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Hair Nostalgia with Jaime King

The actress walks us through a dozen of her most provocative hair looks—including those she’d rather forget.

  • Hair Nostalgia with Jaime King
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    12 slides
    Photo: WireImage, WireImage, Getty Images
  • MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, June 1999
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    Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage

    MTV Video Music Awards in Los Angeles, June 1999

    “This is very me, I love to experiment and really have fun with hair and makeup. I had dyed my hair two different colors: blonde on top and dark underneath. Gucci Westman did this makeup. We used Japanese ballpoint pens—which I wouldn’t recommend—to create that electric color; she applied them like paint. It was probably very toxic and very bad! But that’s what we did.”

  • The premiere of Bulletproof Monk at Cannes Film Festival, May 2002
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    Photo: J. Vespa/WireImage

    The premiere of Bulletproof Monk at Cannes Film Festival, May 2002

    “This was at Cannes. I was doing a film called Bulletproof Monk and I’d never dyed my hair super dark for a role before, but I wanted her to be really tough.”

  • The Los Angeles premiere of Bulletproof Monk, April 2003
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    Photo: Chris Polk/FilmMagic, RDA/Getty Images

    The Los Angeles premiere of Bulletproof Monk, April 2003

    “I was obsessed with a young Brigitte Bardot at the time, when she had these really great short bangs. They were razored on the side and when she pulled her hair into a ponytail she had these really cool fringe curl things that were way shorter than anyone else would normally do. So Peter Savic gave me these short bangs underneath. On the sides you can see shorter pieces, so if my hair was pulled back it looked really cool.”

  • At the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, November 2004
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    Photo: Mark Sullivan/WireImage

    At the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, November 2004

    “I dyed my hair this strawberry-brown color because I was up for Lois Lane in Superman and I wanted to see what I looked like in that kind of Lois color. If you don’t have a certain hair color, it’s hard for people to envision what you look like in a certain role. I loved this color.”

  • At the Los Angeles premiere of Sin City, March 2005
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    Photo: SGranitz/WireImage

    At the Los Angeles premiere of Sin City, March 2005

    “I hate this hair. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to. I wanted to have a ‘70s Playboy feel with a one-tone color. If you look at a lot of the blonde hair colors in the early ‘70s they had this creamy, strawberry-blonde vibe, but people don’t color hair like that anymore. There was no depth, so I didn’t keep it very long.”

  • At an event in Los Angeles, October 2009
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    Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

    At an event in Los Angeles, October 2009

    “Oh, this was crazy! In person it looked awesome, but not in the pictures. I’m wearing this really pretty Marc Jacobs dress and this hair did not turn out the way that I wanted it to. The inspiration was this amazing photograph of Lara Stone in W magazine. She had this ‘50s bouffant that was a little fuzzy and messed up and sexy. It didn’t translate. I hate this picture!”

  • At a movie premiere, Los Angeles, April 2010
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    Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images

    At a movie premiere, Los Angeles, April 2010

    “This is when I finally committed to a bob. I saw this iconic photo of a Vidal Sassoon bob when I was 15 and I thought it was the coolest thing. It was asymmetrical and I’d never seen the mod look before. I was modeling at the time and couldn’t cut my hair short, but since then I’ve been cutting it shorter and shorter.”

  • At a Miu Miu event in Los Angeles, July 2011
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    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

    At a Miu Miu event in Los Angeles, July 2011

    “It’s really important to me to capture the essence of the designer that I’m wearing with my hair and makeup, so because this was Miu Miu I wanted something youthful. I just kept messing my hair up with my hands all night! I grew up modeling around Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Marc Jacobs, and Alexander McQueen, so I try to pay tribute to the clothes I’m wearing and stay as close to the runway look as possible.”

  • At an event in Los Angeles, August 2011
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    Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage

    At an event in Los Angeles, August 2011

    “I hate using the word ‘beachy,’ because people have given it a bad name. In Hollywood girls who have backwards barrel curls call it beachy. They’re like, ‘Give me that beachy, barrel curl look!’ It makes me shiver—that is not beachy! Beachy is salt and sand in your hair! Lona Vigi used an aerosol powder to give mine that dry texture. I love wearing a really beautiful dress with hair like this, the elements sort of play off each other.”

  • At an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, November 2011
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    Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

    At an event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, November 2011

    “I am very careful with updos, because when you’re young they can be very aging. If I want to wear my hair up I always think, ‘How can I give it some youthfulness without looking like I’m going to prom?’ That’s how a lot of people on the red carpet look, like they’re going to prom. This dress was by Oscar de la Renta and I thought it would be really elegant and fun to create a faux bob with length on one side—to do the asymmetrical thing that I like so much. I think this was really beautiful.”

  • At the InStyle Golden Globes after-party, January 2012
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    Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    At the InStyle Golden Globes after-party, January 2012

    “I loved this hair color! It was super angelic so I wanted to create a very beautiful, ethereal feeling without being too done. I had Rob Talty braid all the sides and leave a lot of the pieces out. This headband was actually a necklace of canary diamonds that we wrapped and tied into my hair to create this goddess vibe. “

  • At an event in Los Angeles, March 2012
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    Photo: Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

    At an event in Los Angeles, March 2012

    “I’ve always wanted to dye my hair a different color but I couldn’t because of contracts, so when I wrapped the first season of Hart of Dixie I just said, ‘Let’s do it.’ My husband and I went to the drugstore and bought purple and blue dye. My husband always colors my hair for me. He’s a director, but he’s also a painter, so I go to Tracey Cunningham, she mixes my color, and then Kyle paints it on. He painted this on at home one night.”

We’ve loved Jaime King since she was James King, a model strutting the runways for Chanel and Dior in the ‘90s. For years she had long hair—unable to change her locks because of contracts—so after she transitioned into acting, King let loose. Years later she’s still experimenting, even at home. Tracey Cunningham might mix her color, but her husband paints it in their bathroom! King meticulously plans her red carpet beauty looks weeks in advance, using editorials for reference, and has pioneered her fair share of trends. The last time we sat down with the Hart of Dixie star it was to talk about her elaborate beauty routine, but this time she walked us through each of her most noteworthy hairstyles, explained why she loves a Vidal Sassoon bob, and why she rarely wears her hair up.

King also mentioned the one style she’s still dying to try. “I’ve always wanted a pixie cut! Chris McMillan was cutting my hair once and we decided on a pixie,” she says with a laugh. “We called my agent to run it by her and she just said, ‘F**k off,’ and hung up the phone.” There’s always a chance Lemon Breeland will get a pixie in season four and make King’s fantasy a reality, but until then, we’ll be pretty satisfied with King’s red carpet risks.

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