There are blondes, and then there are platinum blondes. The iconic shade made famous by Marilyn Monroe is hard to get and even trickier to maintain. But when done right, it's pure magic. Case in point: Rita Ora stepped out this week with new white-blonde locks that made our jaws drop. From Jean Harlow to Gwen Stefani to Mary-Kate Olsen, you'll find our favorite bleached looks, above. And for all you who want to attempt the shade, stay tuned for tips and tricks to taking care of processed hair, coming next week!
Platinum: A Hair Retrospective
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Jean Harlow, 1933
Well before the era of safe blonde hair color, the ‘30s actress and sex symbol dyed her locks platinum using actual bleach, which is rumored to have contributed to her death at the age of 26.
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Marilyn Monroe, 1959
The original blonde bombshell traded in her naturally-dark locks for her signature blonde crop at the beginning of her career and never looked back. "In Hollywood, a girl's virtue is much less important than her hair-do,” she once said.
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Mary-Kate Olsen, 2007
Olsen has dabbled in platinum a few times: she first lightened up in 2006 with a more golden tone, but our favorite is the white-blonde locks she sported the next year.
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There’s no shortage of bleach-blonde styles Madonna’s rocked over the years to choose from, like this wavy version in 2008.
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Abbey Lee Kershaw, 2011
The model had never dyed her light-brown hair before going platinum in 2012, naming Monroe as her inspiration. It wasn’t easy, however; the transformation took seven hours!
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Gwen Stefani, 2012
Not a fan of roots, Stefani told InStyle that she dyes her own roots at home “as often as Marilyn Monroe dyed hers.” Her formula of choice, however; she’s keeping under wraps.
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Miley Cyrus, 2012
We’ve been paying close attention to Cyrus’ hair transformation this year, a post-Disney transformation that began short and platinum in 2012.
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Michelle Williams, 2013
Nobody can pull of a platinum undercut like Williams. Nobody.
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Anne Hathaway, 2013
Hathaway debuted a platinum ‘do at the Met Gala earlier this year, but only kept the color for a few weeks before returning to her dark brown roots.
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Rita Ora, 2013
The inspiration for this very slideshow, Ora debuted her new white-blonde locks at the UK Harper’s Bazaar Women of the Year awards in London on Tuesday.