The (Hair)volution of Buffy Summers From "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"

Updated on April 4, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.


Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a beloved WB series that ran from 1997 to 2003 and developed a cult following among fans. The show followed Buffy Summers as the titular slayer that battled against vampires, demons and forces of darkness with the help of the Scooby Gang. Buffy would go on to become a style icon and trend-setter during the show's run, and underwent both hair and fashion transformations that fans couldn't get enough of. Let's take a closer look at just how much Buffy's hair evolved over the series' run.

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Season 1: Short, Voluminous With Bangs

At the start of the series, Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) wore her hair in a short, voluminous cut with wispy bangs. The shade was a much deeper and darker blonde (almost a light brown) and she often wore it in loose waves with a lot of body. Buffy would also accessorize with barrettes and hair clips, and the cut highlighted the fact that the character was fresh and young. The style gave her an innocent look that first introduced us to the journey she would embark on throughout the show.

Did You Know? Sarah Michelle Gellar was initially cast as Cordelia Chase during auditioning, but she decided to keep trying for the role of Buffy and ultimately nabbed the lead.

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Season 2: Blonde, Shoulder Length Chop

With Season 2, Buffy was sporting a short, shoulder length chop that complimented her face shape perfectly. Her hair was also much lighter than the previous season, as the Slayer started rocking her signature bright blonde tresses. Instead of embracing a lot of body and volume in her hair, she often kept it sleek and straight. Her once short and wispy bangs began to grow out and delicately framed her face. Buffy's overall style for the season began to become more mature and chic.

Did You Know? Prior to being cast as the Slayer, Sarah Michelle Gellar portrayed Kendall Hart on the soap opera All My Children from 1993 to 1995. She won a Daytime Emmy Award for the role at just eighteen.

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Seasons 3 & 4: Long, Blonde & Highlighted

Seasons 3 and 4 gave us Buffy's signature butt kicking look: long blonde tresses with bright highlights. It was the look that the Slayer would rock for the longest, and she would embrace different styles such as straight, beachy waves, sexy up-dos and simple pony tails. The cut and color definitely complimented her tan skin and stunning features, and she always looked effortlessly beautiful. The bold blonde shade would go on to become a staple for the iconic character.

Did You Know? Sarah Michelle Gellar almost portrayed another famous television character; at the time of casting for the show the actress was also up for the lead in Sabrina, The Teenage Witch. She ultimately accepted the role of Buffy and Melissa Joan Hart became Sabrina.

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Season 5: Wavy, Long & Deeper Blonde

During Season 5, Buffy began to adopt a more adult-like look and started rocking a deeper shade of blonde. She would often wear her tresses in long, loose waves or sleek and straight. Both her hair and fashion choices always looked put together and sophisticated, and it was clear she was embracing a more mature style. The darker blonde complimented Buffy's glowing skin tone and soft make-up that looked both sexy and chic. You could truly tell that the character was beginning to blossom and come into her own during this season.

Did You Know? Creator Joss Whedon had a special nickname for Gellar throughout the series, due to how much pain she had to deal with on the show. He had said: "We used to call her Jimmy Stewart, because he was the Greatest American in pain in the history of film."

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Season 6: Chin Length, Choppy & Darker

No season saw more hair changes and experimenting than Season 6. During this time, Buffy embraced a variety of hairstyles, cuts and colors. The season started off with the Slayer sporting long brunette locks that was unruly and a bit wild (in her defense she was dead at the beginning of it). Her hair was much darker than it had been previously, which seems to go with the overall dark and often dreary vibe of the season. Buffy would go on to cut off her locks and adopt a short, choppy chin length style. It was arguably her most dramatic hair transformation of the series, and represented her need to start over.

Did You Know? During Buffy the Vampire Slayer's run, Gellar would cross over into film and star in the slasher flicks I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), Scream 2 (1997) and the cult classic Cruel Intentions (1999).

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Season 7: Back To Blonde With Side Swept Bangs

For the final season of the show, Buffy once again returned to her roots and rocked her signature long, bold blonde tresses. She adopted a side swept bang that complimented her facial shape and gave her a sexy, sophisticated vibe. Throughout the seventh season the slayer experimented with a wide array of styles including braids, waves,half-up/half-down looks and more. It was nice to see the character come full circle and embrace her stunning and iconic hairstyle that fans know and love.

Did You Know? For Entertainment Weekly's reunion special for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Gellar finally revealed if she was Team Angel or Team Spike: "There was something so beautiful to me about the Buffy and Angel story. I think that Spike understood a different part of who Buffy was and I think she needed to understand that and discover. But for me as Buffy, I think Angel."

Which season had your favorite Buffy hairstyle?

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© 2019 Rachel M Johnson


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