Leighton Meester is probably best known for her role as Blair Waldorf on the television series Gossip Girl, especially since the actress's looks were so similar to the character's in the original book series. Leaving her Upper West side penthouse every morning in designer swing coats, bedecked headbands, and a purse collection that screamed "old money," it was like watching the book come to life. And one of Waldorf's defining features was the chestnut brown hair that swung neatly at her shoulders, always perfectly coiffed and suitable for a Manhattan heiress. It's been around six years since the show wrapped, but it's still hard to separate Meester from the look. That is, until now. Meester has platinum hair now, and you will barely recognize her when you see her.
She broke the news on Instagram, where she snapped a selfie of her nearly-white, shoulder grazing locks much to her fans' and followers' surprise.
"Having a blonde moment. Thank you to my hair saviors: @auracolorist and Keraphix protein treatment @NexxusNYSalon," she wrote in the caption.
Aura Friedman is a world-renowned hair colorist who works at the Sally Hershberger salon in New York, and is something of a big deal. She has been the mastermind behind every major color trend of the last decade, where her roster includes inventing "splashlights" for Caroline Polachek, ombré for MIA, and pink hair for Lady Gaga. A spin through her Instagram also gives you a good idea what her talent with color is like, featuring pastel highlights and coral bobs. So suffice it to say, Meester was in good hands when making such a risky color transformation.
Friedman also posted a photo of Meester on her own Instagram account, sharing a paparazzi photo of her shopping around Manhattan with her icy lob. Under the caption she wrote, "I had the best time taking @itsmeleighton from brunette to a vintage Hollywood #platinum using the new #keraphix protein treatment to replenish her hair with the proteins it needs."
What's interesting (and surprising) is that underneath the block of hashtags that Friedman posted was #onedaytransformation, which meant she took Meester from brunette to white blonde in one appointment. Seeing how bleach leaves a person's hair brittle and weak, most stylists ask a client to come in for multiple sittings so they could ease their strands into the color.
While Friedman works at the Sally Hershberger salon, both photos tagged the Nexxus New York Salon in Tribeca, and seeing how Friedman is a consultant for Nexxus, chances are this hair transformation was a collaboration with the brand. A quick jump over to the salon's Instagram page shows that the brand freshly released a Nexxus Keraphix Platinum box, which is a line that includes a shampoo, conditioner, hair mask, and a reconstruction treatment for damaged hair. Since the colorist tagged the treatment as part of Meester's hair transformation, she's hinting that it helped lighten her hair in just one sitting without breaking it.
One of the salon's photos announced that the boxes made their way to their salon, where they are now using them on platinum blonde clients (like Meester.)
Meester also mentioned that the Keraphix protein treatment was one of her "hair saviors" while at the salon, and used the hashtag #NexxusPartner, so it looks like she did the hair change as a partnership, rather than a whirlwind hair change done on a whim.
Even though chances are Meester got the hair change to help promote a new product launch, she still looks amazing and unrecognizable in the new look.
"I have not gone platinum before. It’s definitely a shock every time I see it in a mirror, but in a good way — it’s a makeover, it’s really fun," she shared in an interview with Elle. "It's certainly fun for myself to experiment and have fun, but it’s also fun to reveal it to people that are close to you like...surprise!"
If you've been itching for a bold change of your own, take Meester as inspiration and take the plunge.