You probably know Ariana Grande for her legendary slicked-back ponytail – which as much as we try to copy, always results in an epic fail.
We love Ari for everything that she is. Cute, pretty and talented. If there’s one thing we’re getting bored of though, it’s her hairstyle. Ever since the dainty diva hit the charts with her single, The Way, her signature hairstyle has remained the same. We’ve hardly seen the best of that silky brown barnet because it’s always in a pony.
But, believe it or not, this starlet has had her fair share of different looks in her lifetime. If you’re sick and tired of the singer’s permanent up-do, check out Ariana Grande’s hairstyles from over the years…
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1. Red Hot Hair
This photo of Ariana before becoming a superstar might surprise you. Before her rise to fame as a popular star, Ari ditched her natural roots for something a bit fierier! Here she wears a shorter red do’ as she poses for her role in Sam & Cat.
2. The Longer Re-Do
Getting bored of her natural length, Ari found her true love for hair extensions in 2010. When this celeb was young, she experimented with new trends, wearing a variation of down dos’ with a bit of hair clipped to the side.
3. Classically Half-Up Half-Down
2013 was the beginning of Ariana’s signature look. Long gone were the foxy locks and in came her first-ever half up half down signature style that she would don for years to come. Although it was a little curlier than the present day.
4. Cat Ears
Ariana made cat ears cool. No, they’re not just Halloween or cosplay accessories, these fierce little headbands can be fashionable, too. Combined with a high pony and cheeky grin, this hair decor will really bring out the fiery minx in you.
5. Bunny Ears
You can recreate Ari’s trademark bunny ears look by getting your hands on a pair yourself (link below). This style was part of the singer’s Dangerous Woman era and boy, was it one of a kind! Whether you wear the ears with your hair tied up or down, you’re bound to ooze cuteness!
6. All Natural
It’s not often that we get to see the dainty diva’s true locks. In 2015, she sported a completely natural look with her mid-length bouncy curls. Ariana actually let her real curls flow and she looked GORGEOUS!
7. That Thick, Curly Weave
It was even prettier when she had extensions put in for her Let Me Love You music video. Seriously, we’re in LOVE with these curls! Definitely one of Ariana’s best hairstyles to date!
8. Blonde Balayage
Ari ditched the brown locks for a more natural look by sporting the ever-popular balayage, with a half-up, half-down do. This beautiful honey-blonde color complemented with hair hoops was one of our favorite looks.
9. Hair Down
If you’ve ever wondered what Ari looks like without a dramatic ponytail, this picture reveals it all. Swept off her face and slightly wavy, the pop diva truly looks like a dream.
10. The Straight Pony
With a newfound love for straight hair, Ari nailed the high-ponytail with a darker, sleek look. This hairstyle stuck with her for years later, and possibly even set a trend among young girls. You can get your hands on similar hair extensions yourself!
11. The Double Bun
The pocket rocket showed off her fun side with a playful braided bun duo on top of her head, leaving the rest of hair to flow loosely. Only Ariana can make this look cute, wouldn’t you agree?
12. The Top Knot
2015 was the one and only time we’d seen Ari sport a messier up-do. We totally loved the effortless twisted bun and it was about time she let those gorgeous cheekbones shine!
13. Ice Queen Hair
Ari didn’t shy away from showing off those lighter roots! After test-driving the dark pony, she gave us major hair envy with a white silver do for her Focus music video.
14. Side Twisted Ponytail
A side twisted ponytail with space buns – just for that extra oomph! Ari’s hair is extremely stylish here and probably difficult to nail without your own hair dresser. Anyhow, we’re loving this casual yet sophisticated look on the star. Add a chunky scrunchie at the end for that special touch!
15. The Braided Pony
Ari gave her signature gravity-defying pony a major revamp as she added a few braids into the mix, giving some real edge to her ‘good girl’ style.
16. Blonde Bangs
We all know how terribly wrong bangs and crimples can go – but in 2016, Ari nailed both trends by showcasing her 90s inspired pony and thick bangs.
17. The Fishtail Braid
Ari varied her high ponytail in 2017 with a super cool fishtail braid and some beautiful pearl hair accessories. A cute hairstyle to wear when you simply don’t know what to do with that unwashed mane!
18. Space Buns and Bangs
Pin up some double space buns, straighten those bangs and locks, and you’ve got yourself a trendy Ariana Grande hairstyle. This look from her Everyday video is a super cute ‘everyday’ look that will bring out the cutie in you.
19. Platinum Blonde
Since the release of her record-breaking album, Sweetener, Ari started comfortably wearing this completely new hair-do. The fierce look has since taken on a new adaptation of Ariana’s signature style as she sports a side-parted low pony.
20. Clip and Cool
Only Ariana Grande would be able to wear a 90s clip in her hair without looking ridiculous! Here she was spotted with a high ponytail and her side-fringe clipped back with a 90s hair clip.
21. Bare and Blonde
Gracing the cover of Elle, Ari impressed everyone with her gorgeous look. Warm blonde hair with slightly darker roots never looked better on anyone.
22. Bob Haircut
The Thank U, Next star teased us with a snap of her short brown bob when she posted a picture in between her extension change in 2019, and we absolutely loved it! A haircut inspiration for those with longer hair!
23. The Bubble Band
The ever-inventive Ari wowed us with the princess-esque bubble band pony, which became a major mood in 2019! It’s hard to ignore that mega bow sitting up top, too. One of her most unique looks thus far.
24. Short Fringe
Going for bangs again, this time Ari tested the waters with a shorter fringe and much brighter locks to match her playful personality. Risky, but rewarding!
25. Loose Side Pony
Sometimes, you just need to loosen up and let your hair go – that’s literally what Ariana done here. The superstar probably realized how painful that tight high pony could get, so she opted for a delicate loose side pony, instead.
26. 60s Inspired Look
Ari tested a different hairstyle as she stepped into the 60s with a retro backcombed ponytail and bum-reaching locks to promote her perfume. That’s a lot of hair, gurl!
27. Girly 90s Hair
Ari channeled her inner Spice Girl with this super adorable 90s hairstyle. It’s safe to say, she would definitely be baby Spice!
28. Straighter, Fiercer
In 2019, Ari dropped the waves and hair tie for a more mature look. Wearing her hair down for the first time in years, she was spotted in this Instagram selfie with straight hair that’s as long as Niagara Falls.
29. Rhinestone Buns
You like my my hair, gee thanks just bought it…Not only was Ariana’s 7 Rings hair pastelly and perfectly pink, but her space buns were dripping in diamonds! Flaunting her richness, this hairstyle can only be emulated by those who dare to shine.
30. High Wavy Pony
We think the world had a minute’s silence when Ariana revealed her fabulous 2019 Grammy’s look – it was breathtaking! Her beautiful outfit was complemented with this high wavy ponytail and side bangs that only princesses can conquer.
31. Lilac Hair
In the words of Ariana’s hairstylist, “Lavender pony’s change lives”. Indeed, they do. A few years back, the singer decided to switch up that signature pony by dying it purple. Keeping her brown roots, the lushious ponytail evolved from lavender-gray to lavender-blonde and even pure pastel.
32. Side-Swept Bangs
Tired of tying up your hair in the same old style? You can use this hairstyle that Ari dons by side-combing those longer bangs. The sweetheart looks elegant with her trademark hair trend, but transforms it a little by pushing her fringe to the side.
33. Loose Textured Half-Up Vibe
Wanting to switch up her look during lockdown, Ari went for the silver foxy look once again in 2020 and who could blame her? This time, the diva wore her hair loosely in a half-up style that truly encapsulated a cozy homely vibe.
34. Glossy Waves
We love it when Ariana shows off her hair sans ponytail and boy was it on point in the Rain on Me video! Her butt-length waves were glossy and glowing, sprinkled with hints of purple and blonde throughout. What a lewk!
35. Twin Ponies
It doesn’t get cuter than this. Channeling her anime vibes, Ariana wore extremely high twin ponies in 2020 whilst showing off those perfect balayaged strands. Coupled with side-swept bangs and 60s inspired makeup, we’ve got to rate this look as one of our faves!
36. Blonde Beehive
Ariana’s Positions era was a sexy 60s vibe that every girl wanted to nail. This trend for her album promo saw the star with a soaring blonde beehive accompanied by a thick black headband and side fringe. Throw in those 60s earrings and makeup (probably r.e.m Beauty), and you’ve pretty much smashed the Positions look!
37. Bouffant Ponytail
Again, this Positions music video hairstyle was everything a girl dreamed of and more! Ari’s hair was pure 60s as she tied up her short pony and flipped-out the ends. The singer made this style even cuter with a pink satin ribbon at the center.
38. Half-Up 60s Look
Ariana wore her hair half-up for her 34+35 video, this time with a twist. Shorter and a lighter brown than usual, the star’s hair was neatly and loosely tied back with flipped-out ends and side bangs.
39. Elf Braids
Who said tying your hair up in a pony had to be boring? This time round, Ariana restyled her ponytail by adding elf braids at the front. Just as dainty and delicate as the diva herself, this sweet look is super easy and effortless to achieve.
40. Down to the Side
Ari has let go of her far-reaching strands and opted for much shorter locks this year. In this promo shot for her stint on The Voice, she looks the utmost lady-like as one side is neatly combed to the side behind her ear.
41. Zig-Zag Parting
While this hairstyle would probably be a mission to achieve yourself, it’s safe to say it looks a million bucks on Ariana. The starlet wears her hair in a low ponytail but the style is turned up a notch with a zig-zag parting. Very futuristic.
42. Caramel Curls
2021 has been a great hair transformation for Ari. Long gone are her trademark styles and in are these different trendy looks. Caramel brown waves are definitely the singer’s go-to look and a style she should most often wear!
43. Shorter and Straight
Again, the singer waved bye-bye to her endless stream of hair and tried out this more natural look in 2021. Dead straight and up to her chest, this haircut is certainly admirable. Extra points because the star is wearing less makeup, too!
What does Ariana’s real hair look like?
Clearly, Ariana has a history of experimenting with up-dos, ponies and color changes, and we all know that her trademark ponytail is not real, but simply a bunch of really good, expensive hair extensions, perfected by her hair stylist Josh Liu.
But have you ever wondered what she looks like without that extravagant hairstyle?
Check out what her natural hair looks like right now! Natural color and curls – what a cutie!
Wondering why she never wears her hair natural? Ariana revealed in an interview that she suffered from hair damage –
“I had to bleach my hair and dye it red every other week for the first 4 years of playing Cat…as one would assume, that completely destroyed my hair. My real hair is back to brown and I wear extensions, but I wear it in a ponytail because my actual hair is so broken that it looks absolutely ratchet and absurd when I let it down.”
We couldn’t disagree more! Ariana’s actual curls are so darn cute!
Even her boyfriend Dalton Gomez agrees – in an interview with Teen Vogue, Ari said, “My boyfriend loves it. He’s like, ‘Curlies, yay! It’s like a very intimate thing … The hair for me is such a guard, character façade type thing, and it’s had its own evolution, but it has always been this kind of costume piece.”
From long golden locks to burgundy barnets, Ariana has occasionally surprised us with a variation of looks. When you least expect it though, she gives us more than just that high ponytail.
Which one of Ariana Grande’s hairstyles did you love the most? And which one will you be copying? Let us know in the comment section below.
Article features the image “Ariana Grande as Cat” by kobe.briers is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / modified
Article features the image “Ariana Grande Shankbone 2010 NYC” by David Shankbone is licensed under CC BY 2.0 / modified
There are sections of this article that were written by Angela Stephanou.
This article was originally published on January 2020.