Reese Witherspoon Has Been Creating Memorable Hair Moments Since 2001

From girl-next-door to retro glam.

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
reece witherspoon met gala 2014

When you think of celebrities with dramatic hair transformations, Reese Witherspoon might not be the first who comes to mind. In comparison to stars who are constantly switching things up — like Kerry Washington, Kristen Stewart, or Kim Kardashian to name just a few — the actor, producer, and fashion brand founder may not always make the boldest decisions when it comes to her ‘dos, but her subtly shifting style is nonetheless admirable. In fact, looking back at her 20-plus years in the spotlight, her best hair moments show a ton of variety.

Witherspoon tends to stick to somewhat of a signature style, with blonde strands (minus a couple of brief brunette interludes) that stay somewhere around shoulder length (give or take a few inches shorter or longer). That said, she’s also a master of wearing hairstyles that are perfectly matched to every event and look. Sometimes the occasion calls for slicked bobs, other times a cleverly twisted updo. And of course, her Elle Woods-esque bouncy blonde waves are always a welcome sight.

What makes The Morning Show star a source of inspiration when it comes to hairstyles is the same thing that makes her so utterly watchable in everything she does: her relatability. Though certainly aspirational, her most memorable hair moments — from her ‘90s bobs to her side bangs and beyond — feel like something you could try yourself. So if you’re seeking out your own subtle hair transformation, look no further than the 14 styles ahead.

Golden Globes, 2001

Kevin Winter/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Cruel Intentions star channeled Veronica Lake at the 2001 Golden Globe Awards. With a deep side part and soft, shiny waves, her honey blonde hair embodied pure Old Hollywood glamour.

Venice Film Festival, 2004

J. Vespa/WireImage/Getty Images

Witherspoon went dark for her Oscar-winning role as June Carter in Walk the Line. Likely her most dramatic hair change to date, the chocolate hue made her beautiful blue eyes pop.

Academy Awards, 2006

Pool BENAINOUS/LEFRANC/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

To accept her Best Actress win, Witherspoon went for a romantic head-to-toe look — including her soft updo. The style was the perfect complemented her vintage Dior dress from the 1950s.

Golden Globes, 2007

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

In comparison to her Oscars look the year prior, the actor’s 2007 Golden Globes look was refreshingly modern. With a few new lowlights and short wispy bangs, her sleek strands were the perfect match to her little yellow Nina Ricci dress.

Academy Awards, 2011

Bob Riha Jr/Archive Photos/Getty Images

Witherspoon returned to retro-inspired glam with her look for the 2011 Oscars. The Water for Elephants star opted for a voluminous, super high, bright blonde ponytail that showcased her gorgeous emerald drop earrings.

Cannes Film Festival, 2012

Andreas Rentz/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The actor’s burgeoning bump (she was pregnant with son Tennessee) wasn’t the only standout of her Cannes 2012 look. Her effortless French twist was a glamorous choice for the historically fashionable fete.

Golden Globes, 2012

George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

Witherspoon can easily transform from girl-next-door to va-va-voom when she hits the red carpet, and her 2012 Golden Globes glam is the perfect example. She paired her form-fitted strapless red dress with voluminous, tousled waves for a sexy, modern vibe from head to toe.

Academy Awards, 2013

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The Mud star once again showed love for 1940s-inspired hairstyles at the 2013 Oscars. Her side-parted cascading waves also beautifully framed her heart-shaped face.

Met Gala, 2014

George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images

Witherspoon went for another vintage-inspired style for the 2014 Met Gala. Her sculpted faux bob was a showstopper, but it also helped highlight her pink strapless gown.

Met Gala, 2015

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

By contrast, the Hot Pursuit star sported a long, straight, and sleek look at the following year’s fete. Paired with her structured Jason Wu gown, the hairstyle completed her totally modern vibe.

Met Gala, 2017

Michael Stewart/WireImage/Getty Images

To match the Met Gala’s “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” theme, Witherspoon went a little more daring than usual. Her looped updo secured with barrettes created a major moment any time the actor turned her back.

Golden Globes, 2020

Daniele Venturelli/WireImage/Getty Images

Witherspoon tried out the coveted wet look at the 2020 Golden Globes. Paired with kohl-rimmed eyes, her slicked bob was a welcome change-up on the red carpet.

Surface Premiere, 2022


The Morning Show star showed up in support of another Apple TV series with her hair in a beautiful ballerina bun. The soft, classic updo allowed her edgy custom Schiaparelli dress to create its own dramatic moment.

Golden Globes, 2024

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Even after two decades of getting glam for the red carpet, Witherspoon is still finding ways to keep her hair feeling fresh. And she proved this with her perfectly imperfect half bun at the 2024 Golden Globes.