We all know that when it comes to movies, more than a little magic goes into some of the beauty looks we see on screen. Wigs, prosthetics, professional makeup, and more help actors bring their roles to life. However, some of the transformations that are written into movies can be a little ridiculous and not exactly feasible — and while we can suspend our disbelief when it comes to some of them, Jennifer Lawrence’s recent brunette-to-blonde makeover in Red Sparrow was a tad too outrageous to ignore.
If your hair is dark, dyeing it blonde is quite a process, and one that many celebrities have let us in on as of late. Kim Kardashian’s blonde transformation took 17 hours to complete. When Selena Gomez went blonde last year, she spent nine hours in the chair for the look. And remember — these marathon dyeing sessions are executed by professionals.
However, in the film Lawrence’s character achieves icy-blonde perfection by using one (count it, one) box of dye in a bathroom, without even using gloves. Cue the side-eye.
Not that I was expecting Red Sparrow to be an accurate representation of what it’s like to be a Russian spy but I draw the g-d line at dyeing your hair brunette to blonde with BOX DYE & WITHOUT GLOVES. Consider my disbelief the opposite of suspended!!
— sable (@Sabletoothtigre) March 4, 2018
Hairstylist Holly Mills confirms that indeed, this instance of movie magic is a little too good to be true. “If you want to go platinum from a medium brown like the transformation in Red Sparrow and do it safely, you’re likely going to use a protectant like Olaplex. Olaplex links bonds in the hair before, during, and after chemical services. Using Olaplex is great, but it also slows down the chemical lifting of bleach.” She explains that getting a shade of brown like Lawrence’s to that level platinum could take seven to eight hours, and ideally would be spread out over two to three appointments.
Also, a single box of dye ain’t gonna cut it if you want that kind of platinum-blonde hair. Mills notes that it would have taken at least three boxes for the amount of hair on J.Law’s head. If this wasn’t bad enough, Lawrence then takes a swim in a chlorinated pool with her freshly dyed hair and emerges with no aesthetic damage from the situation. That right there is what we like to call fake news.
“When you lift your hair to bright-white, platinum blonde, your hair is technically ’empty’,” explains Mills. “The hair strand has almost no color molecules left inside, so it’s porous, which means your hair has lots of room inside for color or in the case of chlorine, being stained. That’s why a lot of platinum girls use purple shampoo and conditioner.” Since purple is the opposite color to yellow, “it removes any leftover brassy tones in the hair by depositing a whisper of violet into the hair.”
OK, so J.Law (and the whole Red Sparrow team) may have stretched the truth a little, but no one really goes to the movies for beauty advice, I suppose. That said, if you want some tips on how to avoid a bad dye job, we’ve got you covered. And once you’ve achieved the color of your dreams, read this piece about how to properly condition blonde hair so it stays endlessly stunning.
Read more about dyeing your hair:
- The Secret to Having Perfect Pink Hair Color? Don’t Bleach Your Roots
- How to Remove Hair Dye From Your Skin, According to the Experts
- Moody Girls Hair Dye Is the Perfect Temporary Pastel Hair Color
Now, learn about the surprising history of hair dye:
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