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It's Back to Brunette for Katharine McPhee

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Albert Michael/Startraks

Katharine McPhee has gone (back) to the dark side. After transforming into a platinum blonde last August for her album Unbroken, McPhee went back to brunette on March 24–the day before her 26th birthday–for another work project. She’ll play a girl-next-door pharmaceutical rep in the NBC comedy pilot The Pink House, which shoots this month. “It’s always nice to have a reason to go back,” McPhee tells PEOPLE of the change, which is a rich shade of brown that’s a little lighter than her natural color. “I loved having blonde hair–it’s so much fun.” But there’s one thing McPhee won’t miss: “Blonde was pretty hard on my hair,” she admits. “I guess my hair is thanking me now!” Tell us: Which color do you prefer on Katharine?–Marisa Laudadio