Of all the things Taylor Swift is famous for—iconic songs, unabashedly calling out exes, red lipstick, Easter eggs—it makes sense that her hair isn’t the first thing to come to mind. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t at all: Swift’s hairstyles have a meaningful place in her overall evolution. (Think about it: Her Fearless curls are so different from the sleek strands of her Red era.) Swift has tried her fair share of ‘dos—from sweet curls to romantic updos to edgy, chin-grazing chops—making Taylor Swift’s hair almost as chart-topping as her albums.
Swift’s best hair looks have the range to take you from morning to Midnights, and we can’t wait to see how she brings it all together for her Eras Tour. Ready for some major inspo?
13 of our absolute favourite Taylor Swift hair moments
Fresh off the success of her first album, a 17-year-old Swift rocked an iteration of the curls she’d soon be known for. The deep side part and long locks quickly became synonymous with the star, and today, those voluminous tendrils are reminiscent of her country roots and the Taylor we all first met.
In her Fearless era, a coming-of-age Swift began experimenting with new ways to style her signature curls. One standout that became a staple is this “Love Story” of an updo with soft, face-framing waves. From the VMAs to the CMAs and everything in between, this style kept the star looking ever the put-together talent as she racked up countless honours for her sophomore album.
A preview of the straighter strands and edgier style that she would adopt in later eras, Swift’s ’60s-style, lash-grazing bangs started a long tradition of her subtle (and not-so-subtle) retro references. The sophisticated look symbolised a departure from her teenage image as her third studio album, Speak Now, topped the charts.
Soft and side-swept
Taylor Swift’s iconic hair moments tend to fall into one of two categories: romantic, old Hollywood style and edgy, tousled looks. These side-swept curls fall in the first category, clearly a nod to Hollywood’s past starlets and rich history.
Swift’s Red era marked the transition between her country and pop careers, and her hair during this time felt as crossover as her music. The star opted for tousled, barely there waves and mega volume for the 2013 American Music Awards. Dark rimmed eyes and a sequined cutout dress rounded out the look.
Once again, Swift called back to the days of Old Hollywood glamour with her sleek, bouncy curls and classic red lip for the 2014 Golden Globe Awards. While her sound and aesthetic are constantly changing, the artist has proven time and time again that some things never go out of style.
There’s something about a simple, sleek blowout that just always works. With a nod to the side bangs of her early days, Swift’s 1989-era lob was simultaneously fresh and reminiscent of her past.
Here’s a ‘do we’d never seen from Swift before, as she debuted a dramatic new bleached look at the 2016 Met Gala. The platinum colour and edgier aesthetic were rumoured to align with a scrapped album called Karma, and while we may never know for sure, at least we’ll always have this hair inspo—plus the “Karma” song she released as part of Midnights six years later.
At her first red carpet appearance in years—and well into her Reputation era, which was as soft as it was dramatic—Swift was back in her feels with a messy, romantic bun that feels as classic to her style as red lipstick. The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same.
Again, Swift nodded back to her earlier days with a loose updo reminiscent of her style a decade prior. Of course, she added her signature red lip.
With Lover came a whole new Swift—content, romantic, and stronger than ever. Hot pink streaks gave the artist’s tousled pony a vibrant upgrade at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards.
The focus was on the film and music at the premiere of Swift’s “All Too Well” short film, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t bring it with the beauty. The star opted for a casual updo and minimal makeup to let the lyrics (and her impressive directing skills) really do the talking.
Just after announcing her now-smash hit Midnights album at the 2022 VMAs, Swift used her afterparty look as a way to show us what the new era means for her style. The tousled, messy waves and parted bangs scream late-night chic and the overall look is full of celestial sparkle, but the red lip ensures the look feels quintessentially Taylor.
This story first appeared on www.byrdie.com
(Credit for the hero and featured image: @taylornation)
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