The Hair Evolution Of Kim Kardashian, From Bleach To Bob

In the world of pop culture, only a few stars have managed to leave a lasting impression as profound as reality star and businesswoman Kim Kardashian. Her journey from a breakout star in the early 2000s to the influential icon she is today has been a remarkable one, to say the least. Over the course of her career, Kim has consistently set trends, broken boundaries, and made headlines worldwide — and we don't see her slowing down anytime soon.


From the moment she graced our screens in the reality show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," she has been known for her trademark luscious brown locks, which have always been styled to perfection. However, as Kardashian's spotlight grew, the star showcased her ability to transform, and her hair played a major role in that.

The reality star's remarkable ability to effortlessly transition from sleek to messy, as well as from dark brown to icy blond, has significantly contributed to her status as a major influencer in the world of hair trends. Over the years, she has also been known for her frequent use of wigs and extensions, adding to her reputation for being unafraid of change. As we take a trip down memory lane, one thing is clear: Kim Kardashian's hair journey mirrors her evolution from a reality TV star to one of the biggest fashion influencers on the planet.


2006-2008: She rises to fame with long dark locks

While Kim Kardashian was somewhat known before, it was the reality television show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," which premiered in the fall of 2007 on E!, that quickly turned her (and her family) into a reality star the world just couldn't get enough of.


During this early "KUWTK" era, she always rocked luscious and long dark brown locks that soon became the star's signature style, perfectly capturing the essence of 2000s beauty trends. While Kardashian did give us a variety of different styles — pin straight, soft waves, or ultra-glamorous curls being just some of them — she did mainly stick to safe and familiar choices. At that time, she didn't branch out much, at least not yet. And in true Y2K fashion, she usually sported a slight side part.

The 2006-2008 era marked the beginning of Kim Kardashian's hair evolution, and soon, bold changes and fun hair transformations would follow.

2009: Kim Kardashian gives us brond

In 2009, Kim Kardashian went out of her comfort zone as she decided to lighten her hair. With this, the star said "goodbye" to her iconic dark locks, which had, up until that point, been a significant signature look for her. At the 2009 Teen Choice Awards red carpet, Kardashian debuted her lighter blond hair — a shade delicately situated between the lightest of browns and darkest of blonds. In true 2000s fashion, she opted for chunky visible highlights, giving her hair plenty of texture and depth.


Kardashian's bold move to embrace the "brond" trend was not merely an experiment — it was a statement. On her blog (via Glamour), she declared, "This time it's for real, guys! I went blonde!!!" While for some, this hairstyle change might seem insignificant, looking back on Kardashian's hair evolution, it is clear that this marked the beginning of the star's experimentation with hair, as she bravely and boldly began to play around with her look.

2010-2012: The reality star goes back to her roots

After her brief flirtation with lighter highlights, Kim Kardashian decided to gracefully return to her natural hair color in 2010. What made this phase particularly noteworthy was the shift from her signature side part to a middle part, which quickly became her go-to style. The middle part not only changed her look but also made the reality television star slowly but surely part ways with her Y2K style in order to explore a more modern and fresh take. This era of Kardashian's hair was defined by her lush, Victoria's Secret Angels-inspired curls, which added tons of volume to her hair.


Occasionally, she would also surprise us with sleek ponytails and chic buns, showcasing different looks. By now, Kardashian was a well-known name in the industry, and her long hair played an important role in the recognizability of the star. However, she was never one to stay the same for too long, which is why she soon changed her hair again, going in a direction none of us saw coming.

2013: Jumping between blunt bangs and blond ombré

In 2013, Kim Kardashian embarked on a year of brave experimentation with her hair, marking a significant turning point in her hair style evolution. The star decided to rock bold, blunt bangs for a while, a small change that certainly transformed her look entirely. While it's not known whether Kardashian actually chopped her own hair or simply used a wig or clip-in bangs for these appearances, there is no doubt that this hairstyle remains a memorable one. But for Kim Kardashian, that wasn't enough.


By the end of 2013, the reality star also opted to go for a blond ombré — perhaps the most popular hair color choice of the early 2010s. "Kim is the quintessential Hollywood glamour girl," hairstylist Louis Licari commented to Self at the time. "When she chooses to break the rules — in this case, drastic color change — she's surrounded by experts who can make it look great. Turning natural dark hair like Kim's into a hot blond is no easy feat. This is not a do-it-yourself job."

This transformative year was not only significant for Kardashian's hair but also marked the beginning of her relationship with rapper Ye, who was known as Kanye West at the time. With this new chapter in her life, she appeared to become more open to experimenting with her looks, frequently changing her hair to reflect her constantly changing style. In fact, in 2013, the reality star even attended her first Met Gala as a plus-one of her then-fiancé.


2014: Kim Kardashian returns to her signature look

A year later, Kim Kardashian once again revisited her signature look, returning to her beloved long, dark hair. It's a style that has, time and time again, acted as her go-to. While she may venture into various hair trends and experiments, there's an unmistakable glamour and classiness in the dark, luscious mane that has become her signature look.


However, at the time, Kardashian admitted that she was a bit bored with her style. "I wanted to switch it up since I feel everyone went light, and we started filming a new season of 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians,' so [I] wanted a fresh look, but now I am missing my light hair! HELP!!! What do I do?" the star wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter (via ABC News). The star stuck to her signature look for a couple of months before deciding to switch it up yet again.

2015: Embracing a lob and then icy blond

Kim Kardashian embarked on a bold journey with her hair in 2015, saying farewell to her iconic long locks and opting for a chic long bob. This stylish change was a significant departure from the star's signature length, revealing a more edgy and fashion-forward side of Kardashian. However, this shift wasn't quite enough for the star as she took her transformation to the next level by going platinum blond. "I thought of Kim's shade as an ice queen; it's an icy cool blond, a silvery hue that's very delicate. For me, it was the new platinum. When we did Kim's hair blond, we really loved the roots because they added a nice accent," Kim Kardashian's hairstylist, Chris Appleton, told The Hollywood Reporter


During the mid-2010s, Kardashian fully settled into her role of being a global fashion and beauty influencer, and with that, she also became more audacious and brave when choosing hairstyles. During an interview with Into The Gloss, she gave us a glimpse into her weekly hair routine, revealing that she washes it every five days. "For my hair, I don't wash it every day. We start out with a blowout on day one, then we go into a messier vibe the next day, and then we flat iron it and do a really sleek look on day three since that requires a little oil in the hair," the reality star admitted. "Day four could be a slicked-back ponytail, and on the fifth day is when you wash it."

2016-2017: The era of wigs and extensions

It's no secret that the Kardashian-Jenners like to have fun with wigs and extensions to spice up their looks, and in 2016, Kim Kardashian switched between a brown lob, long and dark or blond hair multiple times. In fact, during this period, you could never predict just what her hair was going to be like, and part of that seems to be thanks to her hairstylist, who is not shy about his love for good-quality wigs.


"The thing with wigs is they're better than they used to be, for sure. I use Helena Collection in New York quite a lot, as she does great wigs," Chris Appleton told The Hollywood Reporter. "I always think wigs are good fun to try things out. When we're talking about a dramatically different cut or color, I always suggest that you try a wig first because it gives a vibe of how it will look and how a new color will change your skin tone."

2018-2019: Kim Kardashian's sleek hairstyles and bob debut

In 2018, Kim Kardashian continued having fun with her hair, switching her look up frequently. However, a prominent style she kept rocking was a chick French bob, which she easily pulled off. Regardless of the hairstyle, Kardashian was always seen with super healthy and shiny hair, and her hairstylist revealed to Byrdie just how he achieves that.


To begin with, Chris Appleton swears by silicone-free hair products. "Heavy silicone can dull the hair, so sulfate-free products will stop any product buildup that can weigh the hair down and make it look less shiny," he says. "Always finish with a cold rinse when you wash your hair. This will seal the cuticle and really make the hair shine." Finish the look off with a Color Wow Dream Coat Anti-Humidity Hair Treatment, which Appleton swears by. "This product is like an umbrella for your hair, protecting against humidity — and it will give you the most glossy finish," he adds. Kim Kardashian's hair has always looked sleek, but the more famous she got, the shinier her locks became.

2020: Playing it safe during the pandemic

During the year of the pandemic, the star stuck to her usual go-to styles — long dark locks, sleek hairstyles, and the occasional braided look. However, Kim Kardashian did announce that she can't wait to have her hairstylist back to dye her hair. "My hair is gonna be so healthy after this quarantined time. Contemplating dying it blond when we can have human interaction again," she shared on Instagram.


Kim Kardashian, who is also by no means a stranger to cultural appropriation, was also spotted rocking a full head of braids on a few occasions in 2020. Back in 2018, she defended her choice of wearing braids to Bustle. "I [do] remember the backlash when I had the blond hair and that I called them 'Bo Derek braids,'" she said. "But I obviously know they're called Fulani braids, and I know the origin of where they came from, and I'm totally respectful of that. I'm not tone deaf to where I don't get it. I do get it." Regardless of the fact that Kardashian is no stranger to braided hairstyles, the star's influence on the beauty industry keeps growing.

2021: The billionaire goes to extreme lengths

In 2021, the style icon and billionaire took her hair to impressive lengths, demonstrating that hair extensions are back in style. Kardashian's locks during this period were nothing short of extraordinary, becoming the defining feature of her look. In fact, Chris Appleton shed light on the stunning intricacies of her iconic 2021 Met Gala look. The star's jaw-dropping Balenciaga dress, complete with a matching face mask, was elevated to a whole new level with a whopping $10,000 investment in 75-inch ponytail extensions. In this era, Kardashian's hair was marked by extravagance, perfectly showcasing that her impact on the world of fashion and beauty was as powerful as ever.


In an interview with HelloGiggles from 2017, Appleton revealed that he loves seeing the star rock hair extensions. "It became such a big thing, and Kim wears it so well," he said. "I love the look because it looks super luxurious and expensive, and it's so nice to see little girls follow through with the trend now." However, the stylist did add that with extensions, it's all about quality and proper handling. "Good length hair extensions and the quality of hair that's accessible now is better. You know I love extensions. We live in a world of extensions. Where would any of us be without extensions and wigs? I love all of that, but I just think I'd like to see it well done. There's nothing worse than seeing that line or those short bits stick out." 


2022: Back to blond

While Kim Kardashian has played around with blond hair before, 2021 was the year of blond Kim, as the star mostly rocked an icy platinum shade year around. The billionaire originally colored her hair for the 2022 Met Gala, to which she wore Marilyn Monroe's icon's Jean Louis dress. In an interview with Vogue, Kardashian admitted that going blond wasn't easy. "I'm spending the whole day just dyeing my hair, 14 hours straight," the star said.


Even though she is known for drastic changes, she decided to stick with the blond for a while. "Yes, the blond hair. The roots are definitely growing out. I'm going to dye it soon. I'm going to stay blond for a minute," Kardashian revealed on an episode of "Live with Kelly and Ryan" in September 2022.

In 2018, Chris Appleton opened up about Kim Kardashian's signature shade of blond in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "I thought of Kim's shade as an ice queen; it's an icy cool blond, a silvery hue that's very delicate," Appleton said. "For me, it was the new platinum. When we did Kim's hair blond, we really loved the roots because they added a nice accent."

2023-present: Kim Kardashian is all about the '90s updo

In 2023, Kim Kardashian continues playing around with her hair color, giving us deep dark shades one day and a cool blond the next. However, her go-to hairstyle seems to draw inspiration from the '90s. This year, she has been frequently spotted with a messy updo, whether on the red carpet or while running errands.


"[My initial inspiration for this look] was a mixture of the '90s Pamela Anderson and classic Hollywood glamour," stylist Chris Appleton revealed to Byrdie. "A combination of the two provided the ultimate glamour with an edge." While there are quite a few ways to upgrade your messy bun, the key to nailing the classic '90s look lies in leaving out those face-framing tendrils for that added softness and charm. In 2023, her hairstyle not only embraced the '90s with open arms but also proved that certain looks never go out of style.

Kim Kardashian's ongoing passion for experimenting with her hair has left a clear mark on the world of beauty and fashion trends — and fans across the globe are eager to witness the next exciting chapter in the star's hair journey.