The Stunning Hair Transformation Of Katie Holmes

As soon as she caught our eye with her portrayal of Joey Potter on "Dawson's Creek," it was clear that Katie Holmes would become a big Hollywood star. And while she has starred in numerous successful projects and given us plenty of fun fashion moments over the years, today, our focus is soley on her hair.


From the carefree '90s trends to the sophisticated styles of the new millennium, Holmes has rocked quite a few different hairstyles over the years. In a 2015 interview with Forbes, Holmes revealed that a lot of her views on beauty stem from what her mother instilled in her: "She really taught my sisters and I that beauty comes from within, so make sure that you make good decisions and you're happy in your life. Take care of yourself, and you'll be beautiful." And while we couldn't agree more, we have to admit that the star has been blessed with such stunning locks  that few could change haircuts as frequently as she does — and pull every one of them off. 

1997-1999: Katie Holmes is all about '90s hair trends

In the late '90s, Katie Holmes rose to fame as Joey Potter in the beloved TV series "Dawson's Creek" — and at the time, the 20-year-old quickly captivated viewers with her natural charm and talent. With her signature brown locks, Holmes embodied the epitome of '90s hair trends; whether styled in sleek blowouts or put together into funky '90s updos, her hair reflected the spirit of the time.


Growing up, Holmes had a unique relationship with her hair. "When I was a little girl — if I could have — I would have gone a year without washing my hair," Holmes admitted later on to Into The Gloss. "I hated it, to the point where my sisters had to pay me to wash my hair." Of course, as Holmes embarked on her acting career, her natural brown hair became synonymous with her on-screen persona — and her hate for washing her hair clearly disappeared.

2000-2003: Subtle layers and lighter hair are what the star is all about

As the new millennium kicked off, Katie Holmes went through a subtle hair transformation, making her look a tad more modern. The star opted for long layers, which suited her face shape perfectly. "I love having long hair because of the versatility," Holmes admitted to PopSugar in 2014, recognizing that long hair had already been her trademark look for decades at that point.


Around 2002, Holmes embarked on another hair adventure by lightening her locks, exploring what appeared to be an ombré style — a trend that became huge over a decade later. This departure from her signature brunette shade was a notable change in her look; however, Holmes ultimately returned to her brunette roots. While only time will tell whether the actor explores blond hair again, she has since kept away from it, apart from this period in the early noughties.

2004-2005: The actor goes darker and sultrier

Returning to her natural brunette roots, Katie Holmes decided to go for a richer and deeper shade that complemented her features with timeless elegance. This shift in hair color signaled a departure from her previous styles, and it also reflected Holmes's transition into a new phase of her career.


In 2004, she appeared in rom-coms such as "First Daughter," but with Christopher Nolan's 2005 hit "Batman Begins," Holmes emerged as an actor with undeniable charm and presence — one that had now secured her spot in Hollywood. Now in her late 20s, she embraced a more mature and refined aesthetic, and this was even further accentuated by her dark and long hair. Yet, despite the shift towards a more natural hue, Holmes' hair was anything but boring. Whether in luscious curls or styled into fun half updos, her hair always looked effortless yet undeniably put together.

2006: Katie Holmes gets some wispy long bangs

In 2006, Katie Holmes switched things up by opting for wispy, long, peek-a-boo bangs that added a touch of casualness to her signature style. Embracing this hairstyle, Holmes rocked the bangs that delicately framed her face, grazing her eyes and also giving an air of mystery to her appearance. These wispy bangs soon evolved into a curtain-like shape, adding depth and dimension to her hair while also flattering her face.


Amidst her hair bangs journey, Holmes welcomed a new chapter in her personal life with the birth of her daughter, Suri — whom she shares with Tom Cruise — in April, 2006. While motherhood undoubtedly became her top priority, the actor continued to shine in the spotlight, effortlessly balancing her role as a mother with her thriving career in Hollywood. In fact, dare we say that even with a newborn, she never seemed to have a bad hair day.

2007-2008: Katie Holmes rocks her iconic short bob

2007 marked a bold hair move from Katie Holmes. The star made a brave departure from her previous hairstyles by embracing an effortlessly chic French bob. Just like that, Holmes transformed her look, and she suddenly exuded even more confidence and style. For Holmes, the bob represented a long-awaited style choice that had always been on her radar. "This was a big cut for me, doing a bob," she told E! News in 2013. "I'd always wanted to have one and I enjoyed it." 


With its fun and chic appearance, the bob quickly became synonymous with Holmes' new signature look. "When it comes to hair, I find it easier to manage when it's long. It's just more versatile. I liked my hair short when [hair stylist] Enzo Angileri styled it — he did the cut," Holmes admitted to InStyle, per HuffPost, that year. "But when I tried it on my own, I was like, 'This isn't working!'" Despite her initial reservations about managing shorter hair, Holmes embraced the challenge with success.

2009: The star grows her bob into a lob

Embracing the versatility of a bob that had grown into a lob, Katie Holmes effortlessly gave us a range of gorgeous hairstyles in 2009. While some may perceive shorter hair as limiting, the star proved that her in-between length was anything but boring and that lots could be done with it.


Whether opting for shiny straight strands or embracing subtle curls and waves, Holmes rocked a variety of hairstyles that worked with her personal style. As the lob grew out even more, Holmes enjoyed experimenting with playful and effortless updos, like a messy low bun. She rocked the lob mostly with a deep side part that showcased her soft side bangs even more. As a new decade was about to start, the star had not only solidified her position in Hollywood but had also become a fashion and hair icon in the beauty space.

2010-2012: Katie Holmes embraces long hair again

In the early 2010s, Katie Holmes went back to a look she knew was a win — long, luscious hair. Returning to the hairstyle she rose to fame with was a full-circle moment for the actor. "I had this look for a long time; this was the look of Joey Potter," she told E! News in 2013, referring to the iconic "Dawson's Creek" character. "Easy, simple, straightforward, girl-next-door — and it still works!"


With her long and straight hair, Holmes effortlessly radiated confidence, regardless of what she was wearing. In fact, the star loved the way her hair looked so much that she wasn't afraid of messing it up by running her hands through it on red carpets. "I love doing long and straight hair. It's simple, it's elegant, sophisticated, you can wear it with jeans, you can wear it with an evening dress, and you feel like you're appropriate for any sort of occasion," Holmes added.

2013-2014: The star goes shorter with collar-bone length

Despite her fondness for long locks, Katie Holmes seemed to have enjoyed her lob haircut so much that she decided to return to a collar-bone length. One standout moment from this period was her appearance at the 2013 Met Gala, where Holmes captivated with a very fun hairstyle — a fashion and beauty moment she looks fondly back at. "I went to the Met Ball in 2013 with Francisco from Calvin Klein," she told Byrdie in 2024. "Serge Normant did my hair — it was this big twist made to look like a mohawk. That was the year with the punk theme. It was my (very conservative) version!"


In addition to stealing the spotlight with her hairstyle, Holmes made waves in the beauty industry by becoming a spokesperson and co-owner of Alterna Haircare, further cementing her passion for all things hair-related. Expressing her pride in joining the Alterna family, Holmes revealed what caught her eye in the first place. "I'm really proud to be a part of this company — not only because the products are incredible, but because their 'accessible luxury' and 'free of' philosophy really speaks to me," she said in a press release. "I love that Alterna uses natural and organic ingredients and stays away from harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens. It's good for my hair and good for the earth, so I feel good using it." And for over a decade, the star has talked about her love for the products, but her hair is certainly the brand's best advertisement.


2015-2017: The star switches between voluminous-curly and sleek-straight

During the mid-2010s, Katie Holmes continued having lots of fun with different hairstyles, never letting us know what her next hair move would be. Whether she opted for tousled beachy waves, glamorous Hollywood curls, or Y2K-inspired sleekness, one thing remained constant: Her hair always looked stunning. One thing we did notice during this period was Holmes' affinity for a very deep side part, a styling choice that effortlessly added lots of volume to her locks.


Despite her glamorous Hollywood persona, the star had remained refreshingly candid about her approach to hairstyling, emphasizing how important practicality is in her beauty routine. "Let's be honest, most days, I'm not going to go and get a blowout. Forget it," she told People in 2014. Instead, she stuck to a simple routine that revolved around efficiency. "So I usually wash my hair and condition my hair at night, and then in the morning I wake up and apply the Caviar Omega Oil, and then I go," she revealed to Forbes in 2015, raving about the popular Alterna Haircare product.

2016: Straight-across bangs become the star's staple

In her late 30s, Katie Holmes went for a bold and unexpected choice: straight-across bangs. While she continued to rock her signature long locks, the actor added a dose of edginess to the look with this stylish transformation. What set Holmes' bangs apart was their slightly messy texture and layered cut, adding a touch of that easy charm and nonchalance her style has been known for. 


In 2016, Holmes proved that sometimes, all it takes is a subtle hair transformation to make an impactful statement — and cutting bangs can be just that. Of course, before anyone commits to chopping their hair, we recommend trying the viral false bangs TikTok hack that lets you test-drive them before being stuck with the style. Apart from cutting bangs, Holmes' career continued thriving, and in 2016, she made her directorial debut with the movie "All We Had."

2017: Katie Holmes embraces a short and fun pixie

In 2017, Katie Holmes — who is known for her love of long hair, despite the occasional pivot towards bobs and lobs — shocked everyone: She embraced a short and playful pixie. The decision to chop off her locks was a major departure from what we've seen the star rock so far. Holmes revealed that her decision to undergo the dramatic hair transformation was motivated by her career. "It's for a role. I'm getting ready to play a woman in a movie called 'The Doorman,'" Holmes told People that year. "She's an ex-Marine, and she's a warrior. I'm excited. I'm training. I'm sore."


Despite the initial shock of seeing Holmes with short hair, fans quickly fell in love with her new look, praising her courage and confidence in embracing change. "She really wanted it to move on camera so it was actually like three haircuts. We did it over the weekend, and it kind [of] got shorter and shorter and shorter," stylist DJ Quintero added. The pixie cut served as a testament to Holmes' versatility as an actor and her willingness to fully immerse herself in her projects.

2018-2019: The star is back in her bob/lob era

After her pixie, Katie Holmes made a return to her beloved bob era, and this time around, she rocked it with even more confidence. Despite the constantly changing trends of the beauty world, Holmes has always remained true to her personal style, rocking only looks she likes. "I think I'm constantly breaking the rules," Holmes told Byrdie in 2024. "I don't really know what the season's trends are. So I'm just kind of winging it. I'm sure I break them all the time."


Returning to her lob era was like slipping into a familiar pair of shoes for the star. And while Holmes pulled off short hair, she loved going back to longer locks. "It was easy — I mean, it was really easy," Holmes told Into The Gloss of her pixie cut. "But I missed my long hair. Especially after a long winter, all I want is sexy, summer hair."

2020-2021: Katie Holmes is all about messy buns during the pandemic

Amidst the turmoil of the pandemic, Katie Holmes found simplicity and practicality in messy buns, embracing their laid-back charm as the world grappled with uncertainty. As social distancing measures became a daily reality and face masks became essential accessories, Holmes effortlessly rocked tousled buns. "It's really just about embracing all of these things that make your beauty routine easier, faster, and better," she told Byrdie in 2024. In fact, when PopSugar asked her what her favorite hairstyle was 10 years earlier, the star didn't hesitate for a second. "I love a topknot," she said.


During this time, Holmes also opened up about how she found beauty in the little moments of everyday life. She shared the experience of watching her own work with her daughter. "She has seen 'Dawson's Creek,' and I think it's probably weird since she's a teenager. I'm not like, 'You need to watch mommy's work.' But during the pandemic, we had a good laugh about it," Holmes told Variety in 2023. "It's wild to have a daughter who's almost the same age as I was when I began all this."

2022-2023: Katie Holmes goes back to long hair and natural-looking waves

After the pandemic, Katie Holmes — now in her mid-40s — returned to her signature long and natural hairstyle. After experimenting with various looks over the past few years, the Hollywood star found herself gravitating to what she knew she had always loved. "If I'm going to an event, and it just doesn't feel right, or I feel like it just isn't me, then I don't feel right, and I don't want to be that. I think it is finding what makes you feel good and being confident in yourself," Holmes shared with Elle in 2019.


This time around, the actor embraced an even more casual look by frequently rocking her hair in messy beach waves that looked incredibly natural and carefree. Regardless of whether she was rocking a glamorous red-carpet gown or an edgy leather jacket, the coolness of her hair suited any look. The star's hair gave us a very "I woke up like this" vibe, and we absolutely adored it.

2024-present: The star adds curtain bangs to her look

In 2024, Katie Holmes introduced a very subtle change to her hairstyle by adding curtain bangs to frame her face. These curtain bangs became a versatile addition to her long locks, allowing her to wear them in a variety of styles, from casually tousled with a middle part to elegantly sleek side-swept bangs.


As she embraced this new hair trend, Holmes also reflected on her hair journey and the impact of quality haircare products on her locks. Speaking to Byrdie in 2024, she shared her appreciation for Alterna, the brand she had been collaborating with for years. "The longer I've been in this business, the more I've been exposed to wonderful things. Alterna is very high on that list," she said. "Using products with good-for-you ingredients is like eating well. It's the same concept. Over time, it has this positive effect on you. I've seen it make a huge difference in my hair." With her curtain bangs framing her face and her long locks radiating hair health, Katie Holmes continues to captivate us all. And we simply can't wait to see what the future brings for her hair.