Kerry Washington’s Best Hairstyles Cement Her Status As A Beauty Icon

She always gets it right.

Kerry Washington wavy bob

What did the world do to deserve Kerry Washington? She’s cool, socially conscious, and consistent in serving up wildly different always-stunning looks at every single event she attends. Her status as a true beauty chameleon means she both takes great care in crafting her hair and makeup moments, but doesn’t take her self so seriously that she’s afraid to really experiment. As such, Washington’s best hairstyles are some of the industry’s best — and she shows no signs of ever slowing down. It doesn’t matter if she posts a sun-soaked poolside selfie with casual curls or attends the year’s biggest red carpet with an impossibly elaborate updo, you’ll never catch the actor-producer-author looking anything other than downright inspirational.

Washington’s top looks are so varied — she can go from waist-skimming waves to a sharp bob and back in the same weekend — but her protective styles are really something special. Over the past few years alone, the Thicker Than Water writer’s been seen in blonde-streaked feed-ins, warm red locs, adorable puffs, and glossy twists. Really, the only thing the dramatically different hairstyles have in common is the beloved superstar wearing them.

Just below, explore some of Washington’s coolest hair moments in recent memory.

Braid-Wrapped Bun


So casually cool, Washington’s thick, braid-wrapped bun shows off the sunny blonde streaks woven through each plait. They’re all carefully tucked under the updo, with a few Y2K-ish ends poking out for added texture.

Wavy Bob


Everyone’s opting for bobs right now, but are any as chic as Washington’s center-parted take? The retro, crimped waves create even more of a gap between her hair and shoulders, emphasizing the cut’s neat, blunt ends.

All-Natural Curls


Showing off her stunning natural curl pattern, Washington’s partially pulled-back look is one for the books. The deep side-part adds a preppy feel, while her gleaming gold hoops just highlight all the hydration and shine in her perfectly-shaped spirals.

Double Puffs


When it comes to fun, you can’t beat puffs or space buns. Washington’s version is especially exciting thanks to the long wavy pieces that spill down from the set, a cheerful take on a classic half-up hairstyle.

Fiery Red Locs


When Washington dropped photos of these copper locs on vacation in Jamaica, she influenced more than a few fans. Her hair isn’t just red, though — the faded ombré effect and woven-in sections of cocoa brown make the colorful sections really pop.

Charm-Covered Braids


Never one to neglect the details, Washington’s gold braid charms and cuffs make for the best hair jewelry. They even match her wide hoops and the buttons on her Versace jacket.

Two-Braid Twist


Double the braid, double the glamour. Not only did Washington go for two plaits for her slicked-back hairstyle, but she gently twisted the ends together to create the coolest hybrid ponytail.

Bouncy, Curly Bangs


She’s tried bangs a few times over the years, but nothing beats her curly fringe moments. Not only is it a chance to incorporate her stunning natural texture, but their lash-skimming length adds an undeniably sultry element.

Deconstructed Topknot


Ballerina buns don’t always have to be perfectly neat and prim. Washington’s undone version, complete with adorable wisps around her ears, takes the trend and deconstruct it for an effortless effect.

Fancy Fishtail


Few looks are as fun for summer as a fishtail braid. Created by splitting a ponytail in half and crossing small sections of hair over to the other side, it creates a mermaid-approved pattern that looks incredible on the red carpet.