Hair color is synonymous with the most iconic women of our time; from the evergreen glamour of Marilyn Monroe’s platinum blonde bob to the approachable elegance of Julia Roberts’s signature red locks, color can even define a decade. Journey through the world’s most famous hues—along with expert tips on how to get them yourself—in the following slideshow.
Marilyn Monroe – Platinum Blonde
Born a strawberry blonde as Norma Jean Baker, Monroe’s platinum blonde transformation ushered in the heyday of Hollywood, and came to epitomize starlet glamour. From “Some Like It Hot" to “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” her signature shade even proved the perfect muse to cinematic inspiration.
Marilyn Monroe – Get The Look
Platinum blonde is the most high maintenance shade of all, and Monroe touched up roots once a week with a Q-tip plus an oil application to protect her already over-worked tresses from further damage, says celeb colorist Michael Canale. Today’s foam technology allows color to stay where you place it, like right at the root—try John Frieda Foam Precision Color in Beige Blond 10B.
Julianne Moore – Copper
When Moore penned children’s book “Freckleface Strawberry” about being bullied as a young redhead, it was a far cry from the sultry siren the Academy Award winner would play in future big screen movies like erotic thriller “Chloe” and the perennially red-lipsticked and bored housewife in “Far From Heaven” –which brought her no less than 16 critically-acclaimed awards.
Julianne Moore – Get The Look
Tinged in brilliant copper, this shade of red can be pulled off by light and deep tones alike, given a warm complexion undertone. L’Oréal Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Colour 3x Highlights in Copper Shimmer 74 will result in the shade as shown if starting with light blonde to medium brown hair color. Deeper hair will have darker, more mahogany results.
Elizabeth Taylor – Dark Brunette
What would “Butterfield 8” be without Taylor’s smoldering brunette locks? With legendary lavender eyes and trademark tousled waves, the actress ensnared the love (and diamonds) of seven husbands, as well as the once-in-a-lifetime starring role of Cleopatra.
Elizabeth Taylor – Get The Look
“The hotter the water in the shower, the quicker the color will fade down the drain,” says San Diego stylist and salon owner Jet Rhys of Taylor’s rich hue. Try to keep rinses closer lukewarm, especially the week following a fresh color, and cold rinse when possible to close the cuticle and amp up brunette shine. Paul Mitchell Color Protect Locking Spray contains sunflower seed extract to prevent fading from shampooing and sun rays, while silicone and panthenol lock in color and gloss.
Jennifer Aniston – Brown-Blonde
Made famous by her role (and face-framing layers) as Rachel on 90s sitcom “Friends,” women stampeded salons in numbers not seen since the bygone days of the Dorothy Hamill wedge and Farrah Fawcett ‘do. Now a decade later, it’s the sunshine-flecked shade Aniston wears so effortlessly that is one of the most-requested list at salons across the country.
Jennifer Aniston – Get The Look
“Ask for paper thin highlights through the part and around the face, pulling mild bleach through every other foil of warm to subtle gold,” says Canale, who is Aniston’s colorist. Want to try before you commit? Andre Walker Hair Makeup applies faux highlights that dry in seconds, and wash out with your next shampoo. The wands are also handy to cover roots and emerging gray in between colorings.
Lucille Ball – Bright Red
As comedy’s grand dame, Lucille Ball was just as renowned for her fiery red locks as she was the comical situations she tripped into every week with gal pal Ethel on the popular 50’s sitcom, “I Love Lucy.” “Once in his lifetime, every man is entitled to fall madly in love with a gorgeous redhead,” Ball once famously said—though it was truly an entire country that fell for the famed jokester.
Lucille Ball – Get The Look
“Lucy’s fabulous vibrant red works best on alabaster skin,” says Rhys—and the warm hue looks especially vibrant with blue and green eyes. Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Crème in Light Reddish Blonde #94 combines color with fruit oil and avocado conditioners for a vibrant finish.
Christie Brinkley – Blonde
This life-long blonde is best known for a three-peat: scoring a trio of back-to-back Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, plus snagging musician-hubby Billy Joel after the two met on set of his music video, Uptown Girl. The couple may have parted ways in 1994 (with two more husbands to get the same heave-ho), but the supermodel’s sunshine locks power on.
Christie Brinkley – Get The Look
Wheat and butter blonde looks best on complexions touched by gold, says Rhys, though the shade is prone to turning brassy due to the process of oxidization. To preserve color, use a gentle shampoo and conditioner like Alterna Bamboo UV+ Color Protection Vibrant Color Shampoo, which is free of stripping sulfates and sodium chloride, and strengthens hair with pure organic bamboo extract and Kalahari melon.
Christina Hendricks – Red
Joan Holloway’s voluptuous curves on “Mad Men” are only overshadowed by her vibrant red hair. Yet Hendricks is a natural blonde—a hue the actress says she hasn’t seen since the age of 10, when she began experimenting with hair color to mimic literary heroine “Anne of Green Gables” and her favorite TV star, Ginger of “Gilligan’s Island.” Did she have any inkling then that she’d one day be the foxy redhead we copy now?
Christina Hendricks – Get The Look
Due to the large molecular structure that doesn’t allow red dye to fully penetrate the strand, this shade is the fastest to wash out. (In fact, a gander at your towels after the first few times you wash post-color can look like “Murder on the Orient Express.”) Davines Alchemic Red Shampoo and Conditioner are a blend of distilled pure color pigments with moisturizing milk proteins to intensify and preserve vibrant red hair color.
Helen Mirren – Champagne Gray
From stage to screen, this royally-anointed dame has given award-winning performances as epic characters ranging from Queen Elizabeth I to Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III in “The Madness of King George.” Most brilliantly, the Oscar winner has done much of it in blazing gray locks—transforming the shade from what was once hidden as a sign of aging by Hollywood actresses to a symbol of pride, beauty and strength.
Helen Mirren – Get The Look
To strike a blended gray shade, go for a pale ash blonde base to maintain a hint of color, and then tone with gray, like a fifty-fifty mix of Wella’s White Lady and Silver Lady toners, says Canale. The resulting shade is perfect for light to medium skin tones, with deeper skins needing a stronger proportion of gray. “Avoid all serums and waxes when you style, or else you’ll turn yellow,” adds Rhys. Instead, try Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo to add volume and texture while maintaining the pristine shade.
Diana Ross – Black
From electric lead singer of Motown group The Supremes to the incarnation of cultural legend Billie Holiday in “Lady Sings the Blues,” Ross is beloved as one of the first African American stars to turn naturally textured hair into a stylish statement. Is it even possible to imagine this star without her trademark halo of curls and slash of black kohl that seemed to define the entire era of disco?
Diana Ross – Get The Look
Skin tone is key for a shade so rich, and is best worn by deeper olive to dark skin tones with an undercurrent of mahogany. If applying the color yourself, be particularly careful to apply the shade precisely behind the hair line to avoid difficult-to-remove staining, says Rhys. Try Clairol Nice ‘n Easy Color Blend Foam in Black, for a drip-free formula that provides full coverage color exactly where you place it.
Gisele – Dark Blonde
Leading the Brazilian brigade of supermodels to come at the turn of the new millennium, this curvaceous 5’11 stunner is also credited with closing the chapter on a decade of ‘heroin chic’ models. From Victoria’s Secret angel to Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriend and now wife to New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, Gisele has done it all, with signature deep blonde tresses in tow.
Gisele – Get The Look
The supermodel’s dark blonde hue works best with medium to bronzed skin tones, and enlivens skin with lighter sun-touched highlights framing the face. Brown hair can achieve the dual tone with thin highlights scattered throughout, and maintain a fresh look for longer with the help of a root touch-up marker like TouchBack in Golden Blonde, which also works to conceal grays between colorings.
Julia Roberts – Dark Auburn
When Vivian Ward transformed from downtrodden Hollywood prostitute to sophisticated socialite in “Pretty Woman,” her wardrobe, makeup and manners changed completely—but her flaming red locks did not. Could it be the secret behind Roberts’ command of the day’s highest paycheck price for an actress (no doubt adding to her estimated $140 million fortune) or the force behind her record-breaking 11th nomination as People magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People in the World?
Julia Roberts – Get The Look
“Julia’s variations of rich auburn and maple tones always makes it look like the sun is following her,” says Rhys. Best for light to peaches ‘n cream complexions, the key is to look for an auburn shade that has depth, like Samy Fat Foam Hair Color in Medium Reddish Brown.
Beyoncé – Honey
Fans have long been “Crazy In Love” with the songstress’s honey locks since her debut days as lead singer of wildly successful girl group Destiny’s Child, straight through to her “Bootylicious” solo career. Beyoncé’s texture may inexhaustibly change from big ‘n fabulous to pin-straight overnight, but one thing’s always a sure bet: the length stays as long as the crooner’s legs are long.
Beyoncé – Get The Look
A long-held hair color rule is to never go more than a couple shades lighter than your natural hue, yet Beyoncé shows it can be pulled off beautifully, so long as you stick to the right undertone, like caramel for olive to deep skin tones. Preserve as much color from washing off dark strands as possible by using a washing cream to neutralize the scalp and set the shade, like Leonor Greyl Crème Aux Fleurs to wash color out.
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