Beauty

The 16 Most Unforgettable Oscars Hairstyles Of All Time

From blunt bangs to finger waves.

A look at some of the best Oscars hair moments of all time.
Getty Images/ Pool / Pool

The Academy Awards might be an awards show focused on film, but real beauty buffs know that Hollywood’s biggest night is an honorary beauty event, too. That’s because the Oscars have been defining (and then redefining) hair and makeup trends for nearly a century. There are countless red carpet moments that have stood the test of time, but to name just a few: Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond-encrusted tiara; Cher’s dramatic feather headdress; Halle Berry’s early-aughts pixie; and Zendaya’s contemporary windswept waves. The best Oscars hairstyles aren’t just iconic; they’re era-defining.

If you never miss watching the award show’s red carpet to scope out all the glam, you’re in luck: There are just a few days before fans are blessed with a whole new set of Oscars beauty looks to fawn over. Indeed, the 94th annual Academy Awards are set to air this Sunday, March 27, so make sure you have your popcorn (and glasses) ready, as everyone’s favorite star-studded event is returning to live TV.

Before you hit the refresh button on your Twitter or Instagram feed Sunday night, let’s take a moment to appreciate the best beauty moments of years past. For a stroll down (red carpet) memory lane, read on for 16 of the most unforgettable Oscars hairstyles to have ever graced the Academy Awards.

1

Audrey Hepburn’s Micro Bangs

Bettmann/Bettmann/Getty Images

No list of Oscars beauty looks is complete without Audrey Hepburn. The actor, seen here posing with her Academy Award for best actress in Roman Holiday, is a timeless beauty icon; her classic style still inspiring beauty trends today. At the ceremony in 1954, her hair was cut short and featured delicate, piece-y micro bangs that served a beautiful contract to her bold brows.

2

Liz Taylor’s Diamond Tiara

Michael Ochs Archives/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor is timeless Hollywood royalty, and she certainly never missed an opportunity to dress the part: In 1957, Taylor attended the Academy Awards in an elegant updo with curled tendrils and a crystal-embellished tiara.

3

Barbra Streisand’s Era-Defining Bob

Silver Screen Collection/Moviepix/Getty Images

Barbra Streisand won Best Actress in 1969 for her starring role in Funny Girl and sported her era-defining hairdo — a face-framing bob with playful bangs — when she accepted her award.

4

Lola Falana’s Voluminous Curls

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Singer Lola Falana embraced her naturally voluminous curls at the Academy Awards in 1970, and she depicted the perfect embodiment of Hollywood glam with her jaw-dropping ‘do.

5

Goldie Hawn’s Floral-Accented Half-Updo

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

In 1969, Goldie Hawn’s gorgeous half-updo was a head-turning look that was emblematic of the time: She wore a flower on her head that matched the pattern on her dress, and her dramatic curtain bangs elevated the romantic aesthetic.

6

Cher’s Feather Headdress

Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

Choosing just one Cher hairstyle from the Oscars is a challenging feat, but since we had to: In 1986, the Moonstruck star opted to wear this dramatic feather headdress to the ceremony. Show-stopping is truly an understatement, but this is what Hollywood glamour is all about.

7

Whoopi Goldberg’s Braided Half-Updo

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

In 1991, Whoopi Goldberg won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost and wore her hair in a beautiful braided half updo while accepting the award. It was an especially historic win as she was the first Black woman to win an Oscar in over 50 years.

8

Drew Barrymore’s Daisy-Adorned ‘Do

Steve.Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

In 1996, Drew Barrymore adorned her delicate bob and playful bangs with daisies. She punctuated the vintage-inspired look with curled ends, a glittery eye, and a dark lip.

9

Kate Winslet’s Romantic Waves

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Kate Winslet very much leaned into the Titanic aesthetic at the 1998 Oscars, where she accepted her Academy Award for Best Actress with her hair in cascading, romantic waves.

10

Halle Berry’s Iconic Pixie

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Halle Berry rocked this decade-defining pixie cut while accepting the Oscar for Best Actress in Monster’s Ball, inspiring pixies, mixies, and all of the styles’ many iterations for decades to come.

11

Rooney Mara’s Blunt Bangs

Dan MacMedan/WireImage/Getty Images

Rooney Mara rocked this severe yet elegant updo at the 84th Annual Academy Awards, which stood out thanks to dramatically blunt bangs. She let her fringe punctuate her look by wearing the rest of her hair slicked back into a tight bun.

12

Lupita Nyong'o’s Gilded Strands

Steve Granitz/WireImage/Getty Images

Lupita Nyong'o tied metallic golden strands into her sophisticated updo at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, matching her golden hair accessory to her dress, eye makeup, and of course, the gilded Oscar statuette.

13

Lady Gaga’s Twisted Bouffant

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lady Gaga wore her hair in a twisted bouffant for the 91st Annual Academy Awards, leaning into the classic Hollywood swept-updo aesthetic but with a modern twist (no pun intended).

14

Amandla Stenberg’s Finger Wave Braids

Handout/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Amandla Stenberg also redefined a classic look at the 91st Annual Academy Awards by sporting the creative combination of 1920s-era finger waves and protective braids for a uniquely stunning style.

15

Janelle Monáe’s Crystal Hood & Side Part

Kurt Krieger - Corbis/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images

In 2020, Janelle Monae wore a custom crystal gown by Ralph Lauren, complete with an embellished silver hood. She paired the dazzling dress with a deep side part and a statement red lip.

16

Zendaya’s Water Waves

Pool/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Quite like Cher, Zendaya’s best Oscars hairstyles are impossible to choose from (maybe it’s a first-name-only thing), but we’re especially fond of her lengthy windswept water waves from the 93rd Annual Academy Awards.