9 Actors Whose Haircuts Changed the Course of TV History

In case you didn't notice, Kaley Cuoco got a pixie cut over the summer for a role in a new movie, but what will happen when The Big Bang Theory comes back and suddenly Penny has significantly less hair? An actor changing up their look when their under contract is always tricky. Sometimes the writers will pen the new look into the script, and sometimes the actors get in lots of trouble.

Here are nine actors who went bold with their hair and how their shows dealt with the fall out.

Kaley Cuoco Before

Penny from The Big Bang Theory had long blonde hair throughout most of the show.

Image: CBS

Kaley Cuoco After

Before the start of Season 9, Cuoco chopped her hair short for a movie. Fortunately TBBT writers plan to explain the cut in the new season. “There was a lot of talk about doing extensions or something else,” Cuoco revealed. “I said, ‘I think it would be a great change for Penny in the show. And they were really cool about it and on my side. And they wrote it in. So I got lucky.”

Image: CBS

Dianna Agron Before

Fans of Glee had come to know Agron for her perfect blonde locks, but in 2011 she decided to change things up near the end of Glee’s second season.

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Dianna Agron After

The show wrote in the chop in as part of Quinn’s reinvention of herself.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Candace Cameron Bure Before

DJ Tanner in Full House had hair that was the envy of every 90s teen but it was a lot of maintenance for Bure. “I think for two years, I went to salon two days a week to have my hair blown out,” she told Glamour.

Image: ABC

Candace Cameron Bure After

Tired of having it long and dealing with the upkeep, when she was 17, Bure decided to chop her hair midseason which got her in a lot of trouble. She recounted to Glamour how the producers said to her, “We understand that you have a right to cut your hair, but that’s not something you’re really allowed to do in the middle of the season … This is something we would have loved to have written in to an episode, and you really should have asked us and waited.”

Image: ABC

Mia Farrow Before

The actress was known for her long, flowing locks on the show Peyton Place.

Image: ABC

Mia Farrow After

But one day in the middle of shooting an episode Farrow chopped off all her hair and it created a huge panic. “That was one of those times when [the producer] called me and said, ‘Get down on the set, fast. Mia cut her hair,’” said associate producer Del Reisman.

Scrambling to come up with a reason the writers blamed it on her character acting out and then wrote in several jabs about Farrow’s new hair for other characters to say. I guess that’s what you get for cutting your hair in the middle of a shoot.

Image: Paramount Pictures

Mariska Hargitay Before

Olivia Benson has had a lot of hair styles on Law & Order: SVU but usually they were approved by production.

Image: NBC

Mariska Hargitay After

Then in Season 3 the Law & Order: SVU actress was getting a routine chop when her stylist made an error that nearly got Hargitay fired. “I give the guy a glass of wine, he’s trimming my hair, everything’s great … and then all of a sudden I turn my head and he cuts the wrong piece off and I was like … ‘Dude, I’m in the middle of an episode,’” she said of the event. “I got in so much trouble.”

Apparently the series creator even told her, “I’ve fired people for less.” Yikes!

Image: NBC

Charisma Carpenter Before

Carpenter played Cordelia Chase in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spinoff Angel and started the series with light brown long hair.

Image: The WB

Charisma Carpenter After

But in Season 2 she begged producers to let her cut and color her hair. They were dissatisfied with the results saying it created a “dark edge of Cordelia” which went against the “warm and effervescent” attitude she is supposed to have.

Image: The WB

Charisma Carpenter After Take 2

In Season 3 the producers instead had Carpenter go shorter and blonder to bring out more of the character’s lightness.

Image: The WB

Ashley Benson Before

The Pretty Little Liars star began the show with long blonde hair.

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Ashley Benson After

Mid-series Benson decided to chop her hair short which got her in trouble with the show’s producers. “I had to cut it for this photo shoot that I did and then Pretty Little Liars called me and were really mad at me,” she confessed.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Susan Olsen Before

Producers for The Brady Bunch wanted the youngest family member to have super blonde hair so “they ordered eight-year-old Olsen’s hair to be bleached regularly.”

Image: ABC

Susan Olsen After

Mashable reports that in Season 2, the over-bleaching started to make her hair fall out in clumps so the staff stopped making her dye it. Fortunately Olsen was blonde to begin with so the change wasn’t too noticeable.

Image: ABC

John C. McGinley Before

Fans of Scrubs know that Dr. Cox’s hair changed sometimes within the same episode leading many to believe his curly mop was a poorly made wig.

Image: NBC

John C. McGinley After

Then during Season 6 he shaved his head putting the end to wig rumors. But unfortunately for fans, no explanation for the sudden haircut was ever given on the show.

Image: NBC