12 Famous Women Whose Careers Skyrocketed After Dyeing Their Hair

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What a difference hair makes. It’s no secret that natural hair color is somewhat of a myth in Hollywood. With so many celebrities switching up their natural-born shades for hues on the complete opposite end of the color spectrum, it’s near-impossible to track down what someone’s original hair looks like. And while most of us switch up our hair for vanity purposes, the right hairstyle in Hollywood can mean life or death for a star’s career.

MORE: The 24 Best Celebrity Hair Transformations of 2017

When you’re starting out in the business, everything counts—even the strands of hair on your head. So, when celebrities like Emma Stone and Amy Adams weren’t booking roles as blondes, they went straight to the hair dye, kissed their sun-kissed locks goodbye, and became gingers, which is when the parts started rolling in.

And while the right color is different for everyone (for Stone and Adams, it might be red; for others, it might be black or brown), one thing is for sure: If it’s not working, dye it. Ahead, peek at 12 famous women whose careers exploded after dying their hair.

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Emma Stone Hair

Emma Stone

Though she’s primarily known for her firey red locks, Stone is a natural blonde. She spent years trying to break into Hollywood with lighter-colored locks before testing out her luck as a brunette. Then, when she was booked on 2007’s “Superbad” (the film that eventually became her big break), the movie’s producer, Judd Apatow, asked her to dye her hair red. Obliging, Stone crossed over to the ginger side, and, after booking significant projects like “The House Bunny” and “Easy A,” she seemed to take a liking to the color. Now, however, the actress switches between her iconic red and her natural blonde for films like “The Amazing Spider-Man” series and her new Netflix series, “Maniac.”

“Judd made me a redhead,” Stone told the Easy Valley Tribune. “I was a brunette during casting. Then Judd walked in, said ‘Make it red,’ and walked out. So he made me this way.”

Photo: Getty Images

Mandy Moore Hair

Mandy Moore

Moore first broke onto the Hollywood as a bubbly-blonde pop-singing teenager. Though, after she transitioned to acting, the “This Is Us” star ditched her natural blonde hair color for a more subdued, mousy brunette—which has become her signature shade. The actress first went brunette for the 2002 movie, “A Walk to Remember.” After seeing her career skyrocket, she thought it was best to stick with the chocolate-brown shade.

“There was a real significance to coloring my hair,” she told Us Weekly. “As silly as it sounds, there was a real significance in the way that people saw me, but also in the way that I carried myself and that I saw myself.”

Photo: Getty Images

Amy Adams Hair

Amy Adams

In an interview with The Washington Post, Adams, who is a natural blonde, revealed that she was consistently typecast as the “bitchy girl” before she went red. It wasn’t until the five-time Oscar nominee, who is now known for playing sweet, innocent roles, dyed her hair ginger that she saw her career really catching steam.

“Everyone’s always like: ‘You’re so typecast,'” she said. “But actually, when I came out to L.A., I was always the bitchy girl.”

Photo: Getty Images

Christina Hendricks Hair

Christina Hendricks

Hendricks, who started out as a model, is a natural blonde. For one shoot, the photographer asked her to dye her hair red, a shade she’d always wanted to try. After the photoshoot, when her modeling agency saw her hair color, Hendricks was asked to dye it back—something she refused to do after seeing more and more jobs booked in the short time she had red hair. The “Mad Men” star stuck with the color and hasn’t looked back since.

“I booked two or three jobs, because were a lot fewer redheads than blondes, and I was like, this is working for me, I’m keeping this!” Hendricks told The Daily Mail.

Photo: Getty Images

Deborah Ann Woll Hair

Deborah Ann Woll

Like a lot of women on this list, Woll felt she “disappeared into the background” with her natural blonde hair. The “True Blood” actress, who said she’s felt that way about her natural hair color since she was a young child, first dyed her hair red in high school. She kept the color when she started acting, which is when she booked a role on the HBO vampire series. And though Woll has dabbled with blonde for roles, admitted in an interview with Elle, “I really like the red.”

Photo: Getty Images

Dita Von Teese Hair

Dita Von Teese

As a natural blonde, Von Teese felt out of place. In an interview with Into the Gloss, she admitted that her natural hair color made her look more like a “California girl,” a look that she could never really lock down. Sometime down the road, she dyed her hair red. Not feeling it, Von Teese decided to go back to blonde. Though, she was told that the only way to do that was to dye her hair jet-black, she revealed in her book, Your Beauty Mark. Taking a liking to her super-dark hair, the beauty mogul kept the color, which has become a staple in super-retro aesthetic.

Photo: Getty Images

Gwen Stefani Hair

Gwen Stefani

Believe it or not, but Stefani isn’t a natural blonde. The singer, who was born a brunette, dyed her hair platinum blonde in high school as a result of a breakup. Though the bleach was only meant to get her through her heartache, Stefani kept the color for career reasons. Shortly after dying her hair, her music career with No Doubt started taking off.

“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!'” Stefani told Teen Vogue. “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.”

Photo: Getty Images

Lucille Ball Hair

Leighton Meester

Meester, a natural blonde, almost didn’t land her iconic role as Blair Waldorf on “Gossip Girl” until she went in as a brunette. When the actress auditioned for the show, her on-screen BFF, played by Blake Lively, was already cast. Given that the show’s creators preferred Lively’s character as a blonde, Meester had to make a choice. Eventually, the actress dyed her hair mousy brown, which is the same color (more or less) that she’s been sporting years after “Gossip Girl” went off the air.

“She came in and she was really funny, and really smart and played vulnerable,” “Gossip Girl” co-creator, Josh Schwartz, told Vanity Fair. “But there was one problem: she was blonde. And Blake was blonde, obviously; Serena had to be blonde. So, [Leighton] went to the sink and dyed her hair. She wanted it.”

Photo: Getty Images

Olivia Wilde Hair

Olivia Wilde

As a blonde, her natural hair color, Wilde found it hard to book roles in Hollywood. In an interview with Into the Gloss, Wilde revealed that she first experimented with her hair on “The O.C.” where she added a purple streak. Seeing a noticeable difference, she dyed her whole head brunette, which is when she really saw her career take off. As a brunette, Wild said she received significantly more “intellectual” roles.

“When I went brunette, the roles went to more, ‘She’s a waitress with a heart of gold, and a tough life,’ or ‘She’s a doctor.’ And I always wondered—would I have been offered those roles had I still been blonde? I don’t think so,” she said. “When you’re blonde, it’s like you have a giant highlighter on your head; people can’t help but stare. So, it definitely changes how people think of you.”

Photo: Getty Images

Alyson Hannigan Hair

Alyson Hannigan

As a natural brunette, Hannigan found it hard to book roles. So when she landed her breakout job on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in the ’90s, the actress was happy to dye her hair. In an interview with PopSugar, Hannigan revealed that creator Joss Whedon asked the cast who wanted to go red, considering all three leading ladies were natural brunettes. Given her experience, Hannigan gladly volunteered, sticking with the color even through her nine seasons of her other smash television show,  “How I Met Your Mother.”

“Joss [Whedon] had us all over to his house,” she said. “Charisma and Sarah and I all had brown hair at the time. Joss said, ‘All of your hair is kind of the same shade. Does anyone want to be red?’ I went for it

Photo: Getty Images

Marilyn Monroe Hair

Marilyn Monroe

Contrary to belief, Monroe isn’t a natural blonde. The actress was actually born as a brunette, which led to sweeter and more innocent roles in her early career. When she made the jump to platinum blonde was when she saw a total shift in her career. The actress, who changed her name from “Norma Jeane Mortenson” to “Marilyn Monroe” around the same time, began seeing her sweet-girl typecast replaced with sexier bombshell roles.

Photo: Getty Images

Lucille Ball Hair

Lucille Ball

Though the actress is best-known for her firey red hair on her iconic sitcom, “I Love Lucy,” she was actually born as a brunette. In her early years, Ball’s career was going steady with her brunette, with a couple modeling and acting gigs here and there, but it wasn’t until she dyed her hair bright red for “I Love Lucy” did she become the comedy legend we know today.

Photo: Getty Images

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  • Emma Stone Hair
  • Mandy Moore Hair
  • Amy Adams Hair
  • Christina Hendricks Hair
  • Deborah Ann Woll Hair
  • Dita Von Teese Hair
  • Gwen Stefani Hair
  • Lucille Ball Hair
  • Olivia Wilde Hair
  • Alyson Hannigan Hair
  • Marilyn Monroe Hair
  • Lucille Ball Hair

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