Platinum: A Hair Retrospective

Platinum: A Hair Retrospective
Everett Collection, David M. Benett/Getty Images, Lorenzo Santini/WireImage

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!

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    PHOTO: John Kobal Foundation/Getty Images

    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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    PHOTO: Everett Collection

    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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    PHOTO: Lorenzo Santini/WireImage

    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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    PHOTO: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

    Madonna, 2008

    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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    PHOTO: First View

    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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    PHOTO: Jaime King

    Jaime King, 2013

    King changes her locks so frequently, she has her director husband dye her hair in their kitchen. Here she is rocking a retro wave and a platinum hue earlier this year.

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    PHOTO: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Tiffany & Co.

    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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    PHOTO: David M. Benett/Getty Images

    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.

EXPLORE: Jean Harlow, Marilyn Monroe, Mary-Kate Olsen, Madonna, Michelle Williams, Rita Ora, Anne Hathaway, Miley Cyrus, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Gwen Stefani, Platinum Hair, Celebrity Beauty, Hair
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