There’s a story behind why iconic jazz artist Billie Holiday always wore those white flowers in her hair. The legend goes that before one of her shows, she burned part of her hair with curling tongs. One of her fellow performers, thinking fast, ran over to a nearby venue where they knew flowers were sold, snipped a few bright white gardenias, and slipped them into Holiday’s hair to cover the damage.
Holiday liked it so much that it became her signature, although it once proved to be quite dangerous. According to her biography, before a show at Carnegie Hall in 1948, she was sent a box of gardenias, some of which she secured to her head. What she didn’t know is that among those fragrant white blossoms was a hat pin. It cut into the side of her head during the show and made her pass out at the end of her third curtain call.
Flash forward 70 years, and Holiday’s signature is now not only a Hollywood trend, with stars like Emma Stone, Beyoncé, and Rihanna all sporting flowers in their hair to give an instant romantic touch to any look, but it’s even been worn by British royalty. Thankfully though, hairstylists have found a way to achieve this look without their clients bleeding from the scalp. From roses to wildflowers, see how the celebrities have made their hair look as if it’s in bloom, ahead.