Taraji P. Henson’s Best-Ever Hair Moments Are Fit For A True Creative

She can really do anything.

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Taraji P. Henson afro

You could probably safely call Taraji P. Henson the hardest working woman in Hollywood and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration. She stays perpetually busy juggling a mix of dramatic and comedic acting roles, all sorts of high-profile hosting gigs, being a best-selling author, and managing her signature hair care line. Somehow, through it all, she always manages to make every red carpet appearance or in-person event feel completely fresh, with an innovative look for each one. As such, choosing a selection of Henson’s best-ever hairstyles is a serious task — if it feels like she’s tried it all, it’s because she truly has.

When Henson got her official big break back the top of the 2000s, she’s cultivated a trademark style that’s at once so varied and ever-changing, but still feels instantly recognizable. No matter if she’s playing around with a bold new hair color, extra-long extensions, or keeping things simple with a short, sleek cut, Henson makes even the most cutting-edge, of-the-moment trends seem like her own original creations.

Ahead, get excited to look back at some of Henson’s best-ever hair moments, covering everything from her experiments with bold color to her coolest red carpet looks of all time.

Side-Bangs Bob

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Henson might have scored her breakout film role in 2001’s cult-classic Baby Boy, but she hit the scene like she was an established pro. Her deep side bangs and long, layered lob are perfectly 2000s, an on-trend combination rife through early aughts.

Flirty Flipped Ends

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Flipped ends are a huge thing now, of course, but they were equally in-demand when Henson wore them the first time around back in 2003. They look all the sharper — and sleeker — thanks to her center-parted curtain bangs and how well their ends blend in with the rest of her cut.

Bouncy Ringlets

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Curls of all types are always a hit on the red carpet, and there’s something special about this retro-inspired take. Not only is each individual curl perfectly-shaped and so bouncy, but the spiral pattern is great for showing off the warm highlights woven through Henson’s hair.

Layered Bob & Long Fringe

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You could have no other context and still likely know exactly what year this photo was taken. In 2009, she leaned all the way into the long, asymmetric bob trend with an angled take on the look, topped off with an eye-skimming set of bangs.

Bold, Blunt Bangs

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Clearly, Henson can pull off any sort of bang. This blunt set in a classic, eyelash-grazing length, draws attention to her smoky eye makeup, while the longer pieces around her face quite literally point out her rosy blush-dusted cheekbones.

Braids, Bun, & Barrel Curls

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One of the best things about Henson’s red carpet style is how well she can blend different looks into her own unique creations. Here, she combines three fully distinct looks — big barrel curls, sleek cornrow braids, and a highlight-amplified ballerina bun.

Big, Voluminous Curls

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Henson’s natural curls are always a welcome sight, and they were in rare form at this Empire premiere party. With tons of volume, a bit of glamorous fluff, and an ultra-shiny shade of raven-black, they look so healthy and cared-for.

Bronzed Blonde

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Henson’s tried all sorts of hair colors over her long career, and each new shade seems to be more exciting than the one that came before it. In 2021, she went for this warm, bronzy shade of honey blonde, which put even more focus on her eye color.

Towering Braided Updo

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As a born creative, Henson loves to go for more sculptural, artistic looks for some of her biggest occasions. For her appearance at the Fenty Savage fashion show, her towering braided bun is accented by flowing ends sprouting from the very top.

Warm, Vibrant Red

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She’s done more electric, neon-toned shades of red before, but this more understated take is no less vibrant. It’s a deep burgundy red, a brilliant complement to her goblet-green outfit and matching makeup.