Amandla Stenberg’s Flourishing Afro Is Already the Breakout Star of the New Year

So here’s the tea: The year 2020 was a damn good year for celebrity hair, and thus far, 2021 is following suit. Hollywood heads that have always been draped in long extensions are finally going the way of sleek bobs, folks are letting their natural curls flow freely, and colorists are doing really interesting and bold things with their clients’ manes. We are more inspired by the chic celebrity hair transformations we’ve seen in 2020 and 2021 than we’ve been in the years prior combined. So we rounded up some of the best ones.

Below, find our curated list of the best recent celebrity haircuts and dye jobs. May these before-and-after shots serve as inspo for your next in-salon move. Oh, and be sure to bookmark this page because we’ll be updating the list in real time as soon as we catch wind of a new celebrity hair look. In the meantime, though, here are our faves…

For years now, Amandla Stenberg has been the undisputed queen of rapid-fire hair changes. From curly cropped cuts to blunt bobs and tresses in every imaginable hue, the actress has proven time and again that she’s not afraid to make a bold statement. But it looks like she’s going back to basics on the hair front to kick off 2021, and we can’t get enough. In an Instagram post shared to her feed on Tuesday, the 22-year-old dawned a makeup-free face and a thriving, stretched afro hairstyle accompanied by the caption “I ain’t bald no mo.”  This comes after years of consistently short haircuts punctuated by the occasional weave and braids in varying lengths (and colors). From the looks of it, these protective styles have made way for Stenberg’s natural tresses to recoup some enviable volume and serious length. Healthy, happy hair is a vibe we’ll always get behind.

It’s bangs season, everyone! Of all the fall haircuts already taking off among celebrities and fashion girls alike, eyebrow-grazing fringes in a variety of textures seem to be gaining momentum, and actress Priyanka Chopra is the latest to take the plunge. The Quantico star took a quick break from posting snapshots of her adorable dogs and her husband, Nick Jonas, to share a playful selfie captioned, “New hair, don’t care,” over the weekend. The photo depicts what appears to be brand-new bangs and maybe even some layers and fresh highlights. A departure from her typical long layers, the cut is a fun and youthful take on a seasonal switch-up. And just like that, we’re ready for a fall hair refresh, too!

As salons begin to reopen their doors across the country, one of the biggest questions on our beauty-centered brains is how hair trends will shift from our original (pre-pandemic) predictions. After months sans professional cuts and color, will people be hankering for something more low-maintenance? Or will everyone be craving a dramatic shift? Honestly, we were predicting the former, but as celebs like Emily Ratajkowski and Kaia Gerber debut bold, very high-maintenance hair color transformations, we just might be proven wrong. Gerber has been gradually lightening her deep brunette strands for a while now, but just yesterday, we caught wind that the model had gone dramatically lighter toward an almost-platinum hue. Then, Ratajkowski took to her Instagram to display a similar vibrant shade of blonde, thanking beloved haircare brand Kérastase for the change. So will the second half of 2020 be all about the blonde? If so, a brass-busting leave-in like the below from Amika is a crucial product addition. (As a blonde myself, I swear by it!)

We’ve seen Miley Cyrus pull off pretty much every cut and color under the sun, but until recently, she had yet to wear her father’s iconic ’90s style—the mullet (which, by the way, is very much trending). The singer knows how to start the year off right and debuted her newest hair look this week on Instagram with a very appropriate caption: “New hair. New year. NEW MUSIC.” Miley, you have our attention. 

Alert: Charlize Theron has a bowl cut now. The star has been pretty consistent with her mid-length, shaggy lob over the last few years, but it looks like she’s ushering in fall with an ultrachic, multitone blonde chop. 

Even though her younger sister Kylie is the one better known for head-turning hair moments, we couldn’t help but notice (and immediately screenshot) Kendall Jenner’s major blonde moment while walking Burberry’s London Fashion Week show. Interestingly, not all the models debuted blonde hair, so we’re left wondering if Jenner’s new look is more permanent than a quick flick of a wig backstage. Regardless, we’re into it.

Um, hello chicness. Yesterday, January Jones debuted this sleek summery bob by her hairstylist, Bridget Brager, who captioned her Instagram post of the cut with “Welp, we finally did it! … @januaryjones has sent me #bluntbob hair inspiration pics for months!! We’ve been waiting for her (old) bangs to grow long enough to give that perfect blunt bob, middle part look. Patience.”

Forever a hair chameleon, Kiersey Clemons can pull off anything. We are living for her newest look: a super-short blonde crop, which she just debuted on her Instagram with the tennis ball emoji. Accurate!

Sensing a trend? Kim Kardashian West had onlookers shook when she stepped out last week donning a blunt bob much like January Jones’s. A breezy, low-maintenance cut to go with her new-mom life. 

We are loving how natural-hair icon Logan Browning, star of Netflix’s freaky new thriller The Perfection, is growing out her curls. Check out how much progress she’s made since January of this year. (Click to watch a Vogue video of how the actress masters her signature bouncy curls.)

We’ve never seen Games of Thrones star Sophie Turner with bangs before, but now that we have, we don’t even remember what she looked like without them. Her hairstylist, Christian Wood, really nailed this one. 

Undercuts are a subtle way to switch up your hair look. Halle Berry is proof: In May, the 52-year-old icon arrived at the screening of her new film, John Wick, wearing a messy topknot and a creative and wavy new undercut by her genius stylist, Ohre Kilpatrick.

Kendall Jenner has been known to play with faux bangs, and we are fans of it every time. (They add a certain vintage, East Coast vibe to her Cali-girl look.) She wore this sleek pony with short, blunt fringe to E!’s upfront event in NY this May. Want more celebrity beauty transformations? Don’t miss our favorite celebrity makeup looks of late.

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