The 16 best Oscar hairstyles of all time

The Academy Awards might be a film-focused awards show, but true beauty aficionados know that even the biggest night in Hollywood is an honorary beauty event. That’s because the Oscars have defined (and then redefined) hair and makeup trends for nearly a century. There are countless red carpet moments that have stood the test of time, but just to name a few: Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond-encrusted tiara; Cher’s dramatic feather headdress; Halle Berry’s Early Years Elf; and Zendaya’s contemporary windy waves. The best Oscars hairstyles aren’t just iconic; they are defining an era.

If you never miss watching the awards red carpet for all the glam, you’re in luck – there’s only a few days left before fans are blessed with a whole new set of Oscar-worthy beauty looks to adore. In fact, the 94th Academy Awards will air this Sunday, March 27, so make sure you have your popcorn (and glasses) ready, as everyone’s favorite star-studded event is returning live on TV.

Before hitting the refresh button on your Twitter or Instagram feed on Sunday night, let’s take a moment to appreciate the best beauty moments from years past. For a stroll down memory lane (red carpet), read on for 16 of the most unforgettable Oscar hairstyles to ever honor the Academy Awards.

1

Micro Bangs by Audrey Hepburn

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No list of Oscar-worthy beauty looks is complete without Audrey Hepburn. The actor, seen here posing with her Oscar for Best Actress in Roman holiday, is an icon of timeless beauty; her classic style still inspires beauty trends today. At the 1954 ceremony, her hair was cut short and featured delicate micro bangs that served as a nice contract for her bold brows.

2

Liz Taylor’s diamond tiara

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Elizabeth Taylor is a timeless Hollywood ruler and she certainly never missed an opportunity to dress the part: In 1957, Taylor attended the Academy Awards with an elegant hairdo with curling tendrils and a crystal-embellished tiara.

3

Bob defining the era of Barbra Streisand

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Barbra Streisand won Best Actress in 1969 for her starring role in Funny Girl and she sported her era-defining hairstyle – a bob that frames her face with playful bangs – when she accepted the award.

4

Lola Falana’s voluminous curls

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Singer Lola Falana embraced her naturally voluminous curls at the Academy Awards in 1970 and represented the perfect embodiment of Hollywood glam with her jaw-dropping “do.”

5

Half-updo with floral accents by Goldie Hawn

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In 1969, Goldie Hawn’s stunning half-up hairstyle was a mind-boggling look that was emblematic of the era – she wore a flower on her head that matched the pattern of her dress and her dramatic curtain curls elevated the romantic aesthetic.

6

Cher’s feather headdress

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Choosing just a Cher hairstyle from the Oscars is a challenging undertaking, but since we are I had a: In 1986, the Struck by the moon the star chose to wear this dramatic feather headpiece for the ceremony. Stopping the show is really an understatement, but that’s the glamor of Hollywood.

7

Braided Half-Updo by Whoopi Goldberg

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In 1991, Whoopi Goldberg won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Ghost and wore her hair in a beautiful braided updo as she accepted the award. She was a particularly historic victory as she was the first black woman to win an Oscar in over 50 years.

8

Daisy ‘Do’ by Drew Barrymore

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In 1996, Drew Barrymore adorned her dainty bob and playful fringe with daisies. He punctuated the vintage-inspired look with curled tips, a sparkly eye, and a dark lip.

9

Kate Winslet’s romantic waves

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Kate Winslet leaned heavily on Titanic aesthetics at the 1998 Oscars, where she accepted her Oscar as Best Actress with her hair in romantic cascading waves.

10

Halle Berry’s iconic elf

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Halle Berry rocked this pixie cut that defined a decade as she accepted the Oscar for Best Actress The monster’s ballinspiring pixies, mixes and all the many iterations of styles for decades to come.

11

Blunt Bangs by Rooney Mara

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Rooney Mara sported this stern yet elegant look at the 84th Academy Awards, which stood out with her dramatically blunt bangs. He let his bangs punctuate his look by wearing the rest of his hair pulled back into a tight bun.

12

Golden threads of Lupita Nyong’o

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Lupita Nyong’o tied metallic gold locks to her sophisticated hairstyle at the 90th Academy Awards, pairing her gold hair accessory with her dress, eye makeup and, of course, the golden Oscar statuette.

13

Lady Gaga’s twisted bouffant

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Lady Gaga wore her hair in a twisted bouffant for the 91st Academy Awards, leaning on classic Hollywood aesthetic but with a modern twist (no pun intended).

14

Amandla Stenberg’s finger wave braids

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Amandla Stenberg also redefined a classic look at the 91st Academy Awards by sporting the creative combination of 1920s finger waves and protective braids for a unique and striking style.

15

Crystal hood and side part by Janelle Monáe

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In 2020, Janelle Monae wore a custom crystal Ralph Lauren gown, complete with an embellished silver hood. She paired the dazzling dress with a deep side part and a flashy red lip.

16

The water waves of Zendaya

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Just like Cher, Zendaya’s best Oscars hairstyles are impossible to choose (maybe it’s just a name), but we’re especially fond of her long windswept water waves at the 93rd Academy Awards.

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