Much Ado About Her Do: 25 Years of Oprah's Hair

From shaggy to curly – and everything in between – revisit the Queen of Talk's most memorable looks

01 of 15

FRINGE ELEMENT

FRINGE ELEMENT
Eric Heinila/Shooting Star

Two months after The Oprah Winfrey Show launched nationally in September 1986, Oprah Winfrey was still sporting the no-nonsense anchorwoman style that had served her in her previous career. Minimal makeup and berry lips completed her TV-ready look.

02 of 15

HEY, CURL FRIEND!

HEY, CURL FRIEND!
DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty

As Oprah's talk show career took off, so did her hair and makeup. She sported majorly teased '80s curls and vivid makeup to offset her boldly patterned blouse and statement necklace at an event in 1987.

03 of 15

GLAMOUR GIRL

GLAMOUR GIRL
Corbis

Also in 1987, Oprah looked more like a diva than a TV host, sporting sequins, opulent fur, major makeup and a short, spiky shag do that she soon retired.

04 of 15

TURN UP THE VOLUME

TURN UP THE VOLUME
Scott Downie/Celebrity Photo

Oprah hit new heights – literally – with this massive banged bouffant that she sported in 1989. Giant earrings and pink lipstick completed the look.

05 of 15

MEDIA QUEEN

MEDIA QUEEN

As her show got more serious, her hair did too. Her 1990 style was a voluminous, sleek bob with no bangs, matched with pared-down, natural makeup – perfect for a transition into a new decade.

06 of 15

SHORT AND SASSY

SHORT AND SASSY
Walter McBride/Retna

Shortly after a 1994 PEOPLE article ran detailing her major weight loss (and marathon running goal!) the star stepped out in a similarly lighter, more streamlined coif.

07 of 15

NATURAL WOMAN

NATURAL WOMAN
Online USA/Getty

For the People's Choice Awards in 1998, Oprah debuted a totally new do – tightly spiraled locks. It wasn't the only new thing she was trying out – her magazine debut, O, had launched less than a year before.

08 of 15

SLEEK AND CHIC

SLEEK AND CHIC
Kevin Winter/Getty

The new millennium marked Oprah's official transformation from mere talk show host to true life guru. For her popular four-city "Personal Growth Summit" in 2000, the star showed up in a neatly coiffed cut and natural makeup. Her follow-up in 2001 went for $185 a ticket!

09 of 15

THAT GIRL

THAT GIRL
Andrea Renault/Globe

As a new inductee into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in 2002, she rocked a trendy haircut – lots of layers, thinned-out bangs and tons of flippy texture.

10 of 15

RED ALERT

RED ALERT
Chris Polk/Filmmagic

Oprah's popularity continued to reach a fever pitch – a year after this photo was taken, she was named Forbes's richest and most popular star – and her hair reflected that. She sported a mane full of voluminous curls at an event in 2004.

11 of 15

SHE'S LEGENDARY

SHE'S LEGENDARY
Jim Spellman/WireImage

For her TV special, Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball, the host sported a more understatedly glamorous look than she had at past events. Her longer, gently curled do and crimson lips were perfect to honor women including Tina Turner and Diana Ross.

12 of 15

POODLE 'DO!

POODLE 'DO!
Peter Kramer/AP

In 2008, the star admitted to losing her battle with her weight, but she had mastered her hair, wearing sleek, controlled, center-parted curls with autumnal makeup and chandelier earrings for an event in N.Y.C.

13 of 15

PASSION FOR FASHION

PASSION FOR FASHION
John P. Iblis/JPI

Having conquered the worlds of literature, television and business, the star tried her hand at fashion, co-hosting the Costume Institute's Met Gala in a plunging navy Oscar de la Renta gown with a full skirt – and serious hair to match!

14 of 15

SMOOTH OPERATOR

SMOOTH OPERATOR
Jennifer Graylock/AP

Oprah announced that in 2011, she'd end her talk show and launch a new TV channel, the Oprah Winfrey Network. To fête the launch of OWN, the star slicked back her strands into a serious style befitting the media mogul she has become.

15 of 15

GOLDEN GLOW

GOLDEN GLOW
Barry Talesnick/IPOL/Globe

As she prepares for her talk show to wind down, Oprah returns to one of her tried-and-true looks – a soft, flippy bob, paired with warm eyes and bold lipstick.

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