Celebrities who were unrecognizable after a breakup

One major downside to being a celebrity is that the world is always watching your every move. This is even more true when a star is going through something tough, like a big breakup. Suddenly, even more eyes are on them to see what they're going to do, what they're going to say about their ex, who they're going to date next, and what they're going to look like coming out of it all. There's a lot of pressure on celebs to look their best all the time, but especially at a time like this.

This is probably one of the reasons celebrities often emerge from the end of a relationship with a whole new look. Maybe it's a new hair color, a fresh cut, a different sense of style, or a noticeable weight loss — whatever the case, they always rock it like a pro. Take a look at some post-breakup transformations that left celebrities almost unrecognizable.

Khloe Kardashian

After about four years of marriage, Khloe Kardashian filed for divorce from her now ex-husband Lamar Odom in 2013, which was only the beginning of a messy breakup. Kardashian withdrew the papers in October 2015 after Odom overdosed at a Nevada brothel, then filed for a second time in May 2016. In a 2016 episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kardashian expressed her pain about their relationship ending, saying (via New York Daily News), "I love Lamar with all of my heart and I want the best for him… but now I feel I'm back to it being the hardest thing to do." 

Shortly after the breakup, Kardashian began to completely transform: she lost a lot of weight, started working out on a daily basis, dyed her hair lighter, and changed the way she dressed. She discussed the change during an interview with Complex, saying that working out helped her cope with the stress from the divorce, adding, "It was a very different coping mechanism. I felt so clear and I had nowhere else to go."

Katy Perry

In December of 2011, after being together for two years, Russell Brand filed for divorce from Katy Perry. Only a few weeks later, Perry stepped out for the first time since the announcement debuting a brand new hair color: a bright blue shade — a big contrast to the blonde hair she had rocked previously. In a 2013 interview with Vogue, Perry revealed that Brand had told her he wanted a divorce through a text message. She also admitted that she felt "a lot of responsibility for it ending," but added, "I let it go and I was like: This isn't because of me; this is beyond me. So I have moved on from that."

Brand spoke about the divorce in a 2017 interview with John Bishop, saying he believed the divorce came about because the "undulating nature of fame." He added, "I still feel very warm towards her, when I hear about her or see her." 

Sarah Hyland

In 2014, TheWrap obtained court documents that stated that Sarah Hyland filed a restraining order against her ex-boyfriend Matthew Prokop (who she had dated for four years), alleging that he had been verbally and physically abusing her. In the restraining order, Hyland claimed Prokop had called her "vile names," threw things at her, pushed her, and degraded her in public. 

Hyland briefly opened up about the end of the relationship and reports of violence on The Meredith Vieira Show, saying, "People have to go through things in order to become the person they are today. And that's that." A few months after their split, she debuted a new look: she had snipped off most of her long hair into a short bob, writing in an Instagram post, "Aaaaand it's gone." With a more sophisticated sense of style and a positive attitude, Hyland's new cut helped her come across as almost a new woman.

Zayn Malik

Zayn Malik shocked his fans when he called off his engagement to Little Mix's Perrie Edwards in 2015, shortly after announcing that he was leaving One Direction. Later, in the Little Mix book Our World (via The Sun), Edwards revealed that Malik had ended their engagement through a text message, writing, "It was horrible, the worst time in my life."

About a week after publicly ending things with Edwards, Malik debuted a brand new look: he had cut his hair and dyed it silver, according to photos on Teen Vogue. Around that same time, Entertainment Tonight reported that Malik also got a fresh tattoo of what appeared to be a lotus flower on his left arm. About a year later, Malik got rid of some old ink on his body. His new girlfriend Gigi Hadid posted Snapchats (via Hello!) where it was obvious that Malik had covered up his tattoo of Edwards. 

Kendra Wilkinson

After nine years of marriage, Kendra Wilkinson filed for divorce from husband Hank Baskett in April 2018, according to documents obtained by People. In a series of emotional Instagram Story videos, Wilkinson cried to the camera, saying (via People), "Ten years. I did everything I could. It wasn't good enough. I will always love him and my heart will always remain open for him." 

A few weeks later, Wilkinson appeared to have a more positive attitude when she tweeted, "Refresh button being pushed at the moment. Time for a change. Time to have a different outlook. Time to let go of the past and embrace new." That same day, she posted a photo on Instagram of her newly dyed brown hair, which was a big change for the famous blonde. In the photo caption, she said she had wanted to "experiment" like that for a long time, adding, "So excited for this change but I'll always stay true to my roots."

Blake Shelton

In 2015, TMZ reported that Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert were filing for divorce after ten years of marriage. In a statement, the couple said, "This is not the future we envisioned." Later, Shelton talked about how hard the divorce was in an interview with Billboard, saying, "I was at rock bottom, in the middle of hell." He explained that the way he was feeling influenced much of the music on his album.

As the months went by, Shelton clearly lost weight and started dressing a little sharper. In a 2015 episode of America's Morning Show, Shelton spoke to radio host Blair Garner, who noted (via E! News) that he looked thinner. When asked how he lost the weight, Shelton joked, "Well, you know, you should try the divorce diet." E! News also reached out to Shelton's rep about his weight loss, who said, "He's doing the two things he hates to do — diet and exercise." 

Olivia Culpo

Olivia Culpo was another star who dealt with her breakup by snipping off her long locks. In 2015, a source told E! News that Nick Jonas and Culpo had broken up after being together for two years, citing the difficulties of their long distance relationship. Jonas did an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra, saying, "She's an amazing person. We had a great, beautiful few years together, but it's been a crazy couple months and I wish the best to her for the future, but it's tough." 

That same day, Culpo shared a sad Instagram post where she wrote, "Your heart just breaks, that's all. Heartbreak is hard but you find more and more things to be grateful for every day. One of those things is all of you. Thank you all. Yes I'm going to be okay and I love u guys so so much." Shortly afterwards, she cut her hair into a chic shoulder-length bob.

Hilary Duff

During February 2015, TMZ reported that Hilary Duff had filed for divorce from her now ex-husband Mike Comrie, saying Duff had cited "irreconcilable differences" as the reason. A few weeks later, Duff showed off a different side of herself in an Instagram photo: she had dyed her blonde hair a blue-green shade, writing that her hairstylist had "turned me into a mermaid last night." 

That month, Duff opened up about the split in an issue of Cosmopolitan, saying that even though it wasn't working, "there was still a lot of love involved." She explained, "It was just a slow set-in of us not being the match that we used to be. I'm lucky for the person he is and I am and how we decided to handle this." Duff continued to be positive about the split when she spoke on The Love Bomb podcast hosted by Nico Tortorella a year later, when she said (via E! News) that her and Comrie handled the divorce with "a lot of love" and stated that they had continued to be good friends.

Kourtney Kardashian

After years of viewers watching Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick argue over his social life on Keeping Up With The Kardashians, TMZ reported that the two had split in 2015. Sources told the outlet, "His partying lately has made her make this tough decision." Kardashian took the same route her sister Khloe took after her divorce with Odom: she lost weight, started working out every day, and made the switch to a sexier style of dressing. 

Kardashian later revealed on her app (via ET Online) that the breakup had given her a lot of anxiety, and that she turned to working out to get through it. She wrote, "People are very quick to judge others by appearances, but you truly don't know what someone's motivation is or what is going on inside them. For me, exercise is as much about my body as it is about calming my mind." She added that being anxious makes her nauseous, and that she "can't eat when it is really bad," although she "forces" herself to stay healthy.

Gwen Stefani

Fans were shocked when TMZ reported that Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale were ending their 13-year marriage, citing irreconcilable differences. Although Stefani stayed silent about the divorce for a while, she quickly changed up her look to show that she was ready for something new. In an Instagram post, Stefani debuted a cool new bob, dip-dyed so that the ends were a bright blue, looking more like the Stefani from her No Doubt days.

In a 2016 interview with Cosmopolitan, Stefani opened up about the split, and although she wouldn't say exactly what happened, she said, "Nobody would believe it if I could really say what happened. I went through months and months of torture." In an interview with Harper's Bazaar, Stefani also spoke about how the divorce inspired her to write new music, saying, "I remember thinking, 'There's gotta be a reason for this.' Of course you go through the 'Why me?' and feel sorry for yourself. But then I was like, 'No, this happened to me already and I made something good out of it,' and that was Tragic Kingdom."