Robin Wright is no stranger to the big screen. The world was first introduced to her luxurious blonde locks in the 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride. Her waist-length hair gave her a youthful and soft look that she would literally shed as her on-screen roles became more daring.
In her most recent role on Netflix’s House of Cards, Robin Wright haircut became a thing of beauty and a concept of its own. She plays Claire Underwood, the wife of an ambitious politician with sights on the White House. While most wives might deal with the softer issues, Claire Underwood isn’t average. Her sharp intelligence, quick wit and edgy behavior are perfectly matched by her hair.
That amazing Robin Wright haircut wasn’t a brilliant plan that was brought into action, but rather a process that she slowly went through—a process to an edgy and sleek cropped cut.
How she got the haircut
Robin Wright’s hair transformation slowly began before she stepped on the House of Cards set. During a very busy and grueling schedule, Wright was caught between dying and bleaching her hair for different roles. A slow dye in every sense of the word, her hair suffered from the countless bleach attempts to return to her natural color.
Prior to her appearance on House of Cards, Robin Wright’s haircut first appeared in the Australian-French film Adore. In an effort to cut off her damaged hair, Wright went for a softer and more feminine cut when compared to the style she currently rocks.
While, initially, Robin Wright’s haircut might’ve been soft enough for this role, it wasn’t nearly as edgy as necessary for the cunning Claire Underwood. For her award-winning role, Wright went shorter, sleeker and edgier. Her coiffure received critical acclaim from beauty moguls and hairstylists alike, but the style wasn’t the only thing that attributed to the final look.
Robin Wright’s physical characteristics and body type played a major role into the haircut looking as flawless on her as possible.
What face shape it suits
There are major dos and don’ts when seeking how to achieve that Robin Wright haircut, and many of them have to do with your facial and body characteristics.
You’ll notice that Robin Wright is not in a class of herself when it comes to rocking sleek, cropped hair. Other celebrities, like Halle Berry and Jamie Lee Curtis, are well-known for keeping their hair inches away from their shoulders. When looking at all these women, you’ll notice that they share many of the same features.
When it comes to their body, you’ll find a lean and toned form with broad shoulders. A sleek crop against this body shape will continue to elongate the body while balancing out the shoulders without adding to its broadness.
Well seen in all three of these actresses, they share similar facial features. They all share a longer, narrower neck, high cheekbones and a defined jaw. These features can almost guarantee that a sleek crop will go well with your body shape.
While we can’t tell you to stay away from a hairstyle, we can gently warn you against it. While the sleek crop works well with leaner body types, the opposite holds true. The Robin Wright haircut type might not look as flattering if you’re a curvier female.
One feature that doesn’t work with sleek crops is a rounded jawline. The short and blunt haircut could adversely cause your face to look more rounded than it actually is. The second feature that should give you pause before trying out this cropped cut is if you’re extra busty. If you’re packing a little something extra on top while trying to rock that Robin Wright haircut, you might find yourself looking off-kilter rather than well-balanced.
Rounded and curvier features are usually better paired with longer hairstyles for a more balanced appearance.
If you maintain your own hair or regularly watch television, there’s a chance you’ve come across the name John Frieda one or two thousand times. Currently one of the industry’s biggest hair innovators, John Frieda has come up with a ‘foolproof’ way for determining whether or not a short bob would fit your face, and all you need is a pencil and ruler.
Before you wonder why we’ve sent you back to 2nd grade, allow us to explain the 2.25” rule.
Giles Robinson, a John Frieda Salons Senior Stylist, explained this rule in an interview with Cosmopolitan Magazine. After cutting and styling many people’s hair and noting their facial features, John Frieda came up with an at-home, easy way to determine if a short cut is right for you.
Begin by placing the ruler vertically beneath your earlobe. Continue by placing the pencil horizontally underneath your chin until the point touches the ruler. If the length is greater than 2.25,” your face might be more suited for a longer hairstyle. If the length is less than 2.25”, then you’re well on your way to achieving that edgy Robin Wright haircut.
How to achieve Robin Wright’s haircut
1. Start small
It’s no secret that less is more. When aiming for a short, bold haircut, your first biggest mistake might be diving off the deep end. Robin Wright achieved her sleek crop through a process; you should aim to go the same way.
If you’ve always had waist-length hair, start by cutting off a few inches at a time. If you find that you can’t deal with chest or even shoulder-length hair, that might be your first sign that a short pixie cut isn’t for you. If you love the gradual ascent to shorter hair, that might ease you into loving Robin Wright’s haircut on yourself.
2. Buy a wig
If you can’t yet fathom the idea of chopping off your locks, the best solution would be to try out a wig. Trying out a wig will help you with two very important steps: getting the right style and nailing the color match. Clearly the best thing about trying the wig is that if you hate the cut and the color, you can try again without any repercussions to your own hair.
3. Talk to your hairstylist
The relationship between a client and their hairstylist is sacred because you’re one snip away from having to wear a hat for the next few months. Your hairstylist might know what looks better on you than you do yourself, so open your ears to any tips or suggestions that they might have when it comes to cutting and layering your hairstyle.
While they might not bring it up themselves, many stylists take pictures of their clients after styling them. Ask your stylist to see pictures. If your hairstylist has a collection of short and cropped haircuts, this might be the best time to show them what you do, and more importantly, don’t want your hair to look like.
4. Bring pictures
When you sit down in your hairstylist’s chair and tell them that you want a haircut similar to Robin Wright, don’t trust that they automatically know who and what you’re talking about. Even if they tell you that they’re a major fan of House of Cards and can quote Season 1 verbatim, don’t trust their memory.
Robin Wright’s hair might have the same general style, but it looks different from episode to episode and in each of her red carpet appearances. By bringing a few pictures of the same cut, it might give your stylist a better chance of nailing the cut and pleasing you.
What to tell your stylist
No one likes to be told how to do their job, including hairstylists. They might have their own technique, but their job is to cut and style your hair, so yes, you can definitely in this case tell them how to do their job. Now, we’re not telling you to boss them around as they work on your hair, but telling them what you heard or read from Robin Wright’s own hairstylist might help to nudge them in the proper direction.
Celebrity hairstylist Paul Norton has worked very closely with Robin Wright and her game-changing haircut. In an interview with Pret-A-Porter, he describes how and why Robin Wright’s haircut works. Norton describes Wright as having an ‘undercut’ hairstyle. While most people might not understand what this means, your stylist most definitely should.
In this style, the sides of the head are cut extremely low, which allows the hairstyle to work properly. If you’re familiar with Robin Wright’s hair, you’ll notice that she has bangs that sweep perfectly across her face and rest along the sides of her head and her cheekbones. The undercut hairstyle will work to prevent the area from appearing too bulky.
Paul Norton, who also styled Wright for the 2015 Golden Globes, stated that he point cut the hair while also cutting most of the hair along the sides and in the back.
While the cut might be the most important part of the hairstyle, the crisp blonde color adds to its appeal.
How to get the hair color
Kyle White, whose been working at the Oscar Blandi Salon in NYC, is the lead colorist who is responsible for Robin Wright’s bright blonde look at the 2015 Golden Globes. In an interview with Hollywood Life, he explained his secret to achieving her colored locks. In his explanation, White stated, “I used an iced milkshake gloss on Robin, which will neutralize any brassy tones while coating the hair to seal the cuticle tight and lock in shine for the entire night.”
While Wright’s regular stylist, Paul Norton, doesn’t reveal how he accomplished the color of her blonde locks, some of which is probably natural, he does tell Hollywood Life that he uses K-PAK Color Therapy shampoo and conditioner to maintain it.
1. At home
We’d love to tell you how we at YouQueen have achieved lighter hair, but there’s one important rule. Home methods that work for one might not work for all. While we could tell you that one round of bleach turned us into blonde goddesses, if you have dark brown/black hair, the same will not be true for you. Your safest bet might be taking your hair color changes to a hairstylist.
2. At the salon
If you head into your salon and tell your stylist that you’re going for an ashy blonde appearance, don’t be surprised if you come out with a different color than you imagined. Ashy blonde in the regular world might mean something completely different in the professional hair world, so the likelihood of nailing the actual color increases tenfold with a picture.
When it comes to makeup like lipstick, the shades will look completely different on ivory or ebony goddesses. The same holds true for hair color. For example, a deep and rich skin tone might look like a train wreck in light platinum hair while a dark and bold look on a fair skin tone might be have you looking reminiscent to Casper. To determine whether or not a hair color will match well with your skin tone, it might be beneficial to bring your stylist a picture of a model with similar tones.
How to style it
1. Creating volume
Having a pixie cut and dealing with flat hair might be the double whammy that causes you to hate your cut. The short cut on top of the lack of volume can lead to a very lackluster appearance. Luckily for all the women seeking voluminous hair, there are processes and products ready to transform your dwindling hair to a full mane.
In Robin Wright’s haircut, you’ll notice that her bangs fall flawlessly along the side of her face. The first and possibly most important step to accomplishing this goal happens during blow drying. As with any hot tool, the most important part is molding the hair into the shape or position you want. By using a round bristled brush and a blow dryer, you’ll perfectly frame the face while giving it a boost of volume.
The easiest way to add volume might be investing in a volumizer. Brands like Suave and Tresemme have styling creams and sprays that can be a much needed quick fix to a flat do. Although many of these products can be applied after the hair has already dried, they work best on damp hair. Allowing the volumizers to be absorbed into still-drying hair is the best way to achieve a fuller look.
Many women are particular about the way they part their hair. Some might switch back and forth between a left or right part while others are strict about keeping their hair parted down the middle. If your haircut allows for a switch in the part, this will be your quickest solution to more volume.
If you constantly part your hair on the left side of your face, switching to the right side will quickly add volume to the top of your head. This happens because you’re now forcing the strands that were smoothed to the right side of your face over to the left. These strands will naturally want to regain their normal position, but with a bit of hairspray, you’ll be able to accomplish that perfect voluminous look.
2. Adding texture
You might think texture and volume are the same things when it comes to hair, but let us dispel those rumors. While volume will adjust the thickness of your hair, adding texture will give it waves and some kind of shape. Women with naturally curly hair don’t normally worry about adding texture to their hair, but women with fine, bone-straight hair are constantly looking for ways to add life to their hair.
While Robin Wright’s hair is purposely kept sleek and straight, you might be going for a softer appearance. Two products to help texturally are dry shampoo and sea salt spray.
Dry shampoo is a common use for dirty hair because of the way it works. Although its main feature is to absorb the oils in three-day old hair, it also gives the hair more structure and body. The best way to use dry shampoo to create texture is to spray it throughout the hair while scrunching the strands towards the scalp.
Sea salt spray works in a similar way to dry shampoo except that it is applied to damp hair while dry shampoo is clearly meant for dry, unwashed hair. Although they are different in those aspects, the rest of the process remains the same. Apply sea salt spray all over the hair and scrunch the strands to create texture.
Hair curling is definitely an easier process when you’re dealing with shorter hair. If you’re dealing with an extremely short cut, curling your hair might not be plausible, but if you’re rocking a longer cropped look, a curling iron or wand might become your preferred method to adding texture.
When curling shorter hair, it’s best to focus from the root to the middle section. By keeping your heat application here and avoiding the ends, you’ll be able to create an effortless, wavy style.
3. Adding a twist
Robin Wright haircut is meant to be edgy and bold to match her on-screen persona. If you don’t think you’re as sharp and serious as Claire Underwood is 24/7, you might be looking for ways to soften up the cut. As previously mentioned, Robin Wright’s hair sweeps across her forehead and this will give you the perfect piece to adding a twist and securing it near the ear.
4. With a headband
While many of Robin Wright’s hair looks don’t seem to flatter a headband, slight styling changes can allow for the addition of one. Similar to adding a twist, pairing your short cut with a headband can add a bit of flare and femininity to this look.
Actress Michelle Williams, who is also known for her short pixie haircut, often has her hair cut in a similar style to Wright’s. While keeping the back short but her bangs slightly longer, Williams often pairs headbands with straight side-swept bangs.
5. Slicking it back
On the rare occasions that Robin Wright chooses to forgo her usual side-swept look, she opts to slick it back. As if she didn’t already give off an aura of poise and elegance, this look adds bold and sophisticated to the list. Although the look is sleek, Wright doesn’t skip out on volume, which can be achieved through blow drying and volumizing products.
As with any hairstyle, there are pros and cons. While we love to hear the pros about styles we love, the cons are helpful in clearly understanding the style and proper maintenance.
1. Controlling cowlicks and flyaways
If you have hair growing out of your head, you’ve experienced flyaways and have probably heard of cowlicks. Flyaways happen when small pieces of hair, usually caused by static, stick out from the rest of your hair. Cowlicks, the more stubborn version of flyaways, happen when the hair cuticle grows in the opposite direction to the rest of your hair.
While these annoying occurrences affect both those with short and long hair, they become harder to maintain with shorter hair. With longer hair, it is easier to manipulate the strand with heat tools to bend in your desired direction. Handling cowlicks with shorter hair might require bumping up your regular process of heat tools with mousses and waxes.
2. Bad hair days still exist
For any type of hair, there are going to be days when your hair refuses to cooperate. Having longer hair gives you a lot of leeway for covering things up (like cowlicks and flyaways), but when you’re working with a short cut, the possibilities aren’t as endless as you’d think. Not all of us have a grade-A stylist who can work a miracle when we need it.
After being accustomed to having longer hair, you can probably name three things off the top of your head that you do to remedy a bad hair day. You could always throw it into a bun/ponytail, keep it in a French braid or throw it underneath a hat.
While buns, ponytails, and braids are impossible if you’re wearing that amazing Robin Wright haircut, throwing it underneath a hat will be your best bet for trying to combat this con.
3. Cold winters are even colder
Long hair is a security blanket. On some days, you might just consider it a regular blanket. If you live in or frequent the northeast, you know that the winter winds are enough to put the idea of moving into your head. Long hair helps with this while short hair doesn’t.
During the winter, long hair protects your face and neck from the cold air while shorter hair leaves you feeling exposed. It’s common to bunch longer hair around the neck along with our scarves, but you definitely lose this option with Robin Wright’s haircut.
While the solution isn’t the same, you might try combating this con by adopting turtlenecks in the wintertime.
4. Masculine vs. feminine
Due to her striking yet soft features, Robin Wright looks like the perfect androgynous beauty, but adopting her hairstyle might have you feeling more masculine than you’d like. As is the problem with adopting any short hairstyle, you run the risk of appearing too boyish, and that might be the complete opposite of what you’re going for.
If you end up with a boyish, and possibly too blunt a look, this can be countered by asking your stylist for a pieced and feathered look. Another way to combat looking too masculine with your new haircut might be styling it with a twist or adding hair accessories, like a headband, to soften the look.
5. Hating it
The biggest and most obvious con to rocking the Robin Wright haircut is the fact that you might just hate it. While the look works perfectly for Robin Wright, there’s no guarantee you’ll feel as elegant and powerful with the same look. There’s a chance that even after analyzing your body shape, doing the 2.25” test and talking to your stylist that you might not love the look.
This, in conjunction with the fact that hair takes a while to grow, might make you hesitant in chopping off those locks. Hair takes one month to grow approximately 0.5 inches, so if you’re looking to grow it out, you’ll have an extra 6-7 inches within the year.
There’s a risk whenever you’re hoping to change your hair. Whether you’re going bold with Robin Wright’s haircut or keeping it simple with a layered look, there’s always a chance you’ll hate it. A rule of thumb is always to be cautious when taking scissors to your mane.
If you’re adamant that Robin Wright’s haircut is the new look that you need, here are some pros to doing the big chop.
1. Quick to dry/style
One of the best things about having a short haircut like Robin Wright is that it can be very low maintenance. When you wake up with longer hair, you might be stuck blow drying your hair for 20 minutes followed by curling your hair for another 30 minutes. With a short haircut, these times are cut by more than half.
With Robin Wright’s haircut, you might be looking at five minutes when blow drying it. If you’re going for a particular blown out look with side-swept bangs or a slicked back look, you might be working for a short time longer, but still in less time than it would take to blow dry longer hair. The same mostly holds true when styling it. If you’re hoping to straighten it or give it texture with some curls, the short length will have you finished in almost no time.
2. Save money
It might be safe to say that everyone loves to save money when they can and going shorter might definitely help you to keep your wallet fatter. Short hair might mean less maintenance (for you) because you need less of the products you were using before.
You’ll quickly see how long a bottle of shampoo, conditioner and hairspray will really last you. Adversely, you might find you’re spending the savings on hair appointments.
You may have noticed that since her big cut, Robin Wright’s hair has rarely been seen at a length longer than what it originally was. This might be because the hairstyle is a few inches from becoming a mullet reminiscent of Billy Ray Cyrus and his achy-breaky heart. In order to maintain your sleek crop, you might find yourself putting your extra towards a necessary trim at the salon.
3. Bold is beautiful
One thing about a sleek crop is that you’ll definitely stand out. While we’re used to long, flowing locks, natural or a product of hair extensions, our eyes will still find the bold style out of the mix. Robin Wright’s hair still garners much attention on red carpets, so you can be sure your own cut will get noticed.
When we notice a woman with a short haircut, one of the most common thoughts is that she must be confident if she was daring enough to try out the style. Consequently, once we believe that she has confidence, we can later see her confidence, and you can bet that everyone notices when a bold and confident woman walks into their life.
4. Look younger
Robin Wright’s hairstyle is edgy, sleek, chic and aides in giving her a younger appearance. Unfortunately, we don’t expect older (not old) women to have these sharp and fashion-forward haircuts, and that is precisely why it helps to give its wearer a youthful look.
An unlucky sign of aging is thinning hair, which contributes to an older appearance. Thinning and longer hair is a combination you shouldn’t want. Losing the body and volume in your locks is more detectable when you’re rocking a longer look, so going shorter might be your best chance at countering that.
Thinning hair is harder to detect when you’re sporting a shorter cut, and with products like dry shampoos and sea salt sprays, you can make your hair look like it did on its best day.
5. Look more mature
After discovering how Robin Wright’s haircut can make you look younger, you might also wonder how, at the same time, it can make someone look more mature.
We are used to young adults with long beachy/bohemian styled locks that aid in their youthful appearance. This is very much like the hairstyle Robin Wright had in The Princess Bride. A young person with long hair is the norm, but once they shed those inches, they take on a more mature look. Clearly, we don’t mean ‘old librarian who shushes you’ mature, but you’ll instantly gain a sophisticated and cultured aura.
One of the biggest pros to chopping your hair off in favor of Robin Wright’s haircut is the liberation you might feel afterwards. Long hair can physically and aesthetically weigh you down. Opting for a short and sleek crop might be your first steps towards feeling free from hours of washing, conditioning and styling your hair.
Tips, tricks and hacks
1. Sleep with dry hair
If you love to take a late night shower before crashing into your pillow, make sure you’re awake long enough to let your hair dry beforehand. While waking up with sleep-dried hair might be salvageable, you’ll find that you’ll hate yourself in the morning when it comes time to styling your hair.
Whether you’re a delicate sleeper or you thrash around in your bed, your wet cropped hair and pillow should never become acquaintanced. Whatever position your head finds the most comfortable for most of the night will shape your hair for the next day, and this look might be beyond fixing with heat tools. Not only might you cause your hair to form some abnormal, makeshift cowlick, but you’ll wake up with hair flatter than your ballet slippers.
2. Invest in a round brush
We previously mentioned that Robin Wright’s hair can be achieved with a round bristled brush. If you’re hoping for bangs as perfect as hers, it will be nearly impossible to accomplish without such a brush.
By using the brush to manipulate the direction in conjunction with a blow dryer, you’ll be able to create voluminous side-swept bangs every day of the week.
3. Blow dryer’s cool setting
Many people wonder why some blow dryers come with a cool setting, but this is one question we can definitely answer for ladies with the sleek crop. The cool setting on our blow dryers is meant to be used so that we can lock our hairstyle in place.
For example, if you’ve ever watched hair curling videos on YouTube, you’ll notice that many people will hold their curl in place until it cools down. This gives the curl a chance to completely take shape while giving it a chance to last long.
Using the cool setting on your blow dryer will come in handy when attempting to perfect your side-swept bangs with a round bristled brush. After you’ve secured your bangs into the shape and placement you want, gently use the cool setting to keep it locked all day.
4. Get a smaller straightener
While we’re grateful for large straighteners that help to shorten the process of straightening longer locks, you’ll quickly hate it for styling your Robin Wright haircut. When you realize that you’re working with strands barely an inch long, you’ll quickly find yourself ditching your regular straightener for a mini one. Smaller straighteners will give you a better grip while also allowing you to straighten or curve the hair into your desired position.
5. Bobby pins are your best friend
When dealing with a short cut such as Robin Wright’s, it’s implausible to think that it will look perfect every single day. There will be days when your flyaways get out of hand, and you’ll need bobby pins to save and salvage the look.
The first trick when using bobby pins is to spray them with hairspray. Before you decide to use them, give them a nice coat and then let them dry. The hairspray will give them a tackiness that will help them take place in your hair.
The second trick for bobby pins is how to place them within your strands. Most people just shove them into their hair and hope it works, but they’re designed the way they are for a reason. Bobby pins come with a straight side and a ridged side, and although it’s not obvious to most people, the straight side has a greater chance of sliding out of position. When using bobby pins, it’s best to leave the ridges against the scalp to prevent extra movement.
The last tip when it comes to befriending bobby pins is their actual placement in your head. If you let your hair air dry in your sleep, there’s a chance you’ll be needing all the bobby pins in your arsenal. Hectic and unorganized placement of your bobby pins can turn into a train wreck quickly, but placing them in a small design can quickly combat this.
Placing three bobby pins parallel to each other or in a triangle will seem as if it’s a well-thought design rather than an attempt to recover a bad hair day.
6. Find the right hairstylist
While bobby pins might become your best friend after your big cut, make sure that you adopt two best friends before: Robin Wright and your hairstylist. The amazing thing about the internet is that you can search through thousands of images to achieve that amazing Robin Wright haircut. If you happen to have more time on your hands, there’s nothing like binge-watching the entire three seasons of House of Cards on Netflix to catch glimpses of her hair in action.
Your hairstylist is your surest and strongest bet to guaranteeing your satisfaction with your new cropped look so it goes without saying that they should be your best friend as you venture into the land of shorter hair.
At the end of the day, hair is hair, and it will grow back. Robin Wright’s haircut is loved because it is bold, edgy, and took a great amount of risk. Now it’s your turn to decide if those words also describe you. After all, the saying is, “No risk, no reward.”