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Brunette Ambitions - Making The Switch From Blonde


Ashlee Simpson, Reese Witherspoon and Meg Ryan made headlines with their newsworthy switches from sunny blonde to rich shades of brunette. While Reese and Meg morphed from light to dark for specific movie roles, Ashlee altered her buttery blonde hair color more in keeping with her hot new rocker chic image. (Pictured - Ashlee Simpson - The Tonight Show With Jay Leno - Monday, May 24, 2004 -- NBC Photo: Bjerke).

Ashlee welcomed her MTV camera crew into her bathroom for her at-home brunette transformation. ala reality TV style. Reese Witherspoon had a Vanity Fair writer present at an LA salon while she had her blonde highlights turned off through an application of "disgusting brown goop".

Sooner or later all the biggest stars and Hollywood celebrities seem to go with a major hair color change. Whether they go from blonde to brunette or some other color path, the change makes an instant splash. (Image of Reese Witherspoon on Tonight Show With Jay Leno - 8/31/04 - NBC Photo: Paul Drinkwater - all rights reserved NBC).

Some celebrities like Madonna change their hair color so often it is hard to keep track of what hue they are presently sporting.

Although Ashlee Simpson is famous for dying her blonde hair darker at home all by herself, she actually had advance coloring tips from her regular celebrity hair colorist, Rita Hazan (Rita Hazan Salon in NYC - 212-734-4757). Meanwhile, Reese put herself in the hands of an LA celebrity hair colorist to transform her into a brunette beauty.

(Image to the side of Mary Louise Parker at the 2004 Golden Globe Awards - NBC Photo: Chris Haston all rights reserved - as a gorgeous brunette).

Star Pittsburgh hairdresser and owner of 13 salons, Philip Pelusi, pointed out "highlights are not always the best color decision for everyone". Philip, whose conglomerate of salons "did over 80,000 hair color treatments last year", commented that "darker tones add more depth, definition and interest to tresses for many". Even better, Philip suggested that darker brunette colors, when matched to the actual haircut, can look richer. When a series of darker tones are combined together this can punch up the hair's shine factor."

Blonde To Brunette Survival Tips

If you are itching to go with a richer, darker brunette shade, keep in mind some of the following hair care tips:

  1. Dyed hair eventually fades and loses that rich hue over time. Fight color loss with color-enhancing conditioners that will starve off hue fading.
  2. Color-treated hair may become dry or even brittle. Always use deep conditioning treatments designed for your hair type, texture and health on a regular basis.
  3. Make sure that any cleansing and/or conditioning products you select are safe for color treated hair.
  4. Select a darker hue that compliments your natural skin tone and eye color. When in doubt about the best color for you, visit a professional hair colorist to safely make your brunette transformation.
  5. Consider experimenting with a brunette hue that combines a series of darker and lighter tones that will add beautiful movement, depth and richness.
  6. Well placed highlights woven around your faceline and blended appropriately with your newly brunette tones can give you a natural look while brightening your face.
  7. When in doubt about going darker, go slowly. Try out a few darker lowlights around your face before taking a total brunette plunge.
  8. Be prepared to change your current clothing and makeup color scheme. Darker hair works best with darker and richer fabrics.


Whether you visit a professional hair colorist or decide to color your hair at home, for best results, take your time and consider all the long term ramifications of darker. Once you do, take very good care of your newly colored hair and it will reward you with beautiful shine, glossiness and movement.

If you want to talk more about this or other hair care articles on or anywhere else, please post a message on's Hair Talk Forums.

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