Kerry Washington’s Hair Evolution As Olivia Pope on Scandal

As Olivia Pope on Scandal, Kerry Washington has debuted a series of different hairstyles over the years. As Season 3 returns, Allison Samuels on the new ’do.


Last month, Kerry Washington was named the best-dressed woman of the year by People Magazine – an accolade which won her an outpouring of support.

And, as Scandal returned to ABC on Thursday night, it was clear that her recent real-life style and beauty makeover was in full force on screen, too.

As Olivia Pope, Washington debuted a subtly stunning wardrobe as she exchanged sweet nothings with her lover, the President of the United States (Tony Goldwyn). She wore a couture ecru-colored coat, slim-fitting pants and, best of all: a sleek, shiny new hairstyle.

Over the past two seasons, Washington’s style on Scandal has closely mirrored Judy Smith’s, the real life woman behind the television show , who is a longtime fan of structured pantsuits and soft, free-flowing hair. But while Washington’s wardrobe on Scandal has arguably been on point since the series premiered, her hairstyles have often been another matter.

In season one, the actress sported hair with a more rigid and refined shape, possibly in an effort to make the 36-year-old Washington appear older. Afterall, the President and several characters on the show are in their fifties.

“Her hair was just there at that point so I barely noticed it,’’ said Dion Peronneau, owner of the Peronneau Agency, a Hollywood styling company, of Washington’s hair in season one. “It was all about her fabulous wardrobe so the hair didn’t really register to me.’’

Season two saw Washington wear her hair with fewer curls and more freedom to move. Sleeker and shinier, the new style seemed more befitting for the 30-something professional in the nation’s capital.

The third season of Scandal will continue to feature Pope’s ongoing hair evolution by showcasing various lengths, Farrah Fawcett-like side-bangs and an overall softness in her style and appearance as her character continues to fix the problems of politicians and lawmakers.

Off camera, Washington plays around with varying hair colors, styles and lengths via hair extensions. The actress is a huge fan of the “all in’’ weave that protects her natural hair from the damage of studio lights, curling irons and blow dryers, which are especially harsh on African American hair.

“Olivia Pope’s hair has gotten more fluid through the seasons of Scandal. She’s a woman in control and seemed to be more uptight in the beginning of the show,’’ said Damone Roberts, Hollywood makeup artist and owner of The Damone Roberts Salon in Beverly Hills. “We are watching her loosen up on the show and that goes for her hair too.’’

“The hair is still healthy and shiny,’’ said Roberts. ‘’But now it’s just not as stiff. It moves, it flows-just like Olivia Pope’s ongoing journey.’’