Cheryl Cole
The British singer was sacked as a judge from the U.S. run of “The X-Factor”, with co-judge Simon Cowell saying she looked “bewildered” during her time on the panel. REUTERS

British singer Cheryl Cole has been voted as the Hair Icon of 2011, beating out fellow singer Rihanna and Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

The Metro reports that Cole emerged winner in a poll that surveyed 5,000 women, which asked women whose hair styles they would most like to adopt. Cole also outshone actress Kate Winslet and pop sensation Beyonce Knowles.

Surprisingly, Cole topped the list despite using hair extensions - especially in a controversial 2009 L'Oreal advertisement, in which she said a new shampoo revitalized her "weak, limp, lifeless" hair. She even changed her hair colour after being booted off from the judging panel at the U.S. version of "The X-Factor", early this year.

Cole's influence is evident by the fact that the survey showed several women changed their hair colour. According to the data collected, a quarter of the women coloured their locks a lighter shade, while 21 percent darkened their tresses.