As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill-advised radical hair colour changes

Emma Stone blonde hair Spider-Man

Oh, I know it it’s for a movie (Spider-Man), but I can’t help but mourn the loss of Emma Stone, Redhead. Because she was such a GOOD redhead. Emma Stone, Blonde is just kind of boring, that’s all.

And as far as reds go—yes, Christina Hendricks, a.k.a. Joan Harris (née Holloway), is probably the most talked-about redhead these days. And yes, she looks amazing—but because her colour is so frickin’ FLAMING red, I think it would be incredibly hard to pull off for us mere mortals who a) aren’t dressing ourselves up in either fancy ballgowns or tailored 1960s suits every day, and b) don’t have a hairdresser on speed-dial who can touch up our roots every 10 days.

No, I thought Emma’s colour was the coolest. The auburn was more subdued, more natural—more like she was actually born with it. (She wasn’t.)

Here’s what she used to look like:

Emma Stone redhead As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

Better, right? And maybe it’s just me, but she actually looks like a nicer person with the red hair, no?

(Also: whoever says redheads can’t wear red lips needs to see this picture.)

Still, Emma is one of the lucky ones. Even though I obviously prefer the red, she CAN pull off both colours… other celebs aren’t so lucky. Remember Katherine Heigl’s recent experiment with the almost-black hair?

Katherine Heigl brunette and blonde hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

I shudder. Although maybe it’s those awful curls?

Another bad one was Jessica Simpson’s John Mayer brunette phase:

Jessica Simpson brunette and blonde hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

Yowza. Maybe it would’ve worked if she’d ditched the spray tans.

Then there was Kim Kardashian doing the reverse—brunette-to-blonde—not too long ago:

Kim Kardashian blonde and brunette hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

Not entirely terrible, but it’s much too “J. Lo 2.0″ for my taste. Kim wisely switched back and kept on working her exotic brunette thing (although I still maintain that she wears far, far too much makeup—I got sucked into watching some Keeping Up with the Kardashians marathon this weekend and she is SUCH a pretty girl when she lays off the slap).

Jessica Biel is another one who I think is better off sticking to the dark side—or at least, a nice medium brown:

Jessica Biel blonde and brunette hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

And then there are the three Big Time celebs who, as far as I’m concerned, should never, ever veer from blonde. Cameron Diaz:

Cameron Diaz brunette and blonde hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

Reese Witherspoon:

Reese Witherspoon brunette and blonde hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

And way back in the day, Gwyneth Paltrow:

Gwyneth Paltrow blonde and brunette hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

And that brings me to my conclusions from all of these hair colour shenanigns. First, there are only TWO celebs I can think of who I honestly think look equally good as blondes or brunettes.

Hilary Duff:

Hilary Duff blonde and brunette hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

And of course, the queen of all hair colour chameleons, Nicole Richie:

Nicole Richie blonde and brunette hair As Team Redhead loses a celeb (Emma Stone), let's talk about ill advised radical hair colour changes

Do you agree? Who am I missing?

My second conclusion from all of this hard-core beauty analysis (!!) is that despite a few missteps, most of us can probably pull off a MUCH wider range of hair shades than we think. Seriously, we can. It just takes the right hairdresser. (I wouldn’t try this at home.)

And as someone who has been blonde, brunette, red (well, strawberry) and currently somewhere in between… you honestly never know how it’s going to look until you bite the bullet and just dewit! (Yes I meant to spell it that way. It’s my new thing.)

So tell me what you think about radical hair colour changes:

Do you prefer Emma Stone as a blonde or a redhead?
Have you ever made a radical hair colour change—and if so, how did it turn out?
If you could pull off any hair colour, what would it be?

33 Comments

Beauty Reductionista
Tuesday, December 7/2010 at 8:04 pm

She doesn’t look bad at all as a blonde. It’s just as you said, she looked so standout as a redhead.

I somehow totally missed Witherspoon’s brunette phase.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:36 pm

Yeah, I don’t DISlike it… just thought she was more of a standout with the red.

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Emily
Tuesday, December 7/2010 at 9:56 pm

Color and curls…. Ok, worked for a very great hair company for years in NYC. I was always a ‘golden blonde’… then, one day, I went dark, for fun. NOT fun. I looked like some politician’s wife. Not good. I have curls (like KH’s ‘awful’ ones above). It’s sometimes a curse… But I HAVE learned, with curls you NEED DEPTH and CONTRAST. Yeah, it’s cool to have the monochrom-ish hair that is ‘in’ right now (even with the ombre trend, it’s still all one tone in one area) – this is VERY hard to pull off if you have curls (b/c they are not shiny, do not reflect light and it just looks like a MASS of hair, not cute). Just sayin’.
Ok, Love HDuff – she has a very good beauty team.
What about Linda Evangalista? Old skool, but a true chameleon, no?

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:42 pm

Oops – that came out wrong, I didn’t intend to sound so mean re: the curls! Probably you are right – it was mostly the lack of light to the hair that made them ‘awful’! So great point and thank you for making it! (Also: Even with my stick-straight hair, I remember when I experimented with brown hair from box dyes my hair lost all shine and dimension… I think solid all-over colour + very tone-on-tone highlights are probably the solution.)

Forgot about Linda E! Love her.

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ann
Tuesday, December 7/2010 at 10:30 pm

Well, Emma Stone’s natural hair color was blonde. This has got to be the one time that I think that the dyed color looks better than the natural color.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:43 pm

Yep—it’s hard to believe she’s not a natural redhead.

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Marina (Makeup4all)
Wednesday, December 8/2010 at 9:21 am

Great post! I think Monica Bellucci should always stay a brunette! And Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth should really stay blonde! As for some celebs you’ve mentioned I don’t like them no matter what chair colour they have ;)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:44 pm

Monica B. was blonde? I missed that but just Googled—ugh.

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Lindsay
Wednesday, December 8/2010 at 6:15 pm

How bout evanna lynch (luna lovegood in harry potter)…I guess like emma watson she wanted a drastic change after filming and has gone red, but..eehhhh??? not too sure about that one! or maybe it was just all the horrible fake tan? :S eek, have you seen any pics of her? please stay blond evanna!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:46 pm

Had to Google her… wow – she looks like a different person with the red hair. And 10 years older, easily. Her blonde looked kinda ratty and over-processed though… maybe they needed to dye it dark as a temporary thing to improve the condition.

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Lindsay
Friday, December 10/2010 at 11:00 pm

they had given her some pretty awful extensions in a few of the movies too… one would think they could afford a decent stylist with the budget they were working with! haha :P

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Hayley
Thursday, December 9/2010 at 8:18 am

Definitely agree that Emma Stone looks MUCH better auburn than she does blonde. I’m sure she’ll switch back after filming.
I think that Ashlee Simpson really suits a lot of hair colours, I’m not sure I like her cut at the moment though!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:49 pm

I don’t like Ashlee’s new haircut at all! For some reason it makes her look like Carol Brady.

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Jen
Thursday, December 9/2010 at 5:30 pm

Actually, being a natural-blonde-turned-fake-redhead myself, like Emma Stone, I would have expected that I’d be on team faux-red for her as well, but I think I actually do prefer her as a blonde. And her bangs are fantastic (and I just grew mine out.. hmmm….)

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:50 pm

Yes I love the bangs! Not too thick, not too thin, not too short… just perfect.

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Elaine
Thursday, December 9/2010 at 11:27 pm

I actually like Emma Stone as a blonde the more I look at her… At first i was like WHOA, but now I like it. But if I could pull off the red like her, I’d definitely be switching to that team.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:51 pm

Me too! I’ve always wanted red hair but I just don’t have the colouring (too red in the face) to pull it off.

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Sophia
Friday, December 10/2010 at 12:16 pm

Maybe it’s blonde Emma’s eye make-up (which I luuuuurve) that is doing it, but she looks sultry and not so cutesy. It could be the poses, too.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:53 pm

You know what? That eye makeup in the blonde photo IS awesome. Thank you for pointing that out because I think I’ll use it for a future post on eye makeup… another reader asked me to do a sexy eye tutorial and this is a perfect example!

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Steph
Friday, December 10/2010 at 12:26 pm

I think there are some natural blondes who actually look a lot better with a darker haircolor.Just look at Zooey Deschanel, Leighton Meester or Katy Perry for example. I think they all look kinda washed-out as blondes?!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, December 10/2010 at 4:54 pm

Yes! Definitely agree (although I didn’t know Zooey was blonde before? I must look that up). Anyway – they fall into the Kim K. / Jessica B. camp… much better with darker hair.

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Gimped
Friday, December 17/2010 at 11:20 am

THAT is Emma Stone?? It doesn’t even look like the same person!!! But I think I like it. I do love the red locks on her as well, but I think she pulls off the blonde well.

I like to play with my hair colour, and have definitely done some drastic things in my life. Brown to platinum blonde … yeah, that’s pretty drastic :) LOVED the look, hated what it did to my hair. After this fiasco I DO find myself a little more hesitant to try different things when it comes to chemicals on my hair though. Before I didn’t really care — it’s just hair, I can just dye over it if I don’t like it. But now that it’s so damaged I have to be UBER careful what I do with it. I’m hoping I can get back to the “it’s only hair” frame of mind sometime soon, cuz I really do like playing with hair colour :)

If I could pull off any hair colour, I think I’d like to try a really nice red. I’ve used reds before and I like how they look on me, but they wash out so fast. Like within 2 weeks. In a perfect world I think I’d like to be a redhead. But blonde WAS super fun and cute, so it’s a contender too ;) I also LOVE the look that Keira Knightley is rocking right now, too, which is more “realistic” for my own hair. Oh, it’s just too hard to pick!!! I guess that’s why they invented hair dye :)

And might I just say: the pic of Hilary Duff as a brunette … holy cow GORGEOUS!! Like O.M.G. amazingly gorgeous. I love how rich that brown is — I think I’m going to try something like that next week myself — plus her face looks amazing, too. I don’t bat for the other team, but this pic makes me want to consider it. Lol!!!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Thursday, December 23/2010 at 12:35 pm

I would love to be a redhead too! Just don’t think it’s amazing for my skin tone as my complexion has too much pink in it. Blonde is more flattering on me. Also the maintenance with red is a such pain in the bum – you really have to be SO careful or it gets all faded and yucky. I once had a nice strawberry colour I really loved, but within a month or so it got a greenish tinge, not sure why.

Apparently Patti Stanger (the Millionaire Matchmaker lady) says men don’t like red hair though. Or well only a certain small percentage. She says blonde or brunette are best… apparently men get freaked out when the curtains don’t match the carpet or something like that :-)

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Vivian
Thursday, March 31/2011 at 2:49 pm

well, the girl is so stunning she can pull off any hair color. I do agree the red probably makes her stand out more, its ravishing, and they are too many blondes out there. Not everyone can pull red and she definitely can, heck I thought that was her natural hair color. Having said that, is good to change, wether is color or style, and if she can pull blonde good for her, but she should definitely go back to red at one point :-)

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Thomas
Saturday, April 23/2011 at 8:06 pm

I totally agree with all of this – expect maybe the bit about Nicole Richie’s brunette phase. To me, it simply makes her look washed out! But I must add two names that sprang to mind when I read the part about colour chameleons – Linda Evangelista is the undisputed queen of colour – she has been red, blonde, brown, even near black… And they all looked amazing. Also, Madonna. When she went for her Morgana type look back in the early 2000′s, she looked just as good brunette as she did blonde, despite having to contend with a rather hard and unconventional face!
Love the blog, I check it everyday faithfully!

Huge fan, fellow blonderexic Thomas xx

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Sunday, May 1/2011 at 4:26 pm

Oh yeah! Linda E. is the original and best colour chamelon. There was no shade that woman didn’t look good in! Madonna also good as a brunette but I think her personality suits the blonde. Plus blonde is kinder as you age!

I think I am the only person on earth, including Nicole Richie herself, that liked her as a brunette. :-)

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Hayley
Thursday, May 26/2011 at 8:51 am

I’m a fan of drastic changes, and if you can pull it off, go for it!
I think mainly it’s the shock factor of not seeing her red anymore….but I think she’s definitely rocking the blonde!
I find the worst part about drastic changes are friends and family begging you to go back/not dying and the fact that you just don’t know how it’ll turn out! It often makes me change my mind! I’m naturally blonde and have been all shades of brown, an accidental black back to blonde again, and I find I get bored if I have the same hair colour for too long..
I love myself as a blonde, but I’ve always wanted to try red. I’m trying to pluck up the courage to try a colour like Emma’s, but the fact that it’s so hard to go back from red to blonde is putting me off a little…

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lizzy
Thursday, June 16/2011 at 3:12 pm

i love the color of emma stone’s red hair in that picture…just wondering if anyone can tell me how to describe that color to my hairstylist besides just showing them the picture. thanks!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, July 29/2011 at 4:40 pm

It’s always best to show not tell with colourists… I always buy gossip magazines as they have so many celebrity photos – that’s what I bring to the hair salon to show what I want. Trying to describe a colour in words is very risky.

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zodiggity
Thursday, July 28/2011 at 10:53 pm

MANDY MOORE!!!!!!!! She looks AMAZING blonde AND brunette!!!!

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Nada
Monday, October 17/2011 at 2:57 am

Katherine Heigl’s is so much more beautiful with that gorgeous dark locks:-)
Other not so much, especially Kim as blonde baddd, except Ema Stone lovely dark copper…

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francine
Tuesday, March 13/2012 at 3:40 am

I agree on the haircolors for everyone. But, you forgot someone who was born a blonde and always a brunette–Winona Ryder. She went back to blonde for Edward Scissorhands!

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Kathryn
Wednesday, April 18/2012 at 7:19 pm

Hey! I really liked your article! I agree that Emma looks amazing as both but the red just adds a little something more I think. One person who I think truly looks amazing as blonde, brown, and red is RACHEL MCADAMS! I seriously can’t choose what I like her best as!

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