Zendaya’s Hair Evolution in the Most Iconic Looks

Coming a long way from her start on Disney Channel’s “Shake It Up,” Zendaya has matured gracefully in the public eye for around seven years now. She has grown into a role model for young girls, for when she’s not acting, she is advocating for body-positivity and gender equality. According to Zendaya, hair hasn’t always been something she was confident about, but as she became more comfortable in her own skin, she let her locks flow. Every hairstyle Zendaya tries, she rocks, so take inspiration from her most iconic looks.

#1: Zendaya’s Soft Waves (2011)

Even though just a young teen at the time, Zendaya sparkled on the red carpet with her soft, youthful waves, letting some of her natural texture show. Wants some more wavy style ideas? Check out this list and find the look that is perfect for you.

#2: Sophisticated Updo (2011)

During her time as Rocky on “Shake It Up,” Zendaya kept her real hair at bay with sweet and classy styles, like this updo. Her tapered side bangs add a youthful innocence and sophistication to this style.

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#3: Bouncy Bob (2012)

Once 2012 came around, Zendaya started to amp up her style and made a big change. Zendaya cut her hair into this short, flouncy bob, reminiscent of Jackie Kennedy’s style from the 1960s. If you want to replicate this bobbed look, watch this video on how to channel Jackie-O yourself.

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#4: Rocker Pony (2012)

Taking her more mature styles even further, Zendaya stepped out with this volumized pony. Her teased roots give the look an edgier texture. Want to achieve this kind of volume in your styles? Try some of these texturizing products to get your hair to where it needs to be!

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#5: Romantic Curls (2012)

On the softer side of things, Zendaya opted for a silky curled look at the 43rd Annual NAACP Image Awards. This style is perfect for any date night, for all you need in order to recreate Zendaya’s romantic hairdo is a curling iron and a couple of bobby pins.

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#6: Sleek and Straight (2013)

At the 2013 American Music Awards, Zendaya shocked the red carpet by stepping out with luxurious long locks that had been meticulously straightened. Her straight hair in this look is far from her natural texture, but nonetheless, Zendaya rocked this sleeker style.

#7: Volumized Roots (2013)

In 2013, Zendaya really started experimenting with her style repertoire, and when it came to her hair, there were no limits. Here, she amped up the volume of her roots and owned this rocker chic style.

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#8: Side Bangs (2013)

In typical teen fashion, Zendaya cut deep side bangs that cover up half of her face. Normally, this cut would take us back to our emo-punk days, but Zendaya’s straight and smooth locks add structure to the style, making it look put together.

#9: Sleek Ponytail (2013)

At the 2013 Radio Disney Music Awards, Zendaya decided on a sophisticated ponytail. If you’re ready to give up the mess pony style and trade it in for this sleeker ‘do, give these high ponytail looks a try.

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#10: Bob with Bangs (2014)

Not one for changing her hair color, Zendaya decided to give darker locks a try with this short bobbed style. The short chop paired with a soft front fringe gives her bob a glamorous futuristic feel. If you want to give Zendaya’s bobbed hair a try, check out these other short styles for even more inspiration.

#11: Braided Pigtails (2014)

For a couple years now, braided pigtails have been the hairstyle of all A-list celebrities, like Kylie Jenner, Karlie Kloss, and of course, Zendaya. Because she enjoys trying out different types of styles, it’s no surprise that the former Disney Channel star decided to embrace this street-style trend.

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#12: Sleek Bob (2015)

In 2015, Zendaya decided to give the bobbed cut another try, so she opted for this straight style. This sleek cut falls perfectly under the sci-fi bob trend (a new feminist hairstyle for powerful women).

#13: Mega Curls (2015)

At the Barbie Rock ‘N Royals Concert Experience in 2015, Zendaya clipped on extensions and styled her hair in long and wide curls. Having naturally curly hair, she is no stranger to this amount of volume.

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#14: Dreadlocks (2015)

At the 2015 Oscars, Zendaya celebrated her African American culture with long dreadlocks. She had to stand by her choice of hairstyle when Fashion Police host, Giuliana Rancic, commented on Zendaya’s dreadlocks, stating that the style made the young actress look like she smells like patchouli oil. Zendaya responded to the racist comment by defending “the widening of the breadth of Black beauty.”

#15: Blonde Mullet (2016)

One her most shocking styles, this mullet look isn’t something that we normally see Zendaya rocking, but nonetheless, she stepped out on the Grammy red carpet clad in a highlighted, rocker hairdo. Zendaya once said that she is not in “any lane” when it comes to her style, so she is free to choose any hairstyle she wishes, no matter how daring.

#16: 1920s Pin Curls (2016)

Going the vintage route, Zendaya channeled the likes of Josephine Baker with this short, pin-curled style. The flapper style of the 1920s was worn by strong, independent women, so it isn’t surprising that this is one of the looks Zendaya chose to try.

#17: Beach Hair (2016)

Perhaps one of the most frequently sought-after styles is that “just came back from the beach” look. At the 2016 Essence Street Style Block Party, Zendaya perfected the art of beach curls. With a few sprays of a sea salt spray, you too can have these envy-inducing curls.

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#18: No-Part Hairdo (2016)

Whether on the runway or in street-styles, the no-part trend has been popping up on celebrities everywhere. Zendaya’s slicked back locks give her whole style an air of effortlessness, like she just woke up, brushed her hair, and stepped out looking fabulous. Thinking about giving the no-part hairstyle a try? Learn more about the trend with this guide.

#19: Natural Volume (2017)

At the 2017 Met Gala, Zendaya put aside any fear of frizz with her natural hair and walked confidently with this voluminous style. The volume of her hair and the colors of her dress make it subtly look like she has red hair, but Zendaya tends to stay true to her natural color. She has always been a strong advocate for women of color embracing their African American culture, so it’s no surprise why she chose this afro-esque hairstyle.

#20: Wet Mermaid Locks (2017)

Many have tried to master the art of the “all-wet” hairdo, but few have succeeded. Zendaya, however, makes wet locks seems as easy as stepping out of the pool and directly onto the red carpet. If you want to be able to rock the ultimate mermaid ‘do, follow this simple how-to guide!

For actress Zendaya, hairstyles have always been an avenue through which she could try new things and feel comfortable with her own hair. Luckily, she has tried so many styles that it’s impossible not to be inspired to try one ourselves!