10 Career-Making Hair Transformations


Recently, while I was contemplating bangs with hairstylist Ashley Javier, he told me, and I quote, “I don’t do cuts, I do careers.” In other words, he provides hair transformations that make people happen. It sounded a little haughty and hair-tyranty at the time, but upon further consideration, it’s definitely a thing. Right? Soo Joo was just another genetically blessed graphic designer before she got a double process. And Anna Wintour certainly didn’t saunter out of the womb with that blunt banged bob. Listen, our hair communicates so much. And our research indicates that there are 10 common hair/life revolutions:

1. Go Dark — Signal that you’re now a bad gal who dabbles in the dark arts. Looking at you, Rooney Mara, Ashlee Simpson, and Leighton Meester. Whether you’re ready to separate yourself from your type-A sister (Mary-Kate did it, too), or just announce that you are not to be messed with, leave the medium tones to the basic bitches. Make like a squid, and ink it.

2. Go Blond — When Beyoncé Knowles was ready to shine a little brighter amongst the constellation of Destiny’s Children, she went golden. As did Marilyn Monroe and Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, because when you’re blond when God says you shouldn’t be, it's so wrong it's right.

3. Go Red — You’re a ginger now! You’re spice-y and rare enough to align yourself with less than 2% of the population. Taylor Tomasi Hill might have been been an editor regardless, but would she be the street-style superstar she is today if not for her fiery red hair? Think on that.

4. Be a Rainbow — You are not of this world, and neither is Charlotte Free, Chloe Nørgaard, or Oh Land. Because, like Oscar Wilde once (sort of) said, "If you're living within natural hair tones, you suffer from a lack of imagination."

5. Chop It — You have a face! A great face! Or a maybe not-so-great face, but you’re about to find out for certain. Short hair doesn’t suit everyone. But, you guys, it will grow back. Best thing about hair, hands-down. Above-the-shoulder cuts connote everything from polish (post-The-Simple-Life Nicole Richie) to carefree chic (Winona Forever),  poise (Michelle Williams), to attitude (Agyness Deyn).

6. In Fact, Shave it All Off — Not only do you have a beautiful face, but you're a beautiful person who should be taken very seriously! You have deep thoughts. You've changed. And your former life as a playboy tennis player (Andre Agassi)/WWE wrestler (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson)/boy band singer (Justin Timberlake) are long gone.

7. Go Long (if you’re older, or a dude) — Long hair on anyone other than a young woman will really throw ‘em off—right, Fabio? The “long hair, don’t care” doctrine takes on a whole new meaning for those in the Oprah demographic (see: Kristen McMenamy) and members of the male species.

8. Get Bangs — What more information do you need about bangs than that they won Zooey Deschanel her own TV show where she plays a middle-class version of herself??

9. Embrace Your Natural 'Do — Do you have a “difficult” texture? Premature grey? Catherine Walsh once told us that going grey got her more respect in the board room. And we’d venture to say that Dante de Blasio's self-hair-love helped win his dad the election.

10. Get a Signature — Find the one thing literally no one else is doing and do that. Fashion yourself as a George Clooney, modern-day Roman emperor/doctor on TV, make mullets cool again like Edie Campbell, or just have a really over-complicated, hyper-polished 'do like Jennifer Aniston's 'The Rachel'. Whatever works. Then stick to it long enough for people to call it yours.

—Mackenzie Wagoner

Feeling inspired? Know just what to ask your hairstylist for, or consult a good haircut menu (like this one).

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://berrie-blogs.blogspot.com/ Aerin

    These are all things id love to do! Most them I don't have the courage too though :(!

    Berrie-Blogs |Beauty Blog

  • http://www.lelalondon.com/ Lela London

    Overloading on hairspiration. I want to be everyone photographed when I grow up.


  • April Payan

    taylor tamasi-hill forever

    • Alyssa Gapske

      she just wins.

  • Lauren

    Mackenzie, you deserve a Pulitzer for this piece!!

    • ITGMackenzie

      I'm just happy to be nominated.



  • Sophie

    This is really interesting! Goes to show the difference a good hair cut can make to your appearance.


  • wholesale clothing

    I so love this post. Very entertaining!


  • http://www.clevergirlreviews.com Clever Girl Reviews

    Some of these were or are certainly defining, though Kerri's big chop really hurt her!

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    I've done a few of these, and I have to say transforming your hair in a big way can be totally transformative! I'm about to go a lot shorter and blonde, and I'm so excited for the change!

  • Dru

    The redheads list is missing Christina Hendricks, now there's a woman who was meant to be a redhead if I ever saw one.

    • anna

      Christina Hendricks is naturally blonde.

  • yaroslavl

    haha Justin Bieber in "Get Bangs"

  • http://batman-news.com LB

    Um Alek Wek definitely has a good amount of hair on her head in that picture.

  • Joanna Vella

    I had very long hair since I can remember and I had dyed it copper for a couple of months...decided to finally chop it off and change the colour to a darker shade...totally changed my appearance and my self esteem...makes me feel more confident...I will never be afraid again on experimenting with my hair!

  • ELLE

    wish Carrie Bradshaw made the cut under "embrace your natural do" with her amazing waves.

  • Jane T.

    I wish I had the guts to try Chloe Norgaard hair! That being said, I'm going from brunette to blonde tomorrow (thanks for the inspo Emily!) and definitely will be playing around with some bumble and bumble spraychalk -- wish me luck!

  • cat butt

    Isn't it true that Elvis was naturally blonde and dyed black at the behest of his manager?

  • Casey

    Out of the ten, I've done all but shave my hair right off. While I'm only in my late 20s, so none of these transformations have been "career-making" per se, they have helped me figure out what I want to convey with my hair and how much time I'm willing to dedicate to it.
    Also, nothing like having your hair completely ruined from a dye job gone wrong to help you move away from heat styling to embrace all the natural aspects of your hair!