How These Stars Got Their Signature Hairstyles

A bad haircut is a big deal — especially if you're in show business. "For a model, when you get a haircut, it could either be the best thing that happens to your career or the worst," Karlie Kloss told fans on her YouTube channel. Luckily for this model, her signature cut, "The Karlie," has been one of the most talked-about 'dos of all time. In fact, there are other famous faces sporting hair that may be more recognizable than their owner's actual work.

When Stacy London signed on as the spokesperson for Pantene, she added her signature gray streak into her contract. "I even have a grey clause with Pantene, where I said 'You can do whatever you want to my hair but you can't dye my grey streak,'" the fashion consultant admitted to Into the Gloss. "It's a part of me!" For many a celebrity, the hair has a special place in the heart (and a special place in all of ours).

How exactly did these stars stumble upon their signature styles? Read on to find out.

Conan O'Brien created his iconic 'do decades ago

Conan O'Brien has been on television since the late 1980s, believe it or not. "One day, I knew I wanted to be in show business, I knew I needed a hook," he explained on "60 Minutes." Hence, his iconic hairstyle. Long before he ever ended up on late night, the aspiring star was styling his own unique swoop. "I invented this when I was in high school," he said, and it's a look that's stuck around ever since.

Today, Conan's hair has become synonymous with the star himself. Heck, it's even included in his late night talk show's logo. "Sometimes, people don't even know my name," he admitted on "60 Minutes." "They're like, 'You're the guy with the hair.'" The coronavirus pandemic threatened Conan O'Brien's coif temporarily. During a May 2020 Save the Children fundraiser on YouTube, he said, "If you're trying to keep track of the length of how much time we've been in quarantine, watch my pompadour collapse! ... As it grows, it crumbles under its own weight. I've consulted a structural engineer."  

Though his TBS show may have come to an end, his iconic hairstyle will live on forever.

Amber Rose has created a buzz with her hairstyle

Whenever Amber Rose is seen wearing a wig, she's nearly unrecognizable. Her buzzed cut is something that's stuck around since 2002, and it was all inspired by a rapper named Eve who shares a very similar look. When Rose decided to recreate it, "All my friends were like, 'Please don't do it, Amber,'" she explained to Refinery29. Obviously, she didn't listen to her friends.

While many people turn to short 'dos to save them time when it comes to styling, Rose's hairstyle takes a lot more work than you may think. Because she is a natural brunette, she has to keep the blonde hue on point. "I bleach my hair every three days, people don't know," she said on "The Amber Rose Show" (via the Daily Mail). On days when she needs to give her hair a break from the bleach, she has us all doing a double take when she wears wigs.

Ariana Grande's high ponytail is hiding a secret

Before Ariana Grande ever turned into a pop star, she was a Nickelodeon actor rocking bright red hair. "I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first 4 years of playing Cat," Grande explained to fans on Facebook (via Insider). Because of the constant back and forth in the salon chair, she got to the point where she had permanently damaged her 'do — which brings us to her signature ponytail.

One day, Grande looked in the mirror as she tied her hair up in an elastic and realized how amazing it actually looked pulled back. "I wear extensions," she admitted on Facebook. "...but I wear it in a pony tail because my actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down." Ever since 2014, that's how we've continually seen her hair styled. "I'm comfortable for the first time in years," she said at the time.

The star discussed her locks with Zach Sang in 2020. She expressed her love for her Nickelodeon years but also said, "I did put out 'Put Your Hearts Up' with red hair, and that felt weird. ... I didn't feel like that was an accurate reflection of who I was as an artist or a person." In connection with her song "My Hair," Grande talked about wearing her natural curls "privately," creating a distinction between her personal life and her public persona.

Stacy London's gray streak appeared at a young age

Whoever said that your hair is your greatest accessory certainly wasn't lying. "My hair is a big part of me," Stacy London told Into the Gloss, and that includes her signature gray streak. However, this look isn't always something she loved.

When London was a small child, she was diagnosed with a skin disorder called psoriasis. Growing up, she felt extremely insecure about her red, patchy skin, and it got even worse when she turned 11. For some reason, she found herself constantly getting sick with strep throat. " the time nobody knew that strep throat could set off autoimmune diseases and make them worse," she explained. Then one day, she woke up with a gray streak in her hair before she had even hit teenhood.

Luckily, London now loves her unique look — but that isn't to say she's never experimented with hair dye. "I tried to get rid of it once and tried to dye it a platinum blond with a hint of pink once, but it fell out," she admitted to The Baltimore Sun. "I was left with a little stump. I didn't mess with my hair after that," so the gray streak is officially here to stay.

Jennifer Aniston really hates 'The Rachel' hairdo

Nothing quite took the world by storm as much as the sitcom "Friends" did in the '90s. However, Jennifer Aniston's haircut was a close second. The 'do, which has since been dubbed "The Rachel" haircut, had everybody sprinting to their nearest salon to recreate the look. It's even one that women everywhere still request today. Yet, surprisingly enough, Aniston has other thoughts about it. "How do I say this?" She told Allure. "I think it was the ugliest haircut I've ever seen."

The iconic 'do was created by a man named Chris McMillan, who's a big deal in the hair business. He's the one who cut off all of Miley Cyrus' hair and even styled Kim Kardashian's on her wedding day. Needless to say, he creates magnificent hair wherever he goes. He also seems to be the only one with the magic hand when it comes to maintaining a mane, because initially, Aniston was in awe of her head of hair — until she got home. "And then I was totally left with this Greek, frizzy mop on my head, because I had no idea how to do what he did," the actor admitted at the 2018 InStyle Awards.

Amy Winehouse's signature 'do started out as a joke

Amy Winehouse debuted a beehive hairdo for her music video "Back in Black" in 2006. Little did she know at the time, her iconic look had officially been invented. It was all thanks to a hairstylist named Alex Foden, who had no plans of ever styling it that way again. "As a joke, I backcombed her hair massively and put an extra packet of hair in," he admitted to The Sunday People (via The Mirror). Yet, as soon as she walked onto set, everybody in the crew was complimenting her new 'do.

Clearly, Winehouse loved wearing big hair, too. Her signature hairstyle stayed with her after that fateful day — and it was all thanks to a prank. Yet, the joke didn't seem to stop there. Her hairstylist also shared a story about a time when Winehouse had misplaced her cell phone. Three days later, she found it in her hair. "It was never meant to be that big," Foden said.

Naomi Parry, another stylist who was close to Winehouse, reflected on the singer's image for InStyle: "Amy always had a very clear idea about how she wanted to look. It was very much about the '60s thing ... the big hair was inspired by Brigitte Bardot, and she was into the idea [of] gangster moles ... Ultimately, we found a style that she was really comfortable with, and it became synonymous with her. It was like her armor — she put that on and became Amy Winehouse."

Guy Fieri had to get used to having bleached hair

It's hard to ever remember a time when Food Network star Guy Fieri didn't have spiky, bleached hair. That's because there has never been one. His signature hairstyle was created long before Fieri was ever famous.

It all happened while Fieri was getting a routine haircut by his friend Christina Jones. "I was just kind of having one of those moods one day, and said, 'Just do whatever you want,'" he explained to People. However, he never thought she would ever make such a drastic change to his hair. "I get done and I'm like, 'You gonna wash that out, that shampoo?'" he said. "She goes, 'No, that's your hair color.'"

Fieri had never colored his hair before that incident, so seeing himself with bleached hair was embarrassing at first. He walked around wearing a baseball cap before ever getting comfortable sharing his signature 'do with the world. Now, he never wants to change it. "It's just the way that I like to look," he told CBS News. "It's just how I like to flow."

Karlie Kloss had to hide her short hairstyle for three months

It's a pretty big deal when you get a haircut named after you, but supermodel Karlie Kloss initially wasn't as excited about it as you may think. In 2012, she got a call to be on the cover of Vogue. The catch, however, was that she would have to be given a new haircut on set. "I thought, 'Okay. What the heck? It's a free haircut. What have I got to lose?'" She reminisced on her YouTube channel. However, after celebrity hairstylist Garren had cut off seven inches, "I cried," Kloss said.

Photos of the big reveal were set to hit stands in a few months, which meant she had to keep her fresh look a secret until then. That was not an easy request, considering she was expected to walk the runway in the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show the very next day. Kloss had to hide her short hairdo amongst multiple extensions in order to keep it quiet.

Everybody wants to look like a supermodel, but this supermodel herself wasn't so convinced with the iconic cut while she had it. "I didn't really have the confidence, I think, at the time to say, like, 'This is my haircut. I'm owning it,'" she admitted on YouTube. Yet, her look paved the way for other supermodels to ditch their long locks for shorter chops, too. Today, "The Karlie" is still referenced whenever women head to the hair salon.

Dolly Parton's fabulous hairstyle is a way to tame her natural mane

If you've ever wanted to get all dolled up like Dolly Parton, you certainly can't forget her classic hairdo. After all, she's been wearing it similarly ever since 1967. That year, teasing your hair was the biggest trend, and the singer was all over it. "Whenever that style started, I was the first to get my hair all poofy," she shared in her book, "Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics." However, while Parton's 'do was in style, she still wasn't happy with how her hair looked. " hair would never do exactly what I wanted it to do," she said, and it was then that she decided to turn to wigs in order to get her larger-than-life look. "So the wigs became kind of my trademark," she added (via Today).

Years later, the world has never seen Parton without her signature hairstyle — or even makeup, for that matter. However, just under all those extensions is a blonde lob. "I keep my own hair the same color and a little longer than shoulder length," the singer told The Wall Street Journal. In true Dolly fashion, she stated, "I just am a blonde. That's just my nature. It's me." And we could never imagine her with any other hair color, either.

Anna Wintour has no desire to get the trendiest new cut

Whenever you look up and down the runway, Anna Wintour is seated front and center with the most recognizable short haircut in the entire fashion world. According to The Fashiongton Post, the face of Vogue has been sporting a bob since she was a teenager. Yet, it wasn't until this editor-in-chief saw a blunt bob with bangs in Vogue UK that she knew she had to have it, too. Once she sat down in hairstylist Leonard Lewis' chair, her life was transformed completely when he fashioned her trademark hairstyle.

Though Wintour works in the ever-changing world of fashion — where she gets the first look at the season's most stylish trends — her short 'do isn't one she will ever be changing. "The one time I tried to change it was a disaster," she admitted in a video for Vogue. "I had to wear a hat for several months."

JoJo Siwa has let her hair down

Any kid who grew up doing dance recitals has worn their fair share of hair accessories. JoJo Siwa is definitely no exception. She introduced herself to the world with a high, blonde ponytail and a big bow back in her "Dance Moms" days. "As I got older, it just kind of stayed with me," she told Us Weekly. "I just never felt the need to do anything different."

All of this dancer's fans are (apparently) big fans of the bow, too. By March 2020, Siwa had sold more than 80 million bows to the world, according to Forbes, and she told Us Weekly that fans have "over 12,000 different styles" to choose from. Needless to say, Siwa became synonymous with big bows, and for awhile, the world only got a few glimpses of the girl without her high ponytail. "I hate my hair down so much," she admitted to Us Weekly. 

The superstar spoke with the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, for the platform's Creator Week in 2021. When Mosseri brought up Siwa not wearing her bow in a video, she acknowledged her lifetime of bow-wearing and explained that when turning 18, she thought more about the hairstyle: "...I realized, 'You know, I kind of want to do my hair different today.'" JoJo Siwa was leaning toward something "a little bit more a little upgrade." She can still love her bows while incorporating other fun looks into her daily life.

Elvis Presley dyed his hair black to make his blue eyes pop

The King of Rock 'n' Roll is known around the world for his catchy tunes, his swinging hips, and his fancy suits. "He also had great hair," his hairstylist Larry Geller told Yahoo Beauty. In fact, Geller is the one who gave Elvis Presley those locks we just can't help falling in love with.

Long before the singer ever had black hair, he was rocking blond locks in the army. Soldiers weren't allowed to dye their hair, so when Elvis stepped away from the military and into the music world, the first thing he did was turn his hair black. It's even rumored that he used shoe polish to get the color he wanted before having a hairstylist use dye on it — as long as the color was black. "The reason being is, someone told him his eyes were so blue and all that, that if he had dark hair, it would make his blue eyes stand out better," his cousin, Billy Smith, revealed on the YouTube Channel Memphis Mafia Kid

His hairstylist also liked to experiment with various products in Elvis Presley's hair to give it the volume it's known for. "He said to me, right from the get-go, 'You can do whatever you want with my hair, but one thing,'" Larry Geller recalled to Yahoo Beauty. "'Make sure I keep it!'"

Jason Momoa will never cut off his long hair

It wouldn't make sense for Aquaman to have short hair. Therefore, actor Jason Momoa had to grow his hair out so it would effortlessly float through the water. Aquaman is a steady part of his career, but even when he's working on other projects, don't expect him to make any changes to his long lengths — even if his new character may call for it. "I don't mind cutting my beard off at all," he admitted during an interview with MYX Global. "My hair, my wife will leave me. She's like, 'If you ever cut your hair again, I'll leave."

Momoa hasn't rocked many short cuts since he started out in show business in 2000, according to Us Weekly. Though he may have a lot more hair now, his mane is actually even easier to maintain. For Momoa to play Aquaman, "We didn't wash his hair more than once a week and we didn't use shampoo," his hairstylist Jen Stanfield told Men's Health. After all, isn't that what all the swimming is for?

Cher doesn't think her hair will stay in style long

Have you ever heard the famous Cher song called "Magic in the Air?" It turns out, there's actually magic in the hair. Though the singer has turned to countless wigs over the course of her career, the moment she debuted her natural long, straight locks in the '60s, people were shook. Yet, for Cher, her hair is really nothing new. "I've worn my hair like that since I was a girl," she told People, and it's been like that underneath all her wigs for many years. 

There was, however, an instance when the iconic singer decided to change her natural color. For her role in the movie "Mask," she dyed her natural roots red and damaged her hair. "And I just decided then, and even before then, I'm just never doing that again," she explained on "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen." 

So for all of eternity, Cher's look is magical, and it's even a modern style choice. "For now it's back, but then girls will start doing something else when they get bored," the pop star told People. However, we respectfully disagree. Cher hair will always be in style.