Stylist Explains How She Turned Leighton Meester to Platinum Blonde

Oh, the drama. On Tuesday, pro colorist Aura Friedman put up a post on Instagram showing just few strands of platinum blonde hair and nothing else. “Guess who!?!” she captioned. Turns out, that icy hair belongs to Leighton Meester, who’s been known for being a brunette since her Gossip Girl days.

“Leighton’s features are so fine and she has the face of an Old Hollywood star,” Friedman tells Allure. The duo has been talking about this hair transformation over the past week. “She knew she wanted a cooler tone blonde — nothing too yellow in it — and we started sharing ideas.” Friedman notes that much of her inspiration came from vintage Playboy models and iconic screen sirens. “I just watched this really cool documentary on Hugh Hefner and I love Jayne Mansfield, so she’s been on my mind.”

So, how exactly did Meester achieve such a light hue in a matter of five hours?

At New York City’s Nexxus Salon, the actress came in with completely virgin hair, an ideal starting point for the color to lift evenly. Leading up to the process, Friedman had asked Meester to prep using the Nexxus Keraphix Reconstructing Treatment, which is packed with proteins and black rice to combat severe hair damage. In fact, a single-use dose has as much protein as how much is lost from extremely damaged hair over a period of one year. It's a bona-fide savior for troubled strands.

Leighton Meester Selfie

“I love trying different looks and playing around with my hair. But, that means it goes through so much damage, especially when I’m at work,” Meester tells Nexxus. “So it is important that I keeping my hair looking and feeling healthy.”

To start, bleach was applied an inch away from the root, and then directly onto the root. Freidman started from the back so once bleach was processed, hair could be rinsed in sections without getting anything else wet. Friedman then used the reconstructing treatment again before applying gloss. “The protein is what’s damaged when hair is bleached so this is the perfect answer to it,” she says and proceeded to shadow the roots with a slightly darker neutral level gloss and a cooler tone gloss for the ends.

The final step was using the Nexxus Keraphix Damage Healing Masque, a hero product that's super conditioning, provides a protective barrier to the hair, and seals in moisture.

Of course, the process was one big party. “It was a great time. We were pretty silly all day and probably drank 10 cups of coffee,” says Friedman.

Thinking of going platinum yourself? “I think it can pretty much work on any skin tone. It is all about finding the right shade,” Friedman says. Make sure to consult with your colorist beforehand and be ready to do the maintenance work. Remember: it’s all about the power of protein.


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