular style was worn by Nicole Kidman at the 2022 Oscars. 

21. Reese Witherspoon's loose curls

(Image credit: SGranitz/WireImage via Getty Images)

A real throwback of Reese Witherspoon, seen here with a loosely curled, heavily side parted long bob that has vintage vibes. At the time she star was right in the middle of her Legally Blonde era, stepping out with this look for the 2002 Oscars. 

22. Rihanna's top knot

(Image credit: ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The top knot is a timeless hairstyle that can work for just about any occasion, and it was Rihanna’s choice for the 2023 Oscars red carpet. The singer was nominated for best original song for Lift Me Up, which appeared in the film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. 

23. Laura Dern's beach waves

(Image credit: Lionel Hahn/Getty Images)

Featuring slightly grown-out curtain bangs, Laura Dern’s beach waved style has a ‘70s shag haircut vibe to it. Dern wore this look to the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar After Party, which sees famous faces step out to celebrate the winners in equally stylish getups. 

24. Jane Fonda's short shaggy cut

(Image credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

For decades Jane Fonda’s signature hairstyle has involved shaggy layers, whether we’re talking '70s hairstyles like her brunette mullet in Klute or this shorter, spikier look in multidimensional dark blonde. Here she is at the 85th Academy Awards in 2013.  

25. Sandra Oh's vintage updo

(Image credit: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)

With her hair swept back from her face and given added height, to us this elegant updo on Sandra Oh feels reminiscent of ‘40s or ‘50s hairstyles. The star wore this particular look on the red carpet of the 92nd Oscars in 2020.

26. Jennifer Aniston's partial plait

(Image credit: Dan MacMedan/WireImage via Getty Images)

Jennifer Aniston usually keeps her hair long for the red carpet, but this look featured a nice extra detail in the form of a plaited front section – a super popular look in the noughties. The star wore the hairstyle for the 2009 Oscars. 

27. Zendaya's heightened updo

(Image credit: David Livingston/Getty Images)

Zendaya has sported so many different winning hair looks on the red carpet over the years, from vintage-inspired bob hairstyles to lengthy braids and updos. This heightened and undone style, worn for the 94th Oscars in 2022, is a great example of the latter. 

28. Charlize Theron's slicked down pixie cut

(Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Charlize Theron is another great example of a celebrity who really suits a pixie crop, styling hers completely sleek and with a heavy side parting for the 92nd Oscars in 2020. To us, the look feels reminiscent of ‘60s icons like Twiggy who also sported the style.

29. Sandra Bullock's side swept loose curls

(Image credit: ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

A big and bouncy blow dry is a popular choice for evening events and special occasions, including the red carpet. Sandra Bullock opted for side-swept tumbling loose curls for the 2014 Oscars, the year she was nominated for best actress for her role in Gravity.

30. Susan Sarandon's fringed updo

(Image credit: Steve Starr/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Another throwback to a nineties Academy Awards ceremony (in 1994, specifically) to Susan Sarandon’s tall and voluminous updo complete with a feathered full fringe. The hairstyle really reminds us of Audrey Hepburn’s iconic look in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. 

31. Kerry Washington's rounded bob

(Image credit: Steve Granitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

We love this incredibly chic bob, which has a rounded shape and layers, on Kerry Washington – it screams Hollywood glamour and really compliments her heart-shaped face. The star wore this particular look when she attended the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in 2023. 

32. Cate Blanchett's loose updo

(Image credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty Images)

Over 50s fashion icon Cate Blanchett tops the Oscars best dressed year after year, but don't overlook her fabulous hairstyles, either. Pictured here at the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party, the best actress nominee wore all of her hair swept away from her face in a loose and elegant updo. 

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.