This Is Why Dakota Johnson's Hair Always Looks So Good

This Is Why Dakota Johnson’s Hair Always Looks So Good

Refinery29 | Samantha Sasso

If there were a club of cool, laid-back famous people, Dakota Johnson would probably be the president — or at least the treasurer. Just like the other members of the imaginary club – Jennifer Lawrence, Tiffany Haddish, Chrissy Teigen, Tracee Ellis Ross — Johnson tends to lead a low-key life, with the kind of likable gusto that propels her to take tequila shots on talk shows or give out her phone number on a stage in Central Park to support sexual assault survivors.

And there’s another, more superficial reason we like to keep tabs on Johnson: her hair. When she attends the Met Gala, the Academy Awards, or even walks down the streets of New York, Johnson’s hair is impossible to ignore — just ask her go-to hair guy and Dove’s international celebrity hairstylist, Mark Townsend. Often referring to Johnson as his beauty muse, Townsend is to credit for her great head of hair (well, minus her really, really, great genes) — and, most importantly, her signature bangs.

In honor of the Suspiria star’s birthday, we asked Townsend to walk us through his favorite looks Johnson has ever worn, from her curtain fringe to her edgy bob. Even better, he gave us exclusive tips on how to copy each one. Ahead, Johnson’s best hair looks, ever.

If you’ve ever looked at Townsend’s Instagram before, then you know he loves thick, long, romantic braids — and this one he created for Johnson for the 2017 premiere of Fifty Shades Darker is one of his favorites.
Although secret extensions can be credited for the thick texture, it’s the mix of knots, big braids, and small braids that made this chaotic style so perfect. “I just wanted a ton of texture going around the main braid and down her back,” he tells us. “She literally told me to just play that day. I loved it.”

Credit: Robert Kamau/GC Images.
Like her character Anastasia Steele, Johnson’s hair is very straight naturally. That’s why Townsend swears by an absurd amount of dry shampoo to achieve Johnson’s lived-in, relaxed waves. “Without it, her sausage curls would look like two large rolls,” he explains. “The texturizing products I add to her hair are crucial. Dry shampoo ensures that pieces are separated so everything looks fuller and thicker.”

Credit: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.
Rumor has it that Johnson wants to try a bob again. Although Townsend is hoping she keeps her back-grazing length for now, this wavy cut from the People’s Choice Awards in 2016 still tops his list. He used a double-barrel iron to mimic natural waves, dry shampoo (lots and lots of it), and a tiny bit of finishing cream only on the ends — making sure to leave the flyaways around her crown free for a loose, romantic effect.

Credit: Phillip Faraone/WireImage.
Townsend’s favorite half-up look on Johnson was the night she attended the 31st Annual American Society of Cinematographers Awards in 2017. Why? It was one of the rare occasions he pulled her front layers back, allowing us to see her full face. Instead of securing her hair into a ballerina bun, Townsend decided to twist it into a thick knot right at the crown of her head.

Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.
According to the Townsend, he loved the previous look so much that he wanted to recreate a version of it for the 89th Annual Academy Awards a few months later. Turns out, Johnson wasn’t ready for it. “She was in a phase where she wanted really clean hair,” Townsend recalls. “There was nothing in her hair except dry shampoo that night and about 100 bobby pins to make sure the whole half-up look didn’t come cascading down halfway through the night.”

Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images.
If you’re really looking to find the epitome of Johnson and Townsend’s relationship, look no further than her twisted updo from the 2015 Annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards. If you don’t recognize this one, that’s because most red-carpet photographers didn’t catch it. That’s exactly why Townsend uses his “Mark’s Eye View ” photos on Instagram, which showcase the intimate details of his client’s hairstyles. “I do that because of Dakota,” he tells us. “She told me that the hair was a work of art and that I should take a photo of it because on the red carpet you don’t get to see it.”

This article was written by Samantha Sasso from Refinery29 and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to


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