| April 3, 2013

Actress Reese Witherspoon may be "legally blonde," but for spring she’s gone to the dark side.

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The 37-year-old Oscar winner was recently spotted with a new brunette do.

With the sun-soaked days of summer on its way, ladies often channel their inner blonde bombshell because the sun can lighten tresses, but some stylists say now is the time to tone things down.

“I love the idea of not sticking with the traditional thought of ‘lighter in the summer,’” says Hollywood-based stylist Janine Jarman, who has worked with actress Scarlett Johansson. “I think brunettes look great in pastel colors, as well as the sherbet tones we always see in spring.”

Gregorio Rugerrio, a New York City-based hair colorist whose work has been featured in Vogue Australia,  feels the same.

“Spring is a great time for change, with all the sun, swimming and general madness that accompanies it,” he explains. “A summer brunette is very low-key in comparison to being blonde. The problem of being so light in summer is that the general appearance of the hair can often be murky and cast green overtones.”

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Thinking about giving bleach a break? The pros say there are a few things to keep in mind.

“Darker hair is generally shinier and it has plenty of time to fade nicely in the event you do want a summer blonde,” says South Beach-based celebrity hairstylist Danny Jelaca, who has worked with actress Cameron Diaz. “(But) use a reputable colorist because the hair needs to be filled before going dark.”

Matt Kwasny, stylist for Prive Salon in Los Angeles who colors actress Kate Bosworth, also believes a professional will be able to determine the health of your hair before taking the plunge.

“The most important thing to take into consideration is the condition of your hair,” says Kwasny. “If you are over-processed and your hair is not healthy, I recommend having a series of conditioning treatments before your actual hair (dye) appointment to help get your hair healthy and in better shape for the transition.”

READ: We Tried It: Hair Chalk

Do brunettes really have more fun? These stars seem to think so:

Associated Press
Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence has dyed her hair dark for several recent roles including "The Hunger Games" and "Silver Linings Playbook."

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart, who plays the dark-haired Bella in the "Twilight" film series, is actually a natural blonde.

Associated Press
Dita Von Teese

Good luck spotting burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese going back to her roots! In 2011, the 40-year-old told the New York Times that she's actually a blonde, but darkens her eyebrows with Just For Men hair dye to match her midnight tresses.

Katy Perry

Singer Katy Perry seems to change her hair color every day, but it was reported in 2011 that the 28-year-old is a natural blonde. Not only has she supposedly spent years maintaining her darker hair, but she also makes sure her eyebrows and eyelashes match.

Olivia Wilde

In 2011, actress Olivia Wilde dished on her blonde past. “I’m a natural blonde, but I feel like a brunette,” the 29-year-old said. “I feel people treat me how I should be treated." She also added that becoming a brunette changed the way others view her. “People used to be shocked when I was a blonde that I wasn’t stupid,” she said.

Sofia Vergara

This “Modern Family” star may be known as a buxom brunette, but in 2010, Sofia Vergara told Self Magazine that she faced obstacles forging her career as a blonde. “When I started acting, I would go to auditions and they didn’t know where to put me because I was voluptuous and had the accent — but I had blonde hair,” the 40-year-old said. “It was ignorance: They thought every Latin person looks like Salma Hayek. The moment I dyed my hair dark, it was, ‘Oh, she’s the hot Latin girl. I loved it.”

Associated Press
Katherine Heigl

When Katherine Heigl went brunette, the 34-year-old needed some time to accept her new look. “I was pretty shocked at first…I was like, ‘wow, it’s dark, that’s not just brown, that’s black.’ It took me a good day and a half to totally embrace it,” Heigl told Us Weekly. “I love it. It’s fun. I feel a bit different even though I don’t act any different. I say all the same stupid things — I just look different.”


Scarlett Johansson

Although Scarlett Johansson has gone brunette many times, the blonde bombshell’s light locks are reportedly real. “My natural hair color is dirty blonde,” the actress said. “I’ve been a bottle blonde before, very yellow–and a white blonde…My dad is Danish and he’s a natural blonde. I’ve even taken a clipping from this hair to the salon so I can have it tinted the same color!”

Associated Press
Cameron Diaz

This former “Charlie’s Angel” may be recognized as blonde, but in 2006, she proclaimed her love for dark chocolate locks. “It’s not for a role. Just for me,” said Diaz. “Everybody sees themselves in a certain way. Well, I see myself as a brunette. My friends all say it suits me. It looks more like me — more natural.”


Winona Ryder

According to People Magazine, actress Winona Ryder is actually a natural blonde, but the 41-year-old has been dyeing it ever since she was asked to for her first film in 1986.