The Real Meaning Behind Being Mary Jane's Major Hair Changes

Photo: Courtesy of BET.
When I read the news of Being Mary Jane's impending series finale, I literally stopped in my tracks and screamed "Noooo!" I was at a very public New York City concert venue and, as expected, everyone looked at me like I was crazy. Yes, it was dramatic, but I'm not alone here. For four seasons, fictional news anchor Mary Jane Paul has hypnotized a rapt Tuesday night audience with her antics. Whether she's ducking baby mama drama, fighting for representation in a predominately White workplace, or being the glue that holds her dysfunctional family together, MJ was our girl through and through.
Gabrielle Union, who has said that Mary Jane is her "favorite character," played the hell out of that role and fans really identified. Truth be told, we've all got a little MJ in us. Granted, we're all not able to afford spacious New York City apartments or buy Birkin bags without blinking an eye — but the reason why we're all so devastated about the show ending is because MJ is so damn relatable. And if you can't identify with her wild personal life, then you can likely understand some of her hair transformations.
"Mary Jane wanted to present herself as the perfect Black woman on TV," celebrity hairstylist Larry Sims, who did Union's hair on the show since the beginning, exclusively tells Refinery29. "That obviously didn't translate to her personal life off-camera at home. As viewers saw, she was the wreck there."
It's not unusual to do a switcheroo when shit hits the fan. In fact, it can serve as a huge coping mechanism or an indicator of self-confidence. Whatever the case was with Mary Jane, she always ended up with her head above water — and that resilience is something to be admired by everyone, even the non-viewers. Ahead, see some of the hairstyles that marked major moments for MJ.
Warning: There are spoilers ahead.

More from Hair

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.