In the world of celebrity, image is everything! Many stars go to great lengths to set themselves apart from the pack and carve out a niche.
In the name of originality and escaping typecasting, many celebs reinvent themselves in a continual cycle of new styles and hairdos, weight gains and plummets. Now, of course, the pressure to be different, to do something new, has given us some fantastic music and performances. Without it, we’d never have seen David Bowie parading as Ziggy Stardust across the stage, while singing some of his most time-honoured classics.
But all of hype and burden placed on celebs can leave some stars chasing rainbows. Many undergo extreme plastic surgery to attain their desired image. Back in the day when The Hills was finally coming to an end, actress and “singer”, Heidi Montag, went to new extremes and underwent 10 plastic surgeries in a day! The ordeal, along with a flopped album, sent her spiraling from the limelight.
Image is so important to a celebrity’s status that something as simple as a haircut can have disastrous effects on your likability factor. Did you know that Emma Stone is a natural blonde? The beauty, known for her red locks, was made to dye it by Superbad producer, Judd Apatow. And it’s a good thing she did—the role catapulted her to the top of the Hollywood radar.
This list looks at some celebs who made simple, but horrific decisions to chop off their hair into some of the most brutal hairstyles ever to grace the red carpet.
15. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson is considered one of the sexiest women in Hollywood! Her films are so successful, she’s ranked as the highest-grossing actress in North America with her movies raking in more than $3.6 billion!
But even this stunning beauty can make some blunders. ScarJo legit attempted to rock a mullet back in 2003. Some credit her for giving it a real-go—making the mullet punk-rock chic, but for those of us with eyes, the look makes her bottom of the barrel. She often accented the look with dark eye makeup and peachy lips, and startlingly this was actually replicated almost a decade later for her cover of W Magazine.
14. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus has grown up in front of our eyes. Her childhood role in Hannah Montana forever solidified her in some peoples’ minds as a Disney star and role model to the young. But in more recent years, Cyrus has tried to reinvent herself as an entertainer for adults.
Part of this new image was the reimagining of the teen idol as a raunchy but ‘strategic hot mess”. She alienated much of her former target market with her new highly sexualized performances—the most noteworthy being that MTV monstrosity with Robin Thicke and a foam finger. And for anyone who has seen the borderline pornographic video “Dooo It!” you know exactly what I’m talking about.
To make the transition from Hannah Montana to whatever she is now, Cyrus chopped off her locks to sport a shaved, bleached and edgy pixie cut. The move was first captured on Twitter, showing her with her hair stylist and a response to all the haters, “If you don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all…My hair is attached to my head, and no one else’s and it’s going bye-bye.”
13. Robert Pattinson
Robert Pattinson has had a slew of horrendous haircuts, so including him on this list was a no-brainer. But what awful haircut to feature? How can we possibly choose? Alright, the kind of undercut, kind of mohawk, kind of Kim Jong Un-bowl cut with a shaved in rat tail type thing, has got to be the worst of the worst! He rocked this do with his head held high at the Go Go Gala in Beverly Hills in 2014.
There is no rationalizing what would possibly have motivated such a move for the hunky actor. Robert Pattinson came under the adoration of tweens all over the globe after his role in the Twilight saga. The world swooned so much that by 2010, he was included on Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World list and Forbes list of most powerful celebrities. So why the horrendous hair…why??
12. Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga likes to go from wacky to pretty and back to zany again, so it’s hard to keep up with the amount of weird this woman puts out. And while we can appreciate her pursuit of being a living art piece at every event, she has certainly had some doozy hair ‘don’ts.’ Out of the extensive list, some of the worst must have been the umbrella style hair that looks like it was created out of a tiki hut to keep the sun out of her eyes, and the bizarrely shaved samurai-styling of her natural hair! She may have shaved her locks to get her head tattoo, but we’re still confused and wonder what on earth she’ll come up with next!
When Lady Gaga headlined the 2017 Super Bowl half-time show, 150 million viewers tuned in, making it the most-viewed musical event in history. The performer has also regularly appeared on Forbes lists of influential and powerful people. Despite all this success, I can’t see anyone copying these hairstyle mishaps!
11. Britney Spears
Who could forget Britney’s infamous haircut? The buzz cut to end all buzz cuts!
It was a bizarre time in the world of pop music. Britney Spears had danced her way to the top of the charts and was the ruling queen until her erratic behavior culminated one of the most public meltdowns in celebrity culture. As a child star, Spears rose to fame in the limelight, and by the ripe old age of 20, she had released one of the best-selling albums of all time. But by the time 2007 rolled around, the pressures and trappings of fame had taken their toll. With the passing of her aunt, the dissolution of her marriage to Kevin Federline, and the briefest stint in rehab ever (less than a day), Spears went on a maniacal rampage, stripping herself of one of the most important signifiers of her femininity.
Mark Steven, a writer for New York Magazine, described the incident in this way: “She seemed to be trying, with befuddled brilliance, to tell the truth. She recoiled from celebrity culture by mortifying her own flesh. She stripped herself, publicly, of her sexuality. She presented herself as a grotesque. Few gestures are as symbolically rich as the shaving of a head. That’s what monastics do when they reject the flesh to dedicate themselves to the spirit. In boot camp, soldiers lose their individuality with their hair. Delilah cut off Samson’s to make him defenseless.”
The incident and further erratic behavior resulted in the loss of her children and more violent episodes that plastered the front pages of the tabloids. Luckily, the pop princess was eventually able to regain her footing and made a successful comeback in 2011 with Femme Fatale.
10. Phil Spector
Like Lady Gaga, Phil Spector loved to rock the wig…before he went to prison in 2009 for a murder that is.
The famous music producer, who worked with artists such as The Beatles and Tina Turner, always dawned an eccentric wig on top of his balding top. But the highly-publicized photographs from the murder trial have come to be the iconic images of now-imprisoned Spector.
In 2003, Phil Spector was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson after she was shot in the head in his California mansion. While Spector maintained his innocence, his chauffeur, Adriano de Souza, testified that he saw Spector with a pistol in his hand shortly after Clarkson was shot. He claimed Spector was saying, “I think I just killed somebody.”
Many women came forward during the trial to testify to Spector’s violent behavior but the initial trial still ended with a deadlocked jury. In 2009, however, Spector was found guilty and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
9. Mena Suvari
Mena Suvari has indulged in some experimental hairstyles over the years. The typically blonde beauty rose to widespread fame after starring in American Beauty and American Pie in 1999. With her unique looks, Suvari has also had a lucrative modeling career, working for some of the industry’s most sought after jobs, like for Lancome cosmetics. But she has struggled to remain in the film industry and over the past decade has increasingly taken on television roles like Six Feet Under and American Horror Story: Murder House.
One of Suvari’s most daring hairstyles was for a role– she chopped off her locks and attempted to rock the buzz cut. The actress was apparently desperate to get her hair back. Rumors circulated that she took Flintstone vitamins three times a day to make it grow back. Mena took to the record though to set things straight with InStyle magazine, “I laughed when I read that. For a few years now, I’ve worked with a naturopath in L.A., and she suggested I take Biosil, a vitamin that promotes nail and hair growth.”
8. Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is a stunning beauty who has progressed from a poverty-stricken teen in Winter Bone, to our hero in The Hunger Games, to an Academy Award winning actress in Silver Linings Playbook. In 2013, Time’s Magazine deemed her one of the most influential people in the world, and by 2015, she was the highest-paid actress in the world.
Her charm and grace have earned her male and female fans alike, so much so, that after American Hustle, a 30-year old mother from Houston, Texas, underwent the knife to look like her idol! Kitty had liposuction to her face and body, a breast augmentation, a rhinoplasty and fat grafts to her cheeks and buttocks, all for the low-low cost of $25,000!
You must be pretty dang attractive for someone to fork over that kind of money to make themselves look like you! But that didn’t stop haters from tearing Lawrence a new one when she chopped off her stellar locks for what can only be described as a Kate Gosselin meets pixie cut gone awry. Some even compared the do to Justin Bieber’s early years. Yikes!
In defense of the decision, Lawrence said, “I cut it earlier and it grew to like here and then it grew to that awkward gross length and I just kept putting it in a bun and I thought ‘I don’t want to do this’ so I just cut it off. It couldn’t get any uglier, so.”
7. Keri Russell
Keri Russell became famous BECAUSE of how awesome her hair was! She rocked the curly mane so hard on Felicity that the WB show rose in popularity to the point that the internet was abuzz with Noel versus Ben debates! The role of the title character earned Russell a Golden Globe and set the show up for continued success in season 2, but that’s when the earth stopped spinning and Keri Russell made the disastrous mistake of cutting her hair!
As legend has it, Russell sent producers a picture of herself wearing a short wig as a prank. The producers, first aghast, then began toying with the idea knowing it would create a scandal! And thus, during season two, Felicity went to the hairdressers and the show’s popularity plummeted. Not only did she get a little trim—the mop was completely chopped, leaving her with tight curls that stuck to her head like something out of a nightmare! Russell’s hair grew back, but the ratings for Felicity were forever shot.
Unfortunately, Rihanna has huge powers over the world of fashion as a style icon. While she is so beautiful she could make almost anything look good, her hood rat inspired style does damage to the rest of the world.
Rihanna, or RiRi as she’s affectionately called, began her life in the limelight after two successful studio albums and then release of the smash hit, “Umbrella.” The Good Girl Gone Bad album was a turning point—Rihanna had taken creative control over her image and sound and emerged as a sex symbol.
Her bold fashion has evolved over the decade and continues to get more and more experimental. Her haircuts have inspired young girls to rush out to dye and chop off their locks into styles including the mushroom cut and the mullet! No one, and I mean no one, not even Rihanna, can pull off those looks!
5. Katy Perry
After her split with Orlando Bloom, Katy Perry unveiled a new and daring and horrible hair cut! The hairstyle would be totally fine except that it is an exact replica of Miley Cyrus circa 2013. The “Roar” singer shaved her sleek bob into the Cyrus pixie cut! She claims that Miley wasn’t the inspiration for the move (even though the two could pass as twins), it was Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams. Perry tweeted of her new do, “Guys, I love it! I feel very free. Now, there’s other more important things going on in the world. Tune into that,”
The singer has constantly transformed over the years by dying her hair all sorts of colors—from blue to purple, from pink to red, and from green to multi-coloured. And she’s kind of pulled it off…all except the time she dyed her hair yellow/orange/horrific!
4. Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf has made a substantial number of gaffes over the years! From his arrests for public intoxication to streaming videos of himself watching his own movies, Shia’s public persona is one that can only be described as zany! I mean, we’re talking about a guy that wore a bag on his head to the premiere of Nymphomaniac that said, “I’m not famous anymore.” So, what could possibly look worse than that? Well, at one point in time, the Transformers star thought he’d throw down a throwback to the 80s with a rattail for the ages! This thing literally looked like a Davy Crockett rodent-style hat!
Shia LaBeouf is the guy that has reported himself to be in rehab when he’s not and chased down a homeless man demanding he give him his McDonald’s, yet this hairstyle is by far the craziest thing we’ve seen him do!
3. Anne Hathaway
For her role film adaptation, Les Miserable, Anne Hathaway was forced to cut off her gorgeous locks! Apparently, after the transformation was complete, the Dark Knight actress was inconsolable.
The haircut was a key part to her character Fantine, a destitute prostitute who sells her hair for money to look after her daughter Cosette. The producer wanted a truly authentic feel and the task of hacking off the hair was entrusted to actress Nicola Sloane. Slone recounted the scene to the Daily Mail saying that Anne burst into tears when she felt how short it was at the front. “It was just before she got married there’s no wonder she bawled her eyes out – she had been growing her hair for three years. Then I hacked it all off and made her look terrible.” The look was so awful that Anne earned herself the nickname “Man Hathaway.”
Nicola tied the discarded hair with a ribbon and gave it back to Hathaway to donate through the “Locks of Love” organization that provides hairpieces to children suffering from hair loss illnesses. At least one good thing came from the haircut!
2. Kaley Cuoco
Kaley Cuoco has inspired many a drool-fest, rising to fame as Penny in The Big Bang Theory. But she shocked fans when she unveiled shorter locks, first with a bobbed cut, and then a more extreme pixie cut! Cuoco first revealed her new look to the world via Instagram with the caption, “Thank you @clsymonds for bringing out my inner Peter Pan :)”
The actress explained that she was looking to reinvent herself and was quoted by ET as saying, “And I kept seeing people cutting their hair shorter and shorter, and I thought, it’s only a few more inches, and I talked to my hairdresser and we cut it. I loved it, I didn’t want to stop. I am surprised I did not shave my head.”
And while her character on The Big Bang Theory decided to make the change from struggling actress to pharmaceutical rep so the change was easily incorporated into the show, fans could not get behind the extreme change. Twitter lit up with criticisms, many claiming that Penny’s new look ruined the show for them. Many speculate that the subsequent decrease in popularity of the show may have been in direct correlation with its starring beauty’s new look.
1. Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon of Sex and the City is well-known for her signature red locks, but back in 2012, she made one of the most dramatic hair transformations for a role. The actress shaved her head completely bald to play a poetry professor who is stricken by cancer. As one of the most recognizable red heads, Nixon was willing to shave her head for the role as it was close to her heart. In 2006, she herself was diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine mammogram.
The award-winning actress unveiled her radical new look on Live with Kelly and remarked, ‘I thought it was kind of gonna be no muss-no fuss, but I have to shave it every day…It’s got kind of a five o’clock shadow, and you don’t want to go on with that.’
While we have to give her props for dedicating herself so fully to the role, the whole bald thing doesn’t work for her, and we’re glad that in recent years, she’s grown at least some of her hair back!