Have you ever considered that all that's standing in between you and international fame is a $10 box of at-home color? If not, mull over the fact that many of your favorite leading ladies took the peroxide plunge on their quest for stardom—and never looked back. Here, find 10 Hollywood celebs who've had life-changing dye jobs.
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We all love Lucy as a redhead, but the fact of the matter is she was born a brunette. First, she dyed it blonde, then bright red to stand out against other actresses. Needless to say, it was a good a move that suited her firecracker personality.
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Born Norma Jean Mortenson (and a brunette), she changed her name to Marilyn Monroe and went to Hollywood's Frank and Joseph Salon in 1946 to became a golden blonde. Later, inspired by '30s film star Jean Harlow, she decided to go full-on platinum. Fun fact: she "liked to feel blonde over," which meant, yep—she dyed her pubic hair.
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Hayworth's dark red hue was her signature, but a controversial one at that. A Spanish beauty, she was born Margarita Carmen Cansino and had black hair before the studio dyed her hair the rich, flaming hue that helped her skyrocket to fame.
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A natural brunette, Harry couldn't exactly front Blondie without delving into the bleach. But she wasn't just any peroxide blonde—her two-toned approach with dark tresses at the nape was her signature. "I did it for practical purposes because I was always doing my own hair and I didn't think I could do the back," she told Lady Gaga via Harper's BAZAAR. "But I ended up really liking having the back be this sort of dark side of the moon. Because when I was in school, that was one of my nicknames: Moon. It seemed perfect, that here I was with the bright side of the moon and the dark side of the moon."
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As Hendricks told us herself, she was once a natural blonde. But she's practically a born-with-it redhead considering that she's been dyeing it since elementary school due to her obsession with Anne Of Green Gables. After her first dye job, she finally felt like herself. "I felt this burst of energy, like, 'Ah, I'm finally me!'—which is a pretty funny sentiment for a 10-year-old," she explained.
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Elson was born a strawberry blonde with "mousy hair." But as fate would have it, she was destined for her hallmark orange-red hue after Christina Hendricks gave her the push she needed. "We did a shoot together and I remember her beautiful red hair, and I had the worst sort of strawberry blonde mousy hair, and she was like, 'Here, you should dye your hair red, it's going to work for you,'" she told The Cut.
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A brown-haired gal naturally, Stefani is practically this century's Monroe with her signature white-blonde hue. The best part? It was a product of a breakup: "It was a big moment for me when I did my whole head. I remember my boyfriend and I had just broken up, and I was like I don't care how much it costs, I'm getting my hair bleached!' That's really when everything changed. We had already written all the Tragic Kingdom songs, and that was the moment that sort of started the next chapter." What makes it even more mythical is the fact that she *never* has roots showing, something some have chocked up to the fact that she's an alien.
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Perry wasn't just a California girl, but a natural California blonde. However, it wasn't until she dyed it jet-black à la Bettie Page that she really hit it big. The irony is that since she has dyed her hair every virtually *every* color of the rainbow (including Smurf blue, green, and purple), which is much harder to do on dark versus light hair.
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Believe it or not, Stone is a natural blonde, but she's always felt more akin to a fiery shade of auburn. "I identify most with red hair," she told Daily Makeover. "My mom's a redhead, so maybe I grew up seeing it more than seeing myself in a mirror."
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While we often see brunettes going blonde, then hitting it big—Meester proves that brown hair can have just as much star power. She dyed her naturally-blonde hair a chestnut brown in the early stages of her career and we're so relieved she did. (There's no way she would have landed her breakout role as Blair Waldorf opposite one blonde Serena Van der Woodsen if she didn't.)
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