Only one thing rivals Kerry Washington’s commitment to ever-changing manicures — her always versatile hairstyles. The Little Fires Everywhere star may stick to failsafe makeup and fashion combinations (see: contrasting lip-eye shades, classically feminine gowns with high-fashion twists) but Washington’s aesthetic-transforming manicures and hairstyles take her look from boho and beach-ready to romantic French ingenue to the consummate retro movie star — and back again, often all within the same week. But even in her most laid-back, natural moments, the actor-activist manages to look so casually glamourous. Kerry Washington’s curly bangs, glimpsed a few times this year already, frame her (notably rosy-cheeked) face in an Instagram post promoting her latest directorial effort, Hulu’s Reasonable Doubt. Radiant and relaxed in a simple black pocket tee and fresh-faced makeup, her full curls get some well-deserved attention — but the curly tendrils in her fringe, skimming her lashes playfully, are the real stars here.
Just a week ago, Washington fans were treated to another shot of her curly bangs, this time as part of a voluminous, work-perfect updo for an audiobook-recording session. Even among colorful shots of Washington in character for assorted projects, doing yoga in the ultimate gym pony, and wearing long, blonde-highlighted braids, the curly bangs stand out.
Washington’s proven her willingness to experiment with length, style, texture, color, and accessories before, but the looks that glorify and spotlight her natural hair are routinely some of her best — her spot-on Elle Woods tribute, full garden-side puffs, and absolutely luminous TIME Women of the Year cover all come to mind. In that TIME photoshoot, too, Washington’s face is flattered by the cascade of curls spilling down to sweep her jawline, cheekbones, and delicately-arched brows.
In between promoting her latest projects (and her latest hairstyles), Washington has been very busy on social media. As one of the platform’s most-followed change makers, she’s committed to sharing resources, information, and assistance on urgent issues like gun violence, reproductive health, and racial injustices. The fact that she does it all while staying so positive and looking downright dazzling is just further proof of what fans have known all along — Kerry Washington can handle any situation.