BEAUTY EVOLUTION

Sarah Jessica Parker’s Best Curly Hair Moments Through the Years

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Sarah Jessica Parker with curly hair in 1987
Photo via Getty Images

There aren’t many famous actresses to turn to when it comes to curly hair inspiration—especially when it comes to curly bangs—but Sarah Jessica Parker has been pulling her weight since the very beginning of her career. That started at just 14, when she landed the most iconic curly-haired role a girl could ask for: Annie. She went on to book a steady stream of TV roles throughout the ‘80s, her hair defying gravity all the while. The decade was also the beginning of her red carpet style heyday, so it was only right that her hair match her bold outfits—especially after signing on to Sex and the City. What’s so wonderful about every iteration of SJP’s coifs is her fearless ownership of it, to the point that she’s at times had thrice as much volume as anyone around. Sure, there have been a few straightening periods—most recently on the set of And Just Like That... But as Carrie once said, “I’ll never be the woman with the perfect hair.” And for this, we love her. (Even if we disagree.)

1979

Parker embraced curls early on, beginning with a bob when portraying Annie at the age of 14.

1985

Parker wore a classic ’80s headband over her curls—not to mention free-ranging eyebrows—in an early press portrait.

1985

No need for a bump-it when you’ve got the type of volume Parker had at the eighth annual American Apparel & Footwear Association American Image Awards.

1986

Parker’s mop was the definition of volume at the Beverly Hills premiere of Stand By Me.

1987

Parker was a poster child for poofy ‘80s bangs while filming season 1 of A Year in the Life.

1987

Parker entered her “dirty blonde” era later that year at the premiere of Slamdance.

1987

Parker wore her hair in an extremely high ponytail, with a scrunchie no less, to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Ed Debevic’s restaurant’s Beverly Hills outpost.

1988

Parker made bedhead event-appropriate at a Los Angeles screening of Bull Durham, alongside then-boyfriend David Oliver.

1989

Parker wore a top-bun to the Hollywood premiere of Ghostbusters II alongside her then-boyfriend Robert Downey, Jr.

1989

Parker kept it casual with a tousled look when stepping out in Hollywood in an inside-out sweatshirt.

1989
Photo by Ron Galella Ltd. via Getty Images

Parker used a scrunchie to contain her side pony at a pro-choice rally organized by NOW in Los Angeles.

1991
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

Somehow, Parker’s chop wasn’t poofy when she attended the 17th Annual People's Choice Awards.

1993

Parker went even shorter at the second-ever MTV Movie Awards, which she attended wearing a pin in support of HIV awareness.

1994
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Parker loosened things up a bit the next year, making the baggy trench coat she wore to a theater benefit in New York City look chic.

1995
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Parker was pure glamour with shiny, immaculately styled ringlets at the 67th annual Academy Awards.

1995
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And looked just as glamorous when she reined in her curls in at her first-ever Met Gala.

1995
Photo by Ron Galella via Getty Images

Parker proved she had the range that same years campaigning for WNYC to become a nonprofit independent of the City of New York. (Yes, her roots in supporting public radio go back that deep.)

1996

Parker embraced her frizz with a poofy, dark brown bob at the New York City premiere of First Wives Club.

1996
Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images

Parker went with a more classic look at the New York City premiere of Extreme Measures later that year.

1997
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By the time she met up with Elmo the following year, though, Parker was back to dirty blonde.

1998

Parker changed things up by stringing braids across her crown at a Sex and the City screening in New York City.

1998

Parker sported a shorter haircut with one of her usual sequined gowns while at UNICEF’s 50th-anniversary gala with her soon-to-be husband, Matthew Broderick.

1998

Parker again went with a half up-do at the New York City premiere of Godzilla.

2000

Parker sported a perfect curly pyramid at the 6th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, channeling Carrie by accessorizing with a flower-shaped pin.

2000
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Parker exuded glamour with tight, darker ringlets at the 57th Annual Golden Globes, which she left with one of what would become four awards for her role of Carrie Bradshaw.

2002

The short bob Parker sported in the final seasons of Sex and the City marked a mature move for both her and Carrie.

2004
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While admittedly straightening the top of her hair, Parker’s return to curls was undeniable at an after-party for the 56th annual Emmy Awards.

2007
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Parker has made repeated shoutouts to Serge Normant since reprising her curls at the opening of his New York salon.

2009

Parker meticulously styled the Old Hollywood-style coif she wore to the Oscars in 2009.

2017
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Parker made quite the departure from her usuals with a platinum bob on set in 2017.

2019
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Divorce was the first HBO Max series to coax Parker into reprising her curls. She has yet to fully do while filming And Just Like That..., but if her latest accessory choice is any indication, surprises may still be in store.

2021
Photo by James Devaney/GC via Getty Images

In keeping with her all-over-the-place wardrobe, Parker has so far alternated between curls and pin-straight hair while on set.