The Evolution Of Michelle Williams' Hair

Michelle Williams got her big break when she was cast as Jen Lindley in "Dawson's Creek" in the late 1990s (via IMDb). Following the show's conclusion in 2003, Williams expanded her acting career to include roles in films like "The United States of Leland" opposite Ryan Gosling and "Land of Plenty" with John Diehl. During this time, the Montana native had long blonde hair and side-swept bangs, which was the envy of nearly every fan who had tuned into "Dawson's Creek" every week (per Byrdie).

As Williams began to mature and grow as an actor, her hair went through its own evolution. Following her role in 2004's "Brokeback Mountain" and her subsequent romance with co-star Heath Ledger, Williams chopped her hair off and began sporting an adorable pixie cut. 

This shortened style has become Williams' signature look, but her hair has gone through several unique changes over the years. Her most recent hairstyle features her go-to platinum blonde color, but we're taking a closer look at how her style has evolved to reach this newest version.

Michelle Williams began her career with long blonde hair

Up until 2004, Michelle Williams sported long, dirty blonde hair and some form of bangs. Whether side-swept or curtain, her bangs framed her beautiful face and looked perfectly styled for every event. Who can forget her stunning appearance at the 2006 Academy Awards ceremony (via Grazia)? That yellow gown paired with a retro red lip and a loosely styled bun made Williams one of the best-dressed celebrities of the evening. And, if you'll remember, she attended the award show with her partner, Heath Ledger.

Williams and Ledger were together from 2005 until 2007 and share daughter Matilda Rose, per Us Weekly. During this time, Williams debuted a super short — and chic — pixie cut, which was a complete 180 from her previous hairstyles. Ledger died in 2008 due to an accidental drug overdose, and Williams has spoken on numerous occasions about how devastating his loss has been for herself and their daughter.

In homage to her late partner, Williams kept her hair closely cropped in the years following his passing. Speaking with Elle U.K. in 2011, Williams stated, "I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it," (via CBS News).

Michelle Williams often wears wigs for her film roles

Michelle Williams kept her hair styled in a pixie cut for several years following the death of her former partner, Heath Ledger, in 2008. Though the star stated that she kept her hair short in tribute to Ledger, she spoke of how the look made her feel more confident as well. In 2011, Williams said to Elle U.K. of her hair (via the New York Daily News), "I've really grown into it." She added, "I feel like myself with short hair."

Williams has changed the color of her pixie cut numerous times, fluctuating between a dirty blonde and a platinum blonde color. The actual style has altered slightly, with the hair being more closely cropped in some years and shaggier during others. Regardless of this evolving process, Williams has typically been required to wear a wig during the filming of several different movies. As of 2018, Williams had worn a wig in nine out of her previous 10 films, including "My Week With Marilyn" and "Manchester by the Sea" (per StyleCaster).

The Montana native usually wears a wig because the role requires her to physically represent a certain time period or to convey something essential about the character's appearance. There was only one film, 2016's "Certain Women," where Williams rocked her natural pixie cut on screen.

Michelle Williams has intermittently grown out her hair

In between her ever-changing pixie cuts, Michelle Williams has snuck in a few longer hairstyles. Between 2014 and 2015, the star styled her hair in a bob with some very short bangs (per W Magazine). She looked effortlessly chic, and the different iterations of this style were more reflective of the way she wore her hair when she had first started her career. Williams even discussed her decision to slowly grow her hair out with E! News in 2013.

Speaking with the publication, Williams said, "I think I'm ready," when the reporter asked about the possibility of growing her hair out. She added, "It's on its way, slowly but surely." This slow progression is visible in the style choices she made throughout 2014 and 2015, although Williams did express her hesitation to enter this stage of the process during that interview with E! News.

"That's why I've stayed with short hair for so long," Williams stated. "The mid-stage is insufferable. It's really hard on your self-esteem." Perhaps that's why the "Venom" star went back to her cropped hair shortly thereafter.

She always returns to her signature look

Despite trying a few longer hairstyles, Michelle Williams went back to her signature pixie cut around 2016. She started by showing off a shaggier style with a dirty blonde hue before cutting her hair even shorter and dying it white blonde (via In Touch Weekly). Even though Williams spoke about her decision to grow out her hair in 2013, she didn't make any direct comments about why she cut it short again.

Williams had just come off a brief acting hiatus, with her previous film "Suite Francaise" premiering in 2014, two years before she made her screen return in "Manchester by the Sea" (via IMDb). She's known for being notoriously private, but shortly after Williams began to act steadily again, it was announced that she had married musician Phil Elverum in 2018 (via Us Weekly). This came as a surprise to her fans, as there hadn't been much indication of the pair's romance leading up to the announcement.

The two quietly conducted their relationship in private before filing for divorce a year later (via InStyle). Neither spoke publicly about what happened, and Williams kept a low profile in terms of her private life until 2019.

Michelle Williams showed off a new hairstyle, and a new relationship, in 2019

In 2019, Michelle Williams and Thomas Kail surprised everyone when they were photographed on a romantic stroll in London (via People). No one even knew the two were dating, and they revealed that not only were they together, but they were engaged and expecting a child in 2020 as well (via Bustle). The pair had worked together on the successful television show "Fosse/Verdon," so fans speculated that they began their relationship around that time.

In addition to announcing her engagement and pregnancy, Williams debuted a fresh hairstyle while attending the 2020 Golden Globes with her new beau. Her hair was styled in a long bob and featured her signature platinum blonde tone. She hasn't been photographed recently, but as of October 2020, she was still rocking this style while out and about with her family (via the Daily Mail).

Regardless of how Michelle Williams styles her hair, she always looks stunning, and we're envious of that!