Meet the Young Celebrity That’s a Hair Icon in the Making

There’s been a lot of “controversy” lately surrounding a young musician named Zendaya (whose hit song "Replay" is the jam, by the way) and her totally badass hair. If you ask me, the fact that her individual hair choices have come under fire by some is completely crazy. I cannot understand how anyone could think this confident, stunning, poised 18-year-old is anything but a role model and an impressive hair icon in the making. Nay, an icon that’s already made.

There are people who spend their entire life playing it safe, finding one thing that works and never straying from it. But even if it works for them, isn’t that a bit boring and, to use a buzzword of the moment, “basic”? Then there are individuals like Zendaya, who, at an age when so many young girls struggle to form an identity that’s truly their own, empowers young women to stay to true to themselves and have fun expressing themselves.

I haven’t seem someone proudly show off—and pull off—such interesting, varied, unique and cool hairstyles since Rihanna and Beyoncé, or maybe Lady Gaga. Of course, it’s one thing to be that fearless in your self-expression when you’re a self-assured adult who’s mega-famous already. In some ways, you have carte blanche to “do you” when you’ve reached the levels that Riri and Queen Bey have. And unlike, say, Lady Gaga, Zendaya hasn’t positioned herself as an avant-garde pop star of the every-outfit-and-hair-style-is-a-new-art-exhibit variety.

She’s just a young girl, coming of age in the spotlight because of her profession, but choosing to wear hairstyles that showcase a bold, strong, point of view and a refusal to conform. Each time she has stepped out with a killer new ‘do—from wild ‘70s curls to a Cleopatra-inspired bob—I have been so personally impressed by her and the way in which she embraces the transformative power of hair. I applaud the role model that she is to women everywhere, and wish I could be half as unafraid to creatively experiment with my looks. Want more proof that Zendaya is indeed a hair icon-in-the-making? Keep scrolling for 10 of her best hair looks ever!