There’s hair, and then there’s Julia Roberts hair. The Oscar-winning actor may be celebrated for her million-dollar smile, but over the years she’s proved that her shape-shifting mane will always make a statement.
When Roberts first appeared on the Hollywood scene in the late ’80s, her cloud of natural curls were dyed auburn and, true to the hairspray-happy spirit of the decade, teased to the heavens. In the ’90s, as Pretty Woman skyrocketed her to international fame, she began lightening things up in tune with her natural blonde before lopping off her chest-grazing lengths into a tousled pixie worn in both deep crimson and white-hot platinum shades. Blame it on “The Rachel” effect, but the mid ’90s saw her beginning to embrace face-framing, shoulder-sweeping styles that ran the gamut from a swoopy fringed lob to a sleek layered chocolate bob. Among her most iconic moments was the wispy, twisted knot (and fuzzy underarms) she wore for the premiere of Notting Hill in 1997, embodying the era’s easy, never overthought beauty attitude.
In keeping with Y2K style’s enthusiasm for the flat iron, Roberts wore pin-straight lengths parted to the side while oscillating between vivid red, deep brunette, and golden blonde shades. It was in the mid 2000s that she began sporting the cascade of brushed-out waves that have come to be her signature. By 2009, Roberts looked every bit the sun-kissed California blonde before returning back to more incandescent shades of red up until the 2014 Oscars, where she debuted a fresh platinum blonde dye job. But today, in 2022, Roberts is back to the beautiful auburn that first dazzled fans back in the ’80s. What’s more: Her red Pre-Raphaelite mane is as thick as ever.
Here’s a look back at every must-see Julia Roberts hair moment from the late ’80s to now.