Nia Long's has always made impeccable hairstyle choices. Think about it. In "Boys in the Hood," you wanted her perfectly fluffed bangs. In "Love Jones," you wanted her jet-black layered cut (um, and her man). Her perky coils were arguably the best part of "Alfie." Thank you, Nia Long, for always inspiring us with your dazzling 'dos! Here, we salute the award-winning actress with a gallery of her hottest hair moments.
1991: Hood Hottie
In Boys in the Hood, Long played a sweet Catholic school girl, and had the demure bob-with-bangs hairstyle to prove it.
1993: American Girl
Long added some sexy volume to her bob as Will Smith’s love interest in Made in America.
1997: Ladies Who Lunch
Long rocked a slightly shorter, chin-grazing bob at a casual lunch with stylist Lisa Michelle in Los Angeles.
1997: Me & Mrs. Jones
In 1997’s classic Love Jones, Long rocked a jet-black, layered cut with side-swept bangs. That year, Brown girls everywhere copied this trendsetting style.
1998: Short Story
At the premiere of Blade, Long hit the red carpet wearing a brand new, super-short pixie cut.
2000: Award Tour
Long sported a choppy, shoulder-length blowout at the 2000 NAACP Awards show.
2001: Wavy Baby
Long’s wash-and-wear waves are both totally adorable and low-maintenance. Our kind of style!
2004: Pretty Pony
Sometimes the easiest hairstyles make the biggest impact. At the 2004 NAACP Image Awards, Long accepted her Best Actress in a Drama Series award (for her work in Third Watch) rocking a stunning, slicked-back ponytail.
2004: Straight Up
At the premiere of Alfie, Long kept her look sleek and chic with a center-parted, razor-cut blowout.
2005: VH1 Vixen
At the VH1 Hip Hop Honors show, Long showcased her gorgeous face with a short, spiky crop.
2007: Glamour Girl
At a Hollywood party, Long pinned the top section of her hair back, and let the rest of her full waves cascade around her shoulders.
2007: Orange You Pretty?
Long swept her soft, loose curls to one side at the 2007 NAACP Image Awards.
2008: Lovely Long
Long looked beyond gorgeous at Clive Davis’ 2008 pre-Grammy Awards bash. She added some pieces to her smooth blowout for a voluminous, rumpled-on-purpose look
2009: It Girl
At the premiere of This is It, Long parted her sexy, boyish cut on the side and finger-styled the layers at the crown.
2009: Sophisticated Lady
At a Good Hair premiere, co-star Long hit the red carpet in a glossy, luscious, roller-set bob.
2009: Taking Sides
Long glowed at the Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection 2009 Fashion Show in a shiny side-ponytail.
2009: Shaggy Style
At the premiere of Good Hair, Long sported a shiny, layered shag with a side-swept bang.
2010: Short Story
At the ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Luncheon, Long styled her short strands into a sassy upsweep.
2011: High and Mighty
Nia Long arrived at the BET Awards in shimmering skin and a sexy, sky-high topknot.
2011: Short and Chic
At at Dark & Lovely event, Long returned to her short, chic pixie cut with eyebrow grazing bangs.
2012: TV Ready
Long made an appearance at the Good Day LA studios in swingable shoulder-length strands.
2012: Totally Bangin'
Long arrived at the Children Uniting Nations Fundraiser wearing a chic center part with long bangs swept to each side.
2012: Cover Star
For more of Nia’s glowing and gorgeous hairstyles, be sure to check out the August issue of ESSENCE on newsstands now!