Zoe Foster: And the Best Hairstyle Emmy goes to...


Oh, how I love waking up on Emmys day knowing I get to watch the red carpet and label it “work”. We all love the red carpet, don’t we? Or the dames and gents slowly gliding down it, more accurately. The carpet itself is visibly average. It’s so enjoyable watching our favourite TV people preen and pose after weeks of intense preparation and not so much as a whisper of a carbohydrate, while we wear tracksuit pants and eat toast. Just marvellous.

As well as being so shiny to look at, the Emmys babes kindly offer up a batch of excellent hair inspiration, the kind we can print pictures of and take to the salon, or file away to drag out when we have an event or wedding we need to look outstanding for. And some of them, kindly, also provide terrific pointers on what not to do. Bless them in their generosity and haze of hairspray.

Here are my picks for the best 2012 Emmy Awards hair…


Elizabeth Moss

An outstanding example of switching your hair to something dramatic (she went from honey brown to platinum, and cut her shortish bob into something shorter and choppier) and it not needing to be a Huge Statement (ala Miley Cyrus). The side part with some length over the face looks elegant and sexy, and the silvery tones of the hair look terrific with her pale skin.


Christina Hendricks

Always delicious. I love the softness and imperfection of her curls. She favours a vintage frock and feel, and by keeping the hair a bit fluffy, it saves her look from being too themey and rigid, which often happens on the red carpet.

Jessica Lange

My best dressed. I love the orange dress, I love the gold jewellery and I am THRILLED with her creamy beige sunglasses, but the hair, the honey-golden, soft waved hair sitting just above her shoulders is absolutely exceptional. Glamorous, youthful, face-brightening and sexy.

Julianne Moore

I have to preface this by reminding everyone of the rule (uh, “my” rule”) about high-neck, hair up. If your neckline is very high or intricate, generally the hair should go back or up so you get to see some neck. Otherwise it can all look a big closed up. HOWEVER. I do so love seeing her red hair against that bright yellow. It reminds me of how wonderful and striking clashing your hair with your clothes can be. And also, Julianne is just so beautiful/sexy/chic/confident. What a dame.

Zooey Deschanel

While I would’ve loved her to do something outrageous like wear a slinky, slick gown and messed up hair and smoky, nude, bronze makeup, because shit like that excites me, she kept to her sweet, girly style and it looks beautiful. The big statement, retro updo is predictable, but it is also excellent.

Other notable mentions: Julia Louis Dreyfus for a beautifully simple centre-part and lowdo (the perfect time-poor DIY fancy hair do), Claire Danes for classic, shiny loveliness, and Ginnifer Goodwin for consistency in the category of perfect, sexy pixie crop.

And a couple of could-have-been-improved…

Connie Britton

Why it didn’t work: Half-up, half-down can look wonderfully fresh, but the hair generally needs to be quite long for it to work. (That said her hair did look quite awesome from the side.) Her length, though, is beautiful, if she’d left the front down, done a bit of a deep side part – magnificent. 

Edie Falco and January Jones

Why it didn’t work: The time of leaving stiff little bits of hair out and the rest back and tight is not gone. It was never flattering, is why. Always put it all back, or keep what you leave out very soft and natural and textured.

Ashley Judd

Why it didn’t work: Too much. I like theatrical hair (and makeup) for events. It one of the only times you get to really jazz things up, and when you’re putting so much effort into the rest of your body, you should give your hair some extra attention. Can’t just be getting your regular blow-dry when you’re wearing a big ol’ fancy gown. However. You can go too far.

And in case you missed any of the frocks – here’s our full gallery of the Emmys red carpet and after parties.

Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air KissesPlaying The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.

What were your favourite looks from the Emmys?