The Best Met Gala Hair Looks Over The Past Decade
Best of Beauty: Top Celebrity Hair Looks Over The Years at The Met Gala
The 2023 Met Gala is on Monday, May 1, 2023 at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art where today’s biggest celebrities are expected to attend. Even though photography is not allowed inside the event, the Met’s red carpet allows us to watch the most important night in fashion unfold. This year, we’re anticipating celebs like Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid will return to the red carpet, while newcomers like Paris Hilton are expected to make their Met Gala debut. And as excited as we are to see the guests’ take on this year’s theme: Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty, we’re even more eager to see what hairstyles the celebrity glam teams come up with.
So while celebrity hairstylists prep their kits and rest up in anticipation of Met Monday, we’re rounding up all of the best Met Gala hair looks in recent years. Ahead, see some of the most memorable styles that’ve graced the Met’s red carpet from celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé, JLo, Rihanna and more.
2022: Gilded Glamour
The 2022 Met Gala’s dress code was Gilded Glamour so you can imagine how glamorous the looks were. From sleek and chic to classic Old Hollywood, all celebrities and their stylists brought the glamour. Check out our favorites:
- Cardi B’s hairstylist Tokyo Stylez (@tokyostylez) slayed this ’90s-inspired voluminous updo using TRESemmé and Dyson products.
- While Kim Kardashian’s 2022 Met Gala hair might look like a simple slicked-back bun, it’s so much more than that. For her Marilyn Monroe-inspired look (she wore one of Marilyn’s gowns on the red carpet), her stylist Chris Appleton (@chrisapppleton1) took a whopping 14 hours to take her hair from chocolatey brown to platinum blonde. For the transformation Chris used Color Wow and Dyson products to care for and style the hair.
- Alicia Key’s hairstylist Fesa Nu (@hair__poet) gave the songstress bedazzled baby hairs and a long braided ponytail adorned with bedazzled CDs.
- Celebrity hairstylist Shelby Swain (@theshelbyswain) completely embodied the Gilded Glamour dresscode by giving Lizzo Old Hollywood glamour finger waves and big voluminous curls using OGX, ghd and Dyson products.
2021: American Independence
After a year-and-a-half hiatus, the Met Gala returned in 2021 with the dress code “American Independence,” and of course, all guests had their own take on the theme. While some celebrities chose to embody major moments in American fashion history, others chose to go the more political route. When it came to the hairstyles, our favorites were bold and full of volume:
- Celebrity hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimmons (@andrewfitzsimmons) gave Megan Fox clip-on baby bangs and a waist-length wrapped ponytail for the 2021 Met Gala—and it made major headlines and spiked a search of faux fringe. Andrew used all Living Proof products to style the look.
- The late celebrity hairstylist Latisha Chong (@iam_thechong) gave Tracee Ellis Ross a blunt, chin-length, angular bob that paid homage to Tracee’s mother, Diana Ross’s “Mahogany” look.
- Gigi Hadid’s stylist Esther Langham (@estherlangham) gave Gigi a sleek half-up style secured with a Prada hair pin and complete with big voluminous waves throughout the length of the hair, while Keith Shore (@keithshore) colorist at Sally Hershberger salon in NYC gave Gigi an auburn red hue.
- Celebrity hairstylist Cesar Ramirez (@cesar4styles) custom colored three (!) wigs for Ciara’s 2021 Met Gala look. Cesar used a range of light golden and cinnamon brown Paul Mitchell colors to color the trio of wigs to then style into this larger-than-life curly pony.
2019: Camp: Notes on Fashion
The 2019 Met Gala’s theme was “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” which meant the dress code called for big, bold, exaggerated looks—and that was definitely reflected in the hairstyles seen on the red carpet. Below are the looks we deemed the best of the 2019 Met Gala.
- Tokyo Stylez laid Kylie Jenner’s lavender, waist-length wig to match her lavender Versace gown—both of which were perfectly camp.
- OK, so we know it’s not technically hair, but JLo’s beaded Versace headpiece was designed to look like hair and that’s good enough for us. It stunned nonetheless and was one of the most talked about looks of 2019. As for the strands underneath? Those were styled and secured by Lorenzo Martin (@hairbylorenzomartin).
- Dua Lipa’s voluminous bouffant hair was styled by Anna Cofone (@annacofone) and was a huge departure from the sleek bob she was rocking at the time.
- Maybe it was the hair or the fact that it was her first Met Gala as a Bieber and she showed up without Mr. Bieber, but Hailey Bieber’s 2019 Met hair by Jen Atkin (@jenatkinhair) was one of the year’s most popular looks. The high pony adorned with a black bow was the perfect juxtaposition to her light pink Alexander Wang gown with peekaboo thong. Mrs. Bieber’s bright blonde strands were done by Ryan Pearl (@ryanpearl23) for Redken.
2018: Heavenly Bodies
The 2018 Met Gala’s theme was “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination” which really showcased all guests’ imaginations with their takes on the dresscode. See below for some of the year’s most popular looks:
- Rihanna always slays the red carpet—so it’s no surprise when she showed up with a very on-theme look. Her hairstylist, Yusef Williams (@yusefhairnyc) used Dyson tools to give her face-framing finger waves. You can read the full breakdown of her look here.
- Anne Hathaway’s good friend, celeb stylist and Virtue Creative Director Adir Abergel (@hairbyadir) created this minimal-yet-adorned French twist for the 2018 Met Gala.
- Cardi B’s Met Gala debut did not disappoint. She wore a Moschino dress, stunning natural texture and a crown embellishment dripping in pearls and gems—and everyone was obsessed. Here’s how her stylist Tokyo Stylez completed the look.
- Ariana Grande hasn’t attended the met since 2018 but she left us with this stunning style by Alyx Liu (@alyxliu)—so that kind of makes up for it. Alyx gave Ariana a knee-length platinum blonde ponytail complete with an angelic on-theme bow.
The 2017 Met Gala’s theme was “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between,” so avant-garde was the name of the dresscode game that year. And needless to say, the looks were stunning. The year saw a mix of sleek and voluminous styles but all were equally gorgeous.
- Zendaya stepped out onto the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum with a larger-than-life, Diana Ross-inspired, textured fro. And the internet. went. nuts.
- Cara Delevingne’s silver strands were done using silver paint and rhinestones, complete with a painted-on, asymmetrical side part.
- Rita Ora showed up with a totally avant-garde, graphic look that took THREE DAYS to put together! According to her stylist, Cesar Ramirez, the style was created using a combination of Indique hair wefts, Mizani Foam Wrap lotion, Mizani Twist and Coil Jelly and Mizani HRM Humidity Resistant Mist.
- Kate Hudson’s transition from her natural golden locks to an icy white (courtesy of colorist Sharon Krause (sharondorramkaruse)) was already a drastic change. But stylist Peter Gray (@petergrayhair) took it one step further, styling her hair into a stark, structured topknot—‘twas a cool departure from Kate’s usual relaxed, Boho vibe.
2016: Fashion in an Age of Technology
Celebrities graced the 2016 Met Gala’s red carpet rocking looks inspired by the theme “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology”—and not one disappointed.
- Ciara’s hairstylist Cesar Ramirez created a metallic silver finger wave look on the singer and we still can’t get over them. Cesar used Mizani products to style the waves and noted “For Ciara’s look I really wanted to play up the futuristic theme of ‘Manus x Machina,’ while still keeping a soft and sexy feel.”
- Zendaya’s Met Gala looks never ever fail. In 2016 celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen (@ursulastephen) created this sleek, dare we say—bowl cut—bob for one of the most memorable hairstyles from that year.
2015: Chinese White Tie
In 2015, Met Gala goers followed a “Chinese white tie” dresscode to tie in with the exhibition “China: Through the Looking Glass.” And as per usual, each celebrity (and their glam team’s) take on the theme had the internet obsessed.
- Beyoncé’s blonde ponytail from the 2015 Met is still talked about today. The sky-high pony had a slicked back base, and big curls a la I Dream of Jeannie.
- You might remember Rihanna’s staircase-long yellow gown from that year? Well, her hair and makeup were equally as memorable as her stylist Yusef gave Rihanna’s auburn red bob flipped out ends and topped the look off with a gold bejeweled head piece and her makeup artist Mylah Morales (@mylahmorales) gave her a stunning bronze look.
- Like Rihanna, Zendaya opted for a gold head piece to hold back her waist-length waves and looked stunning as ever.