18 Hairstyles That Defined The Movies

Coco Chanel once said, "A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life." It's the one part of our style that, aside from a few makeup tricks and manicures, is the easiest way of making ourselves over. Hair can be our identity, capturing an entire attitude and adding character. Would Marilyn Monroe be Marilyn Monroe without those white-blonde waves? Is it possible to separate Amy Winehouse from that beehive? We associate certain styles with certain women, not just because they looked fantastic, but because their hair defined their entire personality.
And, like Lolita's heart-shaped sunglasses, certain hairstyles are so ingrained into a film's aura that it is near impossible to separate the two. The cinematic thrill, the moment in time a certain coiff captures — and the epic imitators for generations. In fact, sometimes, it's the hair that we remember the most. In others, they become icons for an entire generation. These hairstyles aren't just pretty, edgy, and at times boundary pushing — they have characters of their own.
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Photo: Courtesy of Miramax Films.
Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction
To be honest, every hairstyle in this movie is pretty iconic, but Thurman's is the most memorable. You can't swing a dark dye job and crisp fringe anymore without someone calling you out on your Mia Wallace influence.
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Photo: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures.
Demi Moore in G.I. Jane
Moore's head shaving wasn't just a way for her to prove her toughness, it showed the world that anything men can do, women can do better.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Sean Young in Blade Runner
The future lies in Young's retro-fitted 'do; never has there been one style that so easily harps back to the early '40s that simultaneously feels so fresh.
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Grace Jones in A View to a Kill
Chiseled hair for a chiseled woman. Jones' hightop crop was her, and she was it.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics.
Franka Potente in Run Lola Run
Potente's fire-engine red hair elevated her from a regular girl trying to save her boyfriend to real-life superhero status.
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Photo: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.
Halle Berry in X-Men
On the flip side, Berry's silver-white 'do wasn't over-the-top. It was intimidating without being shocking, and, in a strange way, humanized her character.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Jane Fonda in Klute
Fonda's framing 'do was simultaneously neat and naughty. Marc Jacobs was right to style last seasons runway with Bree in mind.
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Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures.
Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element
Tumblr and the Manic Panic generation have a lot to thank The Fifth Element for, but it's Jovovich's hair that deserves the biggest callout.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Grace Kelly in Rear Window
Look up elegance in the dictionary and you'll see a picture of Grace Kelly's hair.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby
The youthfulness of Farrow's pixie cut only added to her innocence, and amped up the shock value of someone as sweet as her birthing a devil child.
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Angelina Jolie in Hackers
Jolie answered the question of whether or not the pixie cut can be tough. It can — oh, yes, yes it can.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pathe Films.
Brigitte Bardot in A Very Private Affair
Somehow the French even manage to make an exaggerated pouf seem effortless.
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Photo: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Pam Grier in Foxy Brown
The secrets to getting what you want when you want it lie within Grier's afro.
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Photo: Courtesy of Universal Pictures.
Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables
Hathaway's shaved head captured the contrasting side of Demi Moore's military buzz: degradation, loss of identity, and humiliation.
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Photo: Courtesy of Geoffrey Productions.
Bo Derek in 10
There's no denying that Bo Derek looked amazing in cornrows, but suggesting that she popularized the hairstyle (which was cribbed from another culture) leaves many bristling. Indeed, the controversy over this 'do will continue to be polarizing. Yet the film10 wouldn't be the same without the braids...or the meaning and feelings that accompany them. In fact, the controversy around her hair, and the conversation it sparked, is a huge part of what makes this look an iconic, movie-defining moment.
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Photo: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures.
Veronica Lake in Sullivan's Travels
There's a reason Lake's waves have a following, and this movie wrote them in stone.
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Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Why the future we live has yet to see a mane as intimidating at Turner's bleached mohawk/mullet combo is beyond us. Perhaps it's what Rihanna's working her way towards now.
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Photo: Courtesy of LucasFilm.
Carrie Fisher in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Okay, how could we not include these buns?
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