2018 was a year of experimentation and change, especially when it came to hair. We saw wigs of every shade, bob cuts and booty-length ponytails, and even a blonde Ariana Grande, which 2017 Me would have never, ever believed. To commemorate the year's best lewks, I'd like to reflect on the top 13 celebrity hair changes of 2018, and extend a personal thank you to all the celebrity hairstylists that kept me constantly bookmarking new hair trends on Instagram this year. I'll likely never have the guts to try any of them out, but you've tempted me every single time, believe me.
Blair Goes Blonde
If, like me, you're a die-hard Gossip Girl fan who heavily favors take-no-shit queen bee Blair Waldorf over Serena Van Der Woodsen, you're obviously familiar with talented actress Leighton Meester and her signature chocolate brown locks. Blair Waldorf is a brunette icon, so when Meester went platinum blonde out of nowhere in April, it felt like a huge departure from the character we all know and love. Granted, the show ended way back in 2012, but it's still alive and well in my heart, so while I did think Meester looked stunning as a blonde, I was relieved to see her return to brunette again before the year's end.
Here's Meester's classic brown strands:
Rest In Peace, blonde Leighton — she looked fab, but the shade is totally Serena's thing, not Blair's:
Cardi B, like so many celebrities this year, tried out an array of cuts and colors, with the help of celebrity hairstylists and some very pricy wigs. Out of all her hues in 2018, my favorite was blue, which really popped against her complexion. She debuted Bardi Blue this summer in July with a long, icy look, and revisited the shade just before Christmas, appearing on her Instagram with a curly look featuring teal roots and royal blue strands.
TBH, I love her constant changes, but I'd be content if she stuck to blue forever:
Here's hoping Bardi Blue sticks around for 2019:
Faux Bangs Realness
Clip-in bangs had a moment, people, and some of your fave celebs were really out here tryna trick you in 2018. Mila Kunis debuted bangs at the Billboard Music Awards and basically stole my heart, and not long after, Mandy Moore tried out curtain bangs to serve Joni Mitchell vibes at the singer's 75th birthday party. Kunis' look was edgy and cool, while Moore's was soft and dreamy, but both were tens in my book, and had me Google-searching "realistic clip-in bangs" more than once in 2018.
Seriously, Kunis should make the chop for real:
And just when I thought curtain bangs would never be cool again, Moore changed my mind:
Back To Her Roots
In February, natural blonde Julianne Hough surprised everyone when she dyed her hair a brilliant red. " "I'm on this new journey, exploring and finding out who I truly am," she wrote in an Instagram post about the shade. "I said screw it! I feel more feminine and alive and I love it!" It was excited to see her excited, to put it simply, and she really did look gorgeous. Even so, the bombshell returned to her blonde roots — and went for a cute bobbed look! — a few months later, but she did so with no regrets. "Being a red head helped me dive into my womanhood and embrace my sexuality," she declared. Yes, girl!
Honestly, I'd love to see this shade again in 2019:
But I'm so here for her classic blonde with this fun bob:
The Sweetener Era
Ariana Grande's long, brown ponytail is infamous, but this year it went through all types of changes. The most iconic of these was her choice to grace the cover of her album, Sweetener, with a much lower ponytail, that just so happened to be platinum blonde. Mic drop. Ari switched back and forth between platinum and brunette for much of the year, rocking both styles and finding herself in the process. Some might say she made a few mistakes this year, but none had to do with her hair, because it always looked fab.
In fact, I'm sincerely hoping she says "thank u, next" to brunette for good in 2019, because I need more of this:
Amandla's Endless Lewks
Another hair icon who made more than a few changes this year? Give it up for Amandla Stenberg, because they really did the most this year, in all the right ways. I couldn't possibly include all their stunning lewks on this list, but they tried everything from natural texture to bold colors to dramatic cuts. Spoiler alert: They pulled off each one flawlessly.
Hiiiiii, beautiful texture:
She even tested out Bardi Blue:
This braided bob made my year, TBH:
And I love these lighter, curlier locks to ring in the New Year:
Keeping Up With The Kardashians' Hair Changes
Much like Stenberg, this family deserves their own list, since between the three Kardashian and two Jenner sisters, a monumental amount of hair changes were made and 'Grammed. I think virtually all the girls tried out pink hair at one point or another, with Kim's pink 'do in Japan winning out as my most favorite of the year. In second place comes Kylie's booty-skimming ponytail, worn to ring in her 21 birthday, and in third place was Khloé's winter white glow-up. @Kendall and Kourtney: Looking at you to top these in 2019!
I'm biased because I stan Kim, but her rooted pink was the best pink of all time. (Cue Kanye voice) Of all time:
According to Violet Teriti, who was responsible for this look, Kylie's ponytail cost between $6,000 and $8,000, so it definitely deserves a place on this list:
Last but not least, thank you to Khloé Kardashian for confirming winter white as the last great seasonal hair trend of 2018:
Pumpkin Spice Strands
Hi, so a lot of celebs went orange this year, and it's an important trend worth noting. Even those of us who aren't basic enough to stomach a Pumpkin Spice Latte can appreciate these PSL-inspired hues, worn by everyone from Nicki Minaj to SZA. More bold than blonde or red, orange is the perfect in-between shade for making a statement.
SZA's bright shade in July gave me Paramore throwbacks, if you know what I mean:
Then, Minaj went full-on Pumpkin Spice Barbie in September:
This K-Beauty hair trend had a real cult following in 2019, and everyone from Lucy Hale to Jordyn Woods was sporting sleek, shiny glass hair. The trend served as a real upgrade to Dua Lipa's already gorgeous go-to black bob, and it was looking glossier and fiercer than ever, if I do say so myself.
More shiny, sleek, glass hair in 2019, please, Dua!
Met Gala Moment
Who had the best look on the Met Gala staircase this May? Undoubtedly, it was Zendaya, and I'm prepared to fight about it if you disagree. Her Joan of Arc-inspired chainmail was complimented by the most badass of bobs, complete with short, straight-across bangs and orangey-red curls. Everybody wants to look their best at the Met Gala, and Zendaya made sure she topped the rest and served a look worth remembering. Hold for applause.
This was so, so, so, so good:
Like, I want to talk about it more. Because so good:
2018 was all about dramatic lengths, so celebs were either clipping in extensions or making mid-length hair super short — Emilia Clarke went with the latter, and I couldn't love it more. Her famous Game of Thrones alter ego is known for lengthy platinum blonde styles, but IRL, Clarke wanted something with a little more edge. Or, maybe she just wanted a throwback look? In September, she described her chop as reminiscent of "when Gwyneth and Brad had the same hair cut," which is freakishly accurate.
So clipped, so cool:
And here's a little something for anyone who ever doubted short hair could be red-carpet ready, because you were dead wrong:
Out From Under
Selena Gomez regularly gives herself well-deserved breaks from social media, but when she is actively posting, I live to see her looks. One of my faves from this year had to be her undercut in April, which really gave her traditional dark locks some cool-girl flair and drew attention to her Roman numeral neck tattoo.
Undercut + High pony braid + Hoops = My 2019 mood in a hairstyle:
Last but not least, my very favorite hair moments from 2018 all revolved around Halsey embracing her natural texture. The singer is often vocal about her mixed identity, but when she gave us a sneak peak at her curls on Instagram, many thought they were fake. Imagine having hair so wonderful, people thing it's a wig? I can't relate at all.