Julianne Hough Goes Back to Blonde: 'Being a Redhead Helped Me Embrace My Sexuality'

The star went back to her signature hue

The blonde is back in town!

After nearly six months of experimenting with red hair, Julianne Hough just returned to her roots, trading her bold crimson hue for her signature bright blonde look — and her longtime hairstylist and close friend, Riawna Capri, is sharing the details behind the 7-hour transformation.

“I wouldn’t have felt this confident in my skin right now if I didn’t step out side the box of what I knew myself as and what people identified me as,” Hough told Capri of her new look. “Being a redhead helped me dive into my womanhood and embrace my sexuality. Now I’m ready to jump back to my roots with everything I learned and integrated in to my body and spirit.”

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Riawna Capri/Instagram

The star debuted her new look at her own surprise party birthday thrown by her friends on Tuesday, which Lauren Paul shared on her Instagram Story. In the video of her arrival, Hough is seen sporting a completely different shade from what we’ve know her to have since February, when the star dyed her hair red soon after marrying husband Brooks Laich. But Hough was excited to return to her original hue, says Capri.

“Jules has been creating and developing a secret project about transformation and identity,” Capri shares. “Going Red was part of this project and now that she has done her research, she wanted to go back to her roots and be the strong grounded blonde that she is.”

This time, they strayed away from Hough’s usual icy blonde and instead went for a gold-toned color, which Capri is calling “honeysuckle.”

“When doing a color correction like this you pray to the hair gods and hope all goes as planned. And luckily for her it did.”

However, the transformation wasn’t an easy one — even at the hands of one of Hollywood’s most sought-after colorists. Capri shares that it took multiple rounds of perfecting in order to remove all the red from her strands.

“With patience and time it can be done in one day. We used Joico color removers and then went through and did a full head of baby-fine highlights. Every single hair needed to be lightened.”

And the pro says they kept Hough’s eyebrows brown in order to define her eyes. “Dark brows and blonde hair give more of an edge to being blonde, and makes your eye color pop,” she says.

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But despite her transformation, Hough has shared that red was one of her favorite looks. The star said she’d always wanted to try the shade, which was done by Amber Maynard at Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles.

“I have never felt more like ME than I do right now,” Hough captioned the reveal shot back in February. “I have always felt like a red head my whole life, even to the point that I’ve thought that my future daughter would 100% be a red head!”

And Hough told PEOPLE that her husband, Laich, loved the look as well.

“Being married, something just shifted in my core. I sort of had been living up in like this happy, like air-y space, and I just felt so grounded and rooted, and just this feeling of being a woman, rather than a girl, just like stepping into that womanhood,” she said. “There’s just something about being a redhead … that just makes me feel really feminine and free, and just connected … I feel sexy. He loves it. It’s so fun.”

But maybe blondes really do have more fun.

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