‘I Dared to Cut It Short’: Halle Berry on How Drastically Changing Her Hair Landed Her the First Acting Gig of Her Career

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There was once a time when Halle Berry and short hair were synonymous with one another. Like peanut butter and jelly, the Oscar-winning actress and her trademark pixie cut were inseparable — and for good reason. The style is what caused Berry to earn her first acting role.

Berry opened up to InStyle magazine for the publication’s 25th-anniversary issue about how lopping off her long tresses led her to break into the film and TV industry as Emily Franklin on the 1980s sitcom “Living Dolls.”

“When I got this haircut, I felt like my best self. I had no hair to hide behind,” Berry tells the publication while looking back at her first cover where she rocked the pixie ‘do for the July 2000 issue. “It was just all me, take it or leave it, love it or hate it. It was who I was.”

“I cut my hair short when I first became an actor and I finally got a job and I think that was because the directors and producers actually saw me,” she continues. “Before that, I had long hair like every other girl like me and I dared to cut it short and that actually got me my first job on ‘Living Dolls.’ So, I have an affinity for short hair and I’ll go back [to it] one day.”

The style was one Berry kept through the 1990s and into the early aughts — even when she made history by winning the Best Actress Academy Award in 2002. To date, she’s the sole Black woman to earn the honor.

However, by 2004, Berry went back to embracing her longer hair, as evidenced by the long, brown curly locks she donned on InStyle’s September issue that same year.

It took until 2012 for the public to see Berry going back to the cropped hairdo many women in hair salons around the country requested decades ago. In more recent years, Berry has elected to only go so short as a bob. In 2017, she made waves on the Oscars red carpet wearing big, voluminous barrel curls.

Still, no matter how much Berry switches up her hair, she told Elle magazine in 2012 that the short style is always going to be one of her loves.

“I love short hair — that’s me, that’s who I am. I just feel confident and feel like my best self when I have short hair,” the actress said. “But it’s fun to change sometimes. I get a little bored and, as a woman, I want to change my shoes, my outfit, and my hair. And thanks to extensions, it’s easy to do.”

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