The former Jon & Kate Plus 8 star debuted a new style earlier this year when she swapped her signature spiky bob for long blonde locks.
Speaking to Us Weekly, Manuel said: "I think it softened her look. People say it took away her signature style, but the signature really didn't look great. Everyone picked on it.
"I think she has made herself... people take her more seriously. I actually like the hair. I think it works for her."
Gosselin recently admitted that she cared "so much less" about her hair than other people, despite her changing styles frequently making headlines.
America's Next Top Model continues tonight at 8/7c on The CW.