Style

Jessica Alba's hair: See the actress go from starlet to leading lady

You may admire Jessica Alba for her booming movie career, signature laid-back style or business acumen, but today, we're focusing on one aspect at which she's become a master: hair.

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    Jessica Alba's hairstyles through the years

    Jessica Alba's hair has changed and adjusted with her career — from girl-next-door, to impossibly glam. Here are some styles to remember.

  • 1999

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    In 1999, Alba scored a small role as a snobby teen in "Never Been Kissed." She also rocked the decade’s signature spiky updo for an appearance at the BHS Fashion Week for Graduates in London.

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  • 2000

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    At the 2000 upfronts for "Dark Angel" in New York City, the fresh-faced star channeled her future role with deep raven tresses. 

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  • 2001

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    For the Los Angeles premiere of "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in 2001, the actress went for flicky, collarbone-grazing ends. 

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  • 2001

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    Hello, hotness! The star sizzled in fiery burgundy layers for a TV programming launch event.

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  • 2002

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    This 2002 party may have been racy — she was at a Los Angeles Maxim event honoring The Pussycat Dolls — but Alba set herself apart in sweet and simple side bangs. 

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  • 2002

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    When your bone structure is that good, you don’t need a lot fuss. For the Los Angeles premiere of "Austin Powers: Goldmember" in 2002, the star left her rumpled curls damp and easy.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 2003

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    What color does one dye their hair when they’re starring in a sexy dance movie called "Honey?" You guessed it. Alba went for honey-hued highlights for the film’s 2003 Berlin premiere. 

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  • 2003

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    Ribbons of straw-colored highlights set-off Alba’s voluptuous curls for the New York City premiere of "Honey."

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  • 2003

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    Tons of long and dynamic face-framing pieces accent Alba’s brimming smile to celebrate her grandparents’ Mexican roots at the 2003 4th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Miami. 

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  • 2003

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    At the 2003 Teen Choice Awards, Alba went for perfectly mussed, lived-in layers. 

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  • 2004

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    The star went for a straight and sophisticated tawny blonde at a 2004 luncheon honoring the Step-Up Women's Network in Beverly Hills.

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  • 2004

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    Because Alba’s skin is such a creamy mocha hue, glinting highlights and curvy spirals at a VH1 event in Las Vegas provide a pleasing counterpart.

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  • 2004

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    Yes, Alba can go glam with the best of them. But when she’s courtside at Lakers game, she goes chill-girl cool with straight and simple bangs. 

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  • 2005

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    Alba rocked a bumped-up, Hepburn-style updo for the 2005 screening of Sin City at Cannes. Au courant, indeed. 

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  • 2005

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    Alba transformed into a gorgeous bombshell blonde — complete with a slightly retro-feeling curl — to celebrate her April 2005 GQ cover.

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  • 2005

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    Brow-length bangs and a slightly teased half updo for a "Total Request Live" appearance in New York City. 

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  • 2005

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    Radiant with soft curls at the Japan premiere of "Fantastic Four." (Likely because she met her future husband, Cash Warren, on the set of the film.)

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  • 2005

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    Alba rocked a zig-zag part and skinny amber highlights in 2005.

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  • 2005

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    For the premiere of "Secustro Express" in 2005, the star went for tumbling ringlets that hit just below the shoulder and highlighted her stunning décolletage. 

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  • 2005

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    Alba went with tons of springy blond curls for the 2005 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles.

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  • 2005

    Jessica Alba's hairstyles through the years

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    2005 -

    Proof that Alba is full of hair confidence? She’s not afraid to dye it blonde and chop it all off like she did here for the Rome premiere of "Sin City." 

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  • 2005

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    See, short hair can still be versatile. Just look at these riotous retro ringlets at a 2005 amFAR event in Cannes.

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  • 2005

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    Or, you can keep it simple and rumpled, like she did for the 2005 Roller Lint Party in Los Angeles. 

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  • 2005

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    Another option for a chin-length bob: Alba styled her hair straight and side-parted at the 2005 Step-Up Women’s Luncheon.

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  • 2005

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    There’s nothing wrong with tons of volume, layers and hairspray. See Exhibit A: Alba on MTV's "Total Request Live" in New York City.

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  • 2006

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    2006 -

    Alba’s bob gets an edgy makeover when the ends get choppier and more jagged.

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  • 2007

    Jessica Alba's hairstyles through the years

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    2007 -

    Alba isn’t afraid to go bold, which is exactly why she tried out this faux-hawkish updo at the Berlin premiere of "Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer."

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  • 2007

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    2007 -

    Loose, russet-flecked curls give a refined look a bit of fun for Alba at the 2007 NCLR ALMA Awards in Pasadena, California.

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  • 2008

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    2008 -

    Retro doesn’t always have to be dated. There’s something Bardot-like and sexy about the long, center-parted bangs and low-key tendrils Alba rocked at the premiere of "The Eye."

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  • 2008

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    For the launch of the 2009 Campari Calendar in Milan, Alba embraced the red spirit in a crimson gown and sleek, sophisticated bangs. 

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  • 2009                                                                                                                                                              la - Arrivals

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    One way Alba keeps a polished updo from looking stiff or too formal is by allowing a few flyaways to slip free, like she did at the at the MOCA New 30th Anniversary Gala in New York City.

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  • 2009

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    Before braids were all the Pinterest rage, Alba showed up to the 2009 Metropolitan Museum of Art costume gala in a twisty hairline version that inspired tweens, teens and grown-ups alike.

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  • 2009

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    For a US Doctors for Africa event, Ala wore a loose, brushed-back updo with just a sprinkling of golden highlights. 

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  • 2009

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    For Alba, a rich espresso hue at the premiere of "Sugar" doesn’t need any tortured styling. 

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  • 2010

    Jessica Alba's hairstyles through the years

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    2010 -

    Does it get any easier — or sexier — than a mid-length bob with curvy ends? The star paired this look with a strapless dress at the New York City premiere of "Little Fockers."

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  • 2010

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    Not everyone can get away with slick, center-parted hair pulled into a low, tight bun. Alba proves she doesn’t have that problem at the 2010 American Music Awards.

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  • 2010

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    Red carpet looks don’t have to be fancy or overly fraught. Here, the star went for a sweet low ponytail at the 2010 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute.

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  • 2010

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    A few streaks of warm blonde around the face give Alba’s rich brown lob a shot of visual interest at a "Machete" photocall in Venice.

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  • 2010

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    After trying the Mohawk updo in 2007, the star opts for a higher and more thoroughly teased version at premiere of "The Killer Inside of Me" in Paris.

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  • 2010

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    2010 -

    For the 3rd Annual Art Of Elysium Heaven Gala in Los Angeles, the star turned up in her signature sweep of bangs parted in the middle. 

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  • 2011

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    2011 -

    A cute and curvy half-updo completed her look for the 21st annual Glamour Women of the Year Awards in New York City.

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  • 2011

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    For a private Armani dinner in 2011, Alba went for flouncy waves and a side part.

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  • 2012

    Jessica Alba's hairstyles through the years

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    2012 -

    Side ponys: Not just for ‘80s costume parties, as Alba proves at the 2012 Environmental Media Awards. By keeping the texture streamlined — and not, say, crimped — the look feels modern and fresh.

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  • 2012

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    Touchable texture keeps Alba’s French twist looking approachable at the SELF Magazine 5th Annual Women Doing Good Awards in New York City.

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  • 2013

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    When juxtaposed with a canary yellow gown, old Hollywood waves are a match made in heaven at Spike TV's Guys Choice 2013 at Sony Pictures Studios.

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  • 2015

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    Short hair doesn’t always have to involve scissors and a shot of bravery. Here, Alba rocked a temporary, tucked-up faux bob at the 2015 Baby2Baby Gala at 3LABS.

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  • 2015

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    2015 -

    The star has settled into a perky, above-the-shoulder bob that gets energy from bleached-out ombre ends. 

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At each and every stage, Jessica Alba's hair has been a reflection of her life — from becoming a household name in "Dark Angel" to becoming a mom of two. And the actress has clearly learned an important lesson that many of us could use in our own lives: Hair changes aren't permanent or that big of a deal, meaning there’s absolutely no harm in having a little fun with your color, cut or style.

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

From the very start of her time in front of the cameras, she’s fearlessly experimented with color — going from ginger to taupe, ebony to near-ivory and just about every hue in between. Similarly, her haircuts have ranged from long and voluminous with old Hollywood waves and deep side parts, to short and trendy with a blunt chop or edgy texture ends.

Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images

Then, there's her inspirational red carpet 'dos. Whether half-up and messy, a full-blown updo or smooth and sleek, Alba's formal hairstyles are constantly dominating our Pinterest boards. She's somehow found the perfect balance between polished and put together, and approachable and touchable that makes each look feel modern, fresh and cool (no helmet heads here!). And did we mention that she may have started the braided hairstyles craze?

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

In short, she's a skilled hair chameleon: One day she’s the girl-next-door, the next she’s impossibly glam. One day she’s in a swingy bob, the next, a long ponytail down her back. Alba’s hair — and her career, for that matter — are an affirming reminder of the transformative potential that exists in us all. We can't wait to see what she'll come up with next.

Pinned on Pinterest.

This article was originally published on May 9, 2016 on TODAY.com.

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