Born in New York to Jewish parents, her family moved to London when Freeman was eleven. She attended a boarding school in Cambridge and read English Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford, and edited Cherwell. After a year in Paris, she worked on the fashion desk of The Guardian for eight years.
Her first book, The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable, ISBN 978-0-670-01867-3, was published in 2008. Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies followed in 2013. According to Jennifer Lipman in The Jewish Chronicle it is "a detailed attack on how women are both portrayed and conditioned to act in public life".
- The Meaning of Sunglasses: A Guide to (Almost) All Things Fashionable, Penguin
- "Cricket and other baffling British habits", The Guardian, 4 July 2012
- Viv Groskop "Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies, by Hadley Freeman – review", The Observer, 19 May 2013
- Hadley Freeman "Sick of US news? Don't worry: there are lots of other things to discuss", The Guardian, 6 November 2012
- Natalie Gill and Katie Forster "The Guardian's Hadley Freeman tells us why America can't let Romney win, why she rejected her first Guardian job offer, and how to dress for a supervision when you've written an abysmal essay", The Tab (Cambridge), 4 November 2012
- Hadley Freeman "I was banned from a slew of shows and never brushed my hair: Hadley Freeman's life as a fashion misfit", Evening Standard, 10 May 2013
- "Hadley Freeman | guardian.co.uk". London: Commentisfree.guardian.co.uk. 2007-10-02. Retrieved 2010-02-24.
- Jennifer Lipman "Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies", The Jewish Chronicle, 30 May 2013
- "Bomb threats made on Twitter to female journalists". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 Aug 2013.