Selena Gomez's Stunning Hair Transformation

Ever since her breakthrough in the entertainment industry with the Disney Channel series "Wizards of Waverly Place," Selena Gomez has been a major beauty and style trendsetter. One thing that many of us often envied her for is her luscious locks. Since her teens, the actor and musician has been known for her thick, practically glowig hair, so while we love seeing what clothes she wears or what her makeup choice is each day, we're always more excited to see her hair.


Of course, with almost two decades in the spotlight, Gomez has given us a variety of trendy hairstyles while always staying true to herself. "I like a little edge, a little pop in my hair," the star told Teen Vogue in 2007 — a sound snippet that went viral on TikTok in the 2020s, reminding us just how much of a hair icon Gomez both was and still is. Curious how she's applied this philosophy to her hair throughout the years? Here's how her hair's changed as her star has risen higher and higher.

2007-2008: Selena Gomez had a signature Disney Channel 'do

When Selena Gomez entered the scene in the late 2000s, she was the epitome of hair trendsetters. The star rocked subtle side-swept bangs, and most often, her hair was pin-straight — something most millennials were guilty of at the time. This look was very common at the time, but many don't look back on it too fondly. "My biggest hair mistake is when I was younger and I was figuring out how to use a flat-iron," the star revealed to Entertainment Tonight later in 2015. "I used to think that just because visually I could see that this hair was straight that the back didn't necessarily have to be straight, so for the entire 6th grade I only straightened the front of my hair. That wasn't really my proudest moment."


Apart from straight hair, Gomez also rocked curling iron curls (another Y2K staple), and she was no stranger to fun clip-in extensions. In fact, the star rocked them in bright and bold colors like red or blue, showing us a slight punk-rock edge to her personal style.

2009-2010: Selena Gomez gave us a bold and fun bob

By 2009, Selena Gomez was one of the most promising teen stars in the industry, with music becoming a major aspect of her career, too. "I'll be honest, I do have to pinch myself occasionally," Gomez told Teen Vogue in 2009. "I still can't believe that everything the two of us have wanted since we were seven is finally coming true."


Ready for a major hair change, the star decided to cut her hair short and go for a bob haircut, which she eventually grew out into a just-as-fabulous lob. Gomez also added a few highlights here and there, making sure not to go overboard and still staying within the brunette domain. And while we did see the star with long hair throughout this period (most likely courtesy of hair extensions and/or wigs), the shorter hair signified a new era for the star as she slowly shed her Disney-star image.

2011-2013: Selena Gomez embraced ultra-long locks and experimented with her hair color

For Selena Gomez, the early 2010s were all about very long hair and super glamorous styles. The star explored everything from bouncy curls to a deep side part with straight hair. For instance, at the 2011 People's Choice Awards, Gomez went with some tried-and-true old-Hollywood glamour. "Selena's natural texture has wave to it, and we wanted to glam it up," hairstylist Jamal Hammadi told Glamour about the star's hair. "I liked seeing length around her shoulders, as it balanced out the ruffles and really made Selena's gorgeous face stand out and look striking. Once I suggested we leave her hair down and make it Veronica Lake-ish, Selena was totally already pulling up pictures she picked out."


Color-wise, Gomez remained a true brunette, though she incorporated subtle, slightly lighter pieces to give her hair more dimension. One of our personal favorites when it comes to the star's tresses is her 2013 MTV Video Music Awards hairstyle, which gave us modern and chic vibes and perfectly accentuated the blue Atelier Versace gown Gomez wore for the occasion.

2014-2016: Selena Gomez explored midnight brown, and we were obsessed

Between 2014 and 2016, Selena Gomez kept her length but added some more drama and mysteriousness with a darker shade — one that we like to call midnight brown. Now in her early 20s, Gomez clearly wanted to showcase a sultrier and more grown-up side of herself, and dying her hair darker definitely helped her achieve that femme-fatale look. Another thing that helped the star's hair look even more fabulous is hair extensions, which Gomez has never been shy about using.


However, growing up in the entertainment industry and working with the best hairstylists has taught the star quite a few things when it comes to hair. "Marissa [Marino], my hairstylist... taught me all the little tiny tricks that are a little obvious and also things that are helpful. Like I actually don't wash my hair every single night and that may sound gross, but it's really unhealthy for your hair to wash it all the time," Gomez told People in 2016. 

The star also admitted that her hair plays a big role when performing, which is why she enjoys having it long. "I remember at some point somebody was asking, 'Oh should we pull it up for a section on stage?' And I was like. 'I wouldn't even know what to do if I pulled my hair up.' I love how my hair feels when I'm on stage because of the fans and movement — it's a part of my routine in a weird way," Gomez added.


2017-2019: Selena Gomez went lighter and shorter again

The end of the 2010s emulated the end of the 2000s for Selena Gomez, as the star once again embraced a bob. This time, however, the singer allowed herself to have even more fun with it by going blond and even exploring what bangs have to offer.


The singer showed off her bob with bangs in her "Back to You" music video in 2018. "This look was inspired by 1960s love scenes," the star's hairstylist, Danielle Priano, revealed to PopSugar at the time. "Selena is super hands-on with all of her creative endeavors. She always has an idea of what she wants. She wanted the look to feel dated [but] with a modern twist." Having seen the star rock a shorter haircut again solidified it for us: Gomez can rock a messy bob just as fabulously as she rocks ultra-straight, waist-long hair. In fact, picking which one suits her better is an impossible task.

2020-2022: Selena Gomez embraced curtain and side bangs

As the 2020s kicked off, Selena Gomez channeled a more retro vibe by embracing fun curtain bangs reminiscent of popular hairstyles from the '60s and '70s. With fun, face-framing pieces, Gomez also explored a variety of different hairstyles, often switching between loose and boho updos and funky, voluminous half-updos. Of course, she looked stunning in all of them.


In 2022, Gomez decided to switch it up again by adding sleek bangs and long extensions. "Here's a great way to transform your client's hair without having to color at all," beauty salon Nine Zero One captioned a video of Gomez's transformation on Instagram. "Just add extensions! For [Selena Gomez], we added in auburn brown to create a new summer look for her!" To no one's surprise, the combo of sleek bangs and long hair suited the actor perfectly, and it certainly provided the fun change Gomez was looking for.

2023-Present: Selena Gomez is all about classic Hollywood hair

In her early 30s, Selena Gomez is as confident as ever, and having fun with her hair is a major part of that. The star continues to gravitate toward retro styles, especially for red carpets, where she frequently rocks a voluminous high ponytail or old-Hollywood curls. 


As a millennial, especially one who grew up under public scrutiny, Gomez knows what harm unrealistic beauty standards are capable of causing, which is why she has always been transparent about her look. More specifically, she's clarified to fans that length and volume-granting hair extensions and professional hairstylists are often the reason why her locks are luscious. "Personally, I felt that there's a very unrealistic standard when it comes to the cosmetic world and it makes me a little sad for my generation," Gomez said during the 2024 Time100 Summit (via People). "And for anyone to look at something that's probably touched up and made to look nice is... I just wanted to break that down." 


Ultimately, while Gomez's hair journey is inspiring and bad hair days seem to steer clear of her, remembering that she has access to professionals as well as the most expensive haircare products serves as a reminder that nothing is accidental in the world of the rich and famous — not even an oh-so nonchalant face-framing tendril!