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Tilda Swinton: Oscar Winning Short Hair


British actress Tilda Swinton (her birth name is Katherine Matilda Swinton) made a huge impression on the fans and the media with her Best Supporting Actress win for "Michael Clayton" at the 80th Academy Awards Show.

Wearing a controversial super shiny black silk, one-sleeved Lanvin gown, Tilda wore her super short flaming orange red hair brushed off her face in a very simple hairstyle. Her only obvious bling was a scalloped bracelet on one arm. The arm with the sleeve I might add.

Did Tilda deliberately ditch the makeup and hair crew or did she just honor her true self by going au natural? The media definitely saw Tilda's Red Carpet appearance as controversial.

The irony? Some fashion critics thought Tilda was too high-fashion while others thought she looked unfinished or downright casual.

Actually, Tilda, whose nickname is Swilda, has always been known as quite the rebel.

It should come as no surprise that she shocked the fashionistas with her Red Carpet style because it honored her known enjoyment of being outrageous. And yes, her carrot topped hair is natural.

Over the years Tilda has preferred to sacrifice celebrity for art, opening herself to experimental projects with new and untried directors and mediums. Consistently searching for off-centered roles, Tilda, who went to the same school as Princess Diana, has always been quirky and completely committed to her acting profession.

Regardless of Tilda's motivation for going unadorned, the woman shone brightly for her Oscar win. Backstage reports about Tilda mentioned she was so shocked by her win for supporting actress all she could say was a series of "wow".

Whether you loved or hated Tilda scaled down gown which was noticeably devoid of the standard fare of diamonds or jewels, you have to admire her willingness to dress to please herself. That is the definition of feeling beautiful in your own skin.

More About Tilda

Tilda Swinton is not as well known in the United States as she is in England and Europe where she had her start. Born November 5th in 1960, the actress is sassy, striking and full of piss and vinegar.

One of most recent films that received wide acclaim was as The White Witch in the film The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 2005. Tilda played the White Witch and looked stunning in long blonde dreadlocks.

Step By Step Instructions

In my research on Tilda's history of hair, she appears to prefer a range of hairstyles which are short to very short, like the style worn to the recent Oscar Awards.

Tilda's hairstyle at the 80th Academy Awards is really quite simple to re-create. The key to this style is a good haircut that is cut shorter throughout the sides and the back and longer on top.

The style Tilda wore to pick up her Oscar is truly a wash-and-go style. It can be created on "aged" hair or freshly washed hair. The disadvantage to freshly washed tresses might be that the hair would be overly soft and fluffy.

If you want to re-create Tilda's Oscar winning hairstyle follow the steps below:

1. Shampoo your hair with a product designed to address your hair's type, texture and current condition. Only one sudsing is necessary. Be sure to rinse really well. If tresses are fine or thin, consider using a volumizing product to pump up fullness. Or you may wish to use a volume enhancing root lift in combo with a volumizing shampoo.

2. Towel dry and then apply a leave-in hair conditioner that will also protect your hair against blow drying and to give hair some weight and manageability unless your hair is fine or thin or flattens easily. If this is the case, use a volumizing mousse product.

3. Use a hair pick or wide toothed comb to carefully detangle your hair. Always remember to start at the bottom of your hair and work your way up to the roots. Take your time so you don't snag or break your hair.

4. Use a small to medium round boar's bristle brush to create fullness and movement. Blow dry hair in sections using the round brush in conjunction with the dryer. If your hair is naturally wavy you may want to consider using a good temporary straightening balm. Right before blow drying, apply a good gel at the roots of the hair to add volume if you want a fuller look at the roots.

5. When your hair is completely dry, finger pick it smooth brushing it carefully. It is preferable you use a boar's bristle paddle or flat styling brush.

6. For added height, lightly backcomb before smoothing down. Spray with hairspray to hold.

Of course you always have the option to shampoo hair, towel blot, finger pick and then air dry for a more tousled look.


Not only did Tilda Swinton buck the normal Academy Award trends of big jewels and ornate hair, she appeared to use minimal make-up. While some of the fashion critics and Red Carpet watchers admired her gutsy move to go with simplicity, others found her look quirky and rebellious. Regardless of popular opinion, Tilda proved her value was centered in her art and won the coveted golden statue. Obviously this is one strong and very self-confident lady who honors her own definition of beauty. Kudos to Tilda.

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