Stories Collage
Gillian Anderson Hair Lexicon

By Tara Young

FBI Special Agent, Shag specialist, Wealthy spinster, The Iron Lady. Gillian Anderson has been a mainstay on our screens since the mid '90s. Responsible for that thong dress moment in 2001, quite partial to a shaggy cardi and tinted glasses, Gillian gives off an intellectual chic vibe (Librarian-core if you must) and is nothing short of a 90s/Y2K style icon.

Throughout her career, Gillian Anderson has become one of the small screen’s most intriguing and multi-faceted actresses. Playing Special Agent Dana Scully on The X-Files and Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson on The Fall, several period dramas with acclaimed performances in War & Peace, Bleak House and Great Expectations, and of course more recently, the sex therapist and single mom Dr. Jean Milburn in Sex Education and a hauntingly realistic Margaret Thatcher in The Crown.

From her relatable punk years in high school to award-winning actress and activist, we took a deep dive through the years of her life and have come to realise she's a hilarious style queen and we're obsessed.

Gillian Anderson at 18. In high school, she was voted by her classmates as "class clown", "most bizarre girl" and "most likely to be arrested".

“Even though I can dress up like a soccer mom, the punk rocker will forever be under my skin.”

Ginger ringlets at her first Golden Globe ceremony in 1995. She made the 'worst dressed" lists globally that year.

Putting the Wet in wet look. Gillian Anderson by Jadran Lazic, 1996.

Gillian was really ramping it up in 1996. A PVC catsuit and textured waves as featured in FHM.

On set during filming of The X Files.

Baseball cap and tucked-back bob for an Incognito airport look at LAX in '97.

A Gillian Anderson Fever Dream, photographed by David LaChapelle in 1997. A major hair moment.

Pearls, glasses and a shaggy silver tinsel cardi at The X Files 100th Episode party.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, X Files: The Movie

The bob, the phone.

Gillian Anderson won an Emmy for Best Actress, for the 3rd time. The floral embroidered halter dress is from Prada’s AW99 collection.

Attending the Proof of Life premiere wearing her hair pulled back by a skinny headband, tinted glasses, a lime green turtle neck and another shaggy cardi. A Y2K moment that seems so familiar in 2023.

2001 - at the Academy Awards Ceremony.
The thong story. “I don’t remember how that dress came into my life. And I’m not even sure that I tried it on before the night that I was going to wear it. But when I put it on, my pubic hairs poked through the dress. And there were two solutions.”

The eternal bride. Tortured, ghostly Gillian Anderson as the obsessive jilted bride, Miss Havisham, in Great Expectations.

With a "Schwartzkopf red" mullet, Gillian Anderson Embodies Ziggy Stardust-Era David Bowie on 'American Gods' in 2017.

Blunt micro bangs and a blunt bob as flamboyant actress Magda West in Crooked House.

Gillian's signature swept-back hair, from The Guardian 2017 by Nadav Kander.

Cosy fit and a blonde low bun for Netaporter.

The Margaret Thatcher transformation. Perhaps Gillian Anderson's most compelling role beneath that cloud of hair.

Lady in waiting. Gillian Anderson and Olivia Colman BTS during filming of The Crown,

Interviewed by Helena Bonham Carter for Interview Magazine. Photographed by Juergen Teller

Dr. Jean, Shag Specialist.

Sélfie, 2022

Was she a natural red head? The answer is no.

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