Style

Sandra Bullock's hair evolution: From '90s rom-com queen to Oscar-winner

Let’s start with the obvious: Not everyone has hair as beautiful as Sandra Bullock’s. It’s thick. It’s glossy. It’s healthy, richly pigmented and the type of hair for which most of us would pay darn good money.

But the cool thing about Sandra Bullock (and her hair, for that matter) is that she doesn’t just rest on her laurels. Instead, over the span of more than two decades in the public eye, she’s tried it all. On her 52nd birthday, we're honoring the star and the gorgeous hairstyles she's rocked through the years.

  • Slideshow Photos

    WireImages, Getty Images

    Sandra Bullock

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

    When it comes to hair, Sandra Bullock has tried it all. From bangs and barrettes to highlights and headbands, see her style evolution.

  • 1993

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1993 -

    Bullock hit the 1993 premiere of "Demolition Man" in a cute and curvy chin-length bob with airy bangs.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 1995

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1995 -

    Just one year earlier, Bullock starred in "Speed" and a star was born. The following year, it was blonde curls and barrettes at the Blockbuster Awards.

    WireImage
  • 1995

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1995 -

    In 1995, there wasn’t a soul who didn’t experiment with flicky, "Friends"-inspired layers. Bullock wore hers with honey highlights.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 1996

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1996 -

    She wasn’t a teen idol in the ‘90s, but this sculptural updo at the 1996 People's Choice Awards was certainly prom-worthy.

    WireImage
  • 1996

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1996 -

    For her first time gracing the Academy Awards red carpet — it would be 14 years until she picked up her own Oscar — Bullock went with a voluminous half-updo.

    BEI via Shutterstock
  • 1998

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1998 -

    Bullock showed off her radiant natural texture, keeping it under wraps with two skinny black headbands.

    WireImage
  • 1998

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1998 -

    Bullock opted for a French braid and barrette duo for an AIDS benefit in 1998.

    BEI via Shutterstock
  • 2010

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1999 -

    In "Forces of Nature," Bullock played a beguiling free-spirit. For the film’s premiere in California, she chose a slightly darker, edgier bob.

    WireImage
  • 1997

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    1999 -

    Flick out the ends of that very same bob and what do you get? A flirty flip for the 1999 Teen Choice Awards. 

    Shutterstock
  • 2000

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2000 -

    At the Los Angeles premiere of "Miss Congeniality" in 2000, Bullock framed her face with long tawny layers.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 2002

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    Do you remember Bullock's bangs moment? The first sighting was a curly version in Cannes for a screening of "Murder by Numbers" in 2002.

    Getty Images
  • 2002

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2002 -

    Looking like a brunette Marilyn Monroe, the same look is transformed for the New York City premiere of "Two Weeks Notice" in 2002.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 2002

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    At a press conference that same year, Bullock got a blowout to give the style a sleeker, softer vibe.

    REX via Shutterstock
  • 2003

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2003 -

    When your hair is as shiny and long as Bullock’s, why wouldn’t you wear a sky-high, genie-inspired ponytail — like the one seen here at the 2002 BAFTA/LA Britannia —absolutely every chance you got?

    Getty Images
  • 2004

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2004 -

    For her second Academy Awards in 2004, Bullock went for a lush pile of soft curls and chunky blond highlights. 

    Getty Images
  • 2005

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2005 -

    And the bangs are back! This time, they're a longer, wavier version for the 2005 MTV Movie Awards.

    Getty Images
  • 2005

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2005 -

    When your hair is as pretty as Bullock’s, you don’t need much to make it look gorgeous. At the 2005 premiere of "Miss Congeniality 2," a few bobby pins were all it took.

    Getty Images
  • 2006

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2006 -

    Hello, softly romantic updo. Hello, New York City "Infamous" premiere in 2006. Sidenote: Can we bring this look back?

    Getty Images
  • 2006

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2006 -

    You don’t need down-to-there hair to play with fun styles. At the 2006 Venice Film Festival, a retro-inspired bob was just the ticket.

    Getty Images
  • 2006

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    A day or two later, the same haircut was worn straight and spiky.

    Getty Images
  • 2006

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2006 -

    At the Hollywood Awards Gala, Bullock broke out her bangs again, pairing the side part with a low and messy bun. 

    Getty Images
  • 2006

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2006 -

    What’s not to love about this super flattering cut, shown here at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards? The shoulder-grazing length highlights her flawless bone structure, while the dimensional auburn blond flatters her skin tone.

    Getty Images
  • 2009

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    2009 -

    Red carpet hairstyles don’t need to be perfect. They can be fuzzy and breezy and beautiful, like this ponytail at the 2006 Los Angeles premiere of "All About Steve."

    Getty Images
  • 2010

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    2010 -

    A wavy, asymmetrical updo was right on point for the Golden Globes in 2010.

    Getty Images
  • 2010

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    We’re guessing the actress had been waiting for this night — the 2010 Academy Awards, where she won Best Actress — for her entire life. Her signature silky straight strands and a side part were equally as award-winning.

    Getty Images
  • 2011

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2011 -

    A thick curtain of eyelash-skimming bangs framed her chiseled face at the Globe Globes in 2011.

    Getty Images
  • 2012

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2012 -

    Look closely: That shiny ponytail at the 2012 Academy Awards goes on and on.

    Getty Images
  • 2013

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2013 -

    This style from the 2013 premiere of "Gravity" looks simple at first, but a closer look reveals long, face-framing layers and subtle side bangs.

    Getty Images
  • 2013

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2013 -

    Teasing the hair behind the hairline gave a touchable updo major lift for the "Gravity" premiere at the 2013 Venice International Film Festival.

    Getty Images
  • 2013

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    For the 2013 Oscars, Bullock went back to basics ... kind of. This time, her ear-hugging crystal barrette was one of a kind.

    Getty Images
  • 2013

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    The People’s Choice Awards in 2013 called for people-pleasing style: soft, tumbling waves parted in the center.

    Getty Images for PCA
  • 2014

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2014 -

    At the Director’s Guild Awards in 2014, Bullock’s easy updo was nearly more down than up.

    Getty Images for DGA
  • 2014

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    By tossing her side ponytail on the opposite side as her part, this 2014 Golden Globes style had a pleasing asymmetry.

    Getty Images
  • 2014

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    And sometimes, Bullock gives us perfect and traditional, like rich and voluminous curls with a sleek part at the Oscars.

    Getty Images
  • 2015

    Sandra Bullock's hair evolution

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    2014 -

    There are some styles we return to again and again. This bobby pin look was perfect for an appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon."

    NBC via Getty Images
  • 2015

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    There’s just something so pleasing about high-contrast styles. These messy, riotous waves pair perfectly with a slicked-down center part at the 2015 Women in Film Awards.

    Getty Images
  • 2015

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    2015 -

    Bullock paired jagged ends with equally jagged bangs for the premiere of "Our Brand is Crisis" in Toronto.

    Getty Images

From bangs and barrettes to highlights and headbands, to long, short and everything in-between, Bullock proves that she can pull off just about anything. Be prepared to feel inspired by her unpretentious, yet elegant updos and her open embrace of both sleek, straight locks and her own natural waves.

RELATED: Sandra Bullock thanks 'working mamas' in heartfelt People's Choice Awards speech

Her versatility, however, shouldn’t be a surprise considering that she’s known for embodying that very same quality on the big screen. The rom-com queen, who is beloved for films like "Hope Floats" and "Miss Congeniality," broke out of her mold to star in dramatic, award-winning films like "Gravity" and "The Blind Side," for which she won an Oscar for Best Actress. To celebrate Sandra Bullock, TODAY Style gathered the most noteworthy hairstyles of one of Hollywood’s most adored stars.

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