The Stunning Hair Transformation Of Hayden Panettiere

Hayden Panettiere has been in the spotlight for a long time. In fact, she even landed one of her first acting jobs in a commercial when she was 11 months old. From her child-star days working on soap operas and movies to her adult career on TV shows like "Heroes" and "Nashville," Panettiere has covered a lot of ground when it comes to acting — and she's covered a lot of ground when it comes to her hairstyles, too. 


Over the years she's rocked long flowing locks and ultra cute pixie cuts with equal ease. At the start of her career, she frequently opted for longer looks in curls, waves, and sleek, straight styles. As time went on she's shown off short, simple cuts, and she's also had her share of amazing mid-length lobs, too. No matter what look she's tried, Panettiere has proved she knows not just how to try out trends, but how to make them look gorgeous and totally her own.

2000-2002: Hayden opts for bouncy natural curls

By the early 2000s, Hayden Panettiere had already been a working actor for a decade. At 11 years old, she was walking red carpets and showing off her trendy and adorable style. At the "Remember the Titans" premiere in 2000, she can be seen wearing a red leather outfit, and sporting some long, natural blond curls. Looking slightly brushed out, but otherwise untouched, her super-cute hairstyle looked bouncy, healthy, and effortless, which was totally fitting for the young starlet.


Earlier that year, Panettiere also attended the "Dinosaur" movie premiere wearing a similar simple hair look. Her long blond curls looked ever so slightly sun-kissed, and she accessorized with two purple plastic hair clips clipped in on either side of her head. At the 2001 premiere of "Joe Somebody," Panettiere switched it up with straight hair and a houndstooth newsboy cap. By the 2002 Movieguide Awards, the actor had her hair in curls again. However, with a little bit of product, her hairstyle had a wet, scrunched effect.

2003: Hayden styles her hair stick straight with a center part

In 2003, Hayden Panettiere was rocking another classic Y2K look. While attending the Sundance Film Festival that year, Panettiere wore a super cute pink coat with furry cuffs that she paired with a fuzzy pink newsboy hat. Her long hair looked thick and healthy, and was pin-straight with a center part.


While Panettiere had the quintessential Y2K girl look down, that doesn't mean she wasn't trying other things in 2003. At the FIFI Awards, Panettiere turned heads with some long, glossy, bouncy curls and a center part. A little later on at the "Camp" premiere in New York, she was trying out some looser, more textured waves, also with a center part. Even during the early stages of her career, the actor was a pro at switching things up when it came to her hair, and she wasn't afraid to branch out and try new styles.

2004-2006: Glamorous waves and peek-a-boos rule Hayden's hair looks

In 2004, Hayden Panettiere was in control of her look, and that shined through in her hairstyles. She was still opting for tried and true looks, like the stick-straight hair with a center part that she rocked at the HBO Films premiere of "Iron Jawed Angels," but she was also trying new things, too. At the Tribeca Film Festival, her long hair was swept back into an elegant updo with some volume at the top, which she paired with some tear-drop diamond earrings and a glamorous but breezy white dress. 


At the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, she was also playing around with her look. There, she wore her long, scrunched hair pulled up and back with some tendrils cascading down, and her bangs were straightened and swept to the side. While the actor often switched between styles, one major look that defined this era for Panettiere — especially on the red carpet — were her soft, glamorous waves, like those that she wore to the "Raising Helen" premiere, and many more premieres after that.

2007-2009: Hayden sports sleek, long blond locks

Throughout 2007, Hayden Panettiere was wearing her super-long hair in beachy, glamorous waves. For an MTV Movie Awards afterparty, she wore her wavy hair loose and flowing and accessorized with a thin black headband that pushed her hair away from her face, highlighting her glitzy earrings and gold choker. At other appearances, like New York Comic Con, some laid-back but glam waves were working for her, as well. But waves weren't the only look in Panettiere's style arsenal:  At the Kids' Choice Awards that year, the actor was seen wearing her hair in a wispy updo, another common red-carpet hairstyle for her.


At the MTV VMAs, Panettiere opted for straight hair, which looked ultra-trendy. Her locks had some light face-framing layers, and some of the hair from the front and center of her head was pulled back into a slight "bump" — another classic 2000s look that all the millennial girlies will probably remember doing themselves (whether the memory is fond or not). Either way, Panettiere rocked this look and once again proved her ability to look put together regardless of what hairstyle trend she was trying on.

2010: Hayden shows off a shorter cut

By 2010, Hayden Panettiere was making major changes when it came to her hair. In January of that year, she switched up her hair color and went from a light honey blond to a deep, rich shade of auburn brown. At the Elle Gala in Stockholm, she wore her dark hair in one of her go-to looks: long glam curls. But Panettiere likely realized there are perks and downsides to having brunette hair, as she didn't stick with the hue for long.


Dying her hair a darker shade wasn't the only transformation Panettiere's hair saw that year. At the CMT Music Awards, she was back to blond, rocking a pixie haircut that proved she's one of the celebrities who look even better with short hair. Parted on the side, the cut was super flattering and ushered in a new era of Panettiere trying out shorter hairstyles. 2010 was a pivotal year for the actor when it came to taking big risks with her hair and trying out new things, and looking back, the risks paid off. Not only did the pixie cut look amazing, but she would also return to a similar cropped cut later on.

2011: Hayden styles her hair in breezy updos

In 2011, Hayden Panettiere was still keeping her locks short, but she was branching out when it came to styling. While her hair may have still been too short for actual updos, she was achieving updo-like looks with a range of different techniques. At a Golden Globes after-party that year, her textured hair was twisted and tucked back in a way that created a beachy, wet vibe while adding a little volume to her look.


Over time, though, her locks began to grow out and Panettiere started to style her hair in looks like the small high bun she wore to the MTV European Music Awards. The actor also tried out short, high ponytails with wisps of hair pulled out around the sides of her head, too. In other instances, she wore her short but growing hair slicked back and frequently parted to the side. Even though these short looks truly flattered her, it wasn't long before she reinvented how she styled her hair.

2012-2013: Hayden goes for long side-swept waves

By 2012, Hayden Panettiere was rocking long locks once again. At the CMT Music Awards in June, Panettiere wore her short hair in tight curls that were swept up and back. Throughout the year, she also sported some sophisticated updos and low chignons, as well. By July, Panettiere's hair was significantly longer, with her side-swept waves falling below her shoulders in a look she wore at the ESPY Awards. And by the CMT Artists of the Year event in December, Panettiere's hair was looking even longer. Her super soft beachy waves combined with clipped-back bangs looked breezy and elegant all at once.


In 2013, Panettiere was clearly still a huge fan of waves and curls, but she doubled down on the glam. At the Billboard Music Awards, she donned her classic, simple curled style, but took it to the next level by pinning her hair back from her face on one side, studding the style with small gems.

2014-2015: Hayden rocks slicked-back and shoulder-length locks

Hayden Panettiere wasn't just showing off her shoulder-length locks (or her adorable baby bump) in 2014 — she was also opening up about the reality of managing her hair as an actor on the show "Nashville." In a talk with Teen Vogue, she said "My hair is a pain in the butt. Especially when we're filming here in Nashville, where it's so humid. I swear, in the mornings, I look like a pomapoo. My hair just rises like yeast — it's super curly. So when I'm playing Juliette and doing performances, it will start to curl because of the sweat. That means the stylists have to re-flat iron and re-spray and put all these products in that clog the cuticle, make more frizz, and damage, burn, and fry it."


With all the styling and heat she had on her hair, it's no surprise that she would want to get rid of the damage. In a 2015 post on X, formerly Twitter, Panettiere showed off her symbolic new shoulder-length cut with the caption "Chopping hair off is like getting rid of metaphorical and literal dead ends. Off with the old and growing the new."

2016: Hayden tries out easy and elegant shoulder-length waves

In 2016, Hayden Panettiere was still rocking her shoulder-length hair. At the Critics' Choice Awards, she let it flow in some gentle waves, which had a subtle but glamorous and chic effect. At a Nashville for Africa benefit concert later in the year, Panettiere wore a similar look, with her lightly wavy, textured hair parted to the side. Throughout the year, the actor was sticking solidly with her blond locks — which were a similar shade to the bunny-blond hair trend, a coloring technique that blends multiple shades of blond and takes a more basic look to the next level.


Overall, it seemed like 2016 was all about proving that you don't have to don a complicated hairstyle to look polished. Leaning into a lot of laid-back looks, like pulling her light blond hair into a no-fuss, put-together high bun, Panettiere was a pro at maintaining casual but stylish locks.

2017: Hayden looks feminine and polished with long locks and off-center parts

By 2017, Hayden Panettiere's hair was flowing long once again, but she seems to have left curls and waves behind and instead opted for long, straight hair and sleek cuts. At an event in New York where she talked about her TV series "Nashville," the actor wore her hair down, her locks falling just below her shoulders. This simple look showcased her face-framing layers and was parted to the side.


Panettiere was also wearing plenty of mussed but elegant updos during this period. For an appearance on "Good Morning America," her hair was French braided and tucked into a low bun, with plenty of tendrils of hair pulled out to frame her face. While Panettiere may have looked plenty polished for all of her appearances, she revealed in her "Good Morning America" interview that she'd recently had her fair share of ups and downs, and even opened up about her struggles with postpartum depression saying, "It takes you a while and you feel off, you don't feel like yourself. But, you know, women are so resilient and that's the incredible thing about them."

2018-2019: Hayden looks laid back in simple buns

Spotted out and about in Los Angeles, Hayden Panettiere was hanging out sans shoes and wearing her hair in a simple bun. Her naturally curly hair texture showed through in the look, which gave it an even more low-key, relaxed vibe. Panettiere was seen again in a casual bun that summer while at the LAX, making it clear that an easy bun was a go-to look for her that season. But buns weren't the only hairstyle Panettiere was rocking. At a screening of "Sharkwater Extinction" in early 2019, the actor was wearing her hair in long, flowy waves again, which paired with her black leather jacket to create a look that was both edgy and feminine.


By the end of the year, Panettiere was ready for another major hair transformation. In a post on X, the actor referenced her character for her then-recent movie "Scream 4," and posted a picture of her short new haircut complete with buzzed sides. In the picture, she looks happy with the results of her new style and captioned it, "Channeling my inner #Kirby #Scream4."

2020: Hayden goes to the beach cropped and bleached

During the pandemic, Hayden Panettiere was still going strong with her new short 'do. Her hair was straight and looked freshly bleached to a pearl shade of blond, which is a top blond hair trend to try in 2024. Paired with some neutral eyeshadow, well-groomed brows, subtle pink lip gloss, and gold hoop earrings, the overall look feels both polished and easygoing — a perfect way to look glam while hanging out on the beach.


On her Instagram, she posted a picture of her cropped hair blowing in the breeze while joking about her sea-side style choices with the caption, "Glad I got to breathe in the fresh air and take my mask off for a min. while no [one] was around. Otherwise, I'm in one all the time! Brought a little NY fashion to the beach which is [wh]y I look like I'm going to a funeral."

2021-2022: Fringy bangs rock hard for Hayden

In 2021, Hayden Panettiere was back to longer hair, and she was showing it off in some cute shoulder-length styles. Clearly, she'd not fallen for one of the medium-length hairstyles you should always avoid as this one was working perfectly for the actor and mom of one. In a post on her Instagram, she can be seen rocking an ultra-trendy lob with some fringy, delicate bangs while standing in front of the Pink Cheeks Salon. 


Not only does this wavy lob with blunt ends look super cute and on-trend, but Panettiere also seemed truly excited about the transformation. In her caption, the actor wrote, "My go to place since I was a teenager! Cindy's the owner and my go to girl! Her girls and Cindy herself always make me feel fresh, new and beautiful every time I see them! They're my secret weapon." 

2023-Present: Hayden plays around with summery watermelon colors

In 2023, Hayden Panettiere underwent one of her biggest hair transformations ever — by going pink! In an interview with IRK Magazine, she spoke about her inspiration to try pink, saying, "I've had pink hair before, and I loved it! I've been begging my team to let me dye it for a while now, and given what I had on my slate with work and photo shoots, I wasn't able to ... Then the strike hit, so I thought ... why not!? I'm not filming anything right now, and it's an opportunity to do what I want with it and be creative differently."


In the same interview, she also got candid about how her style has evolved in general, saying, "I've always loved color — especially bright colors, so that hasn't changed. When I was growing up, I was constantly told how I should dress and what I should look like. My 'style' was practically decided for me. Then, as I got older and surrounded myself with different people — more positive people — I began to be encouraged to embrace who I am and the type of image I want to project."

And Panettiere certainly took her love of color to a new level when she added pastel green to her roots. On Instagram, she posted a picture of her fruity, summery 'do with the caption, "Love my new watermelon vibes up top!" This look is total proof that two-toned watermelon hair is the trend we didn't know we needed.