Plus, her colorist shares all the details on creating her new look

By Jillian Ruffo
February 19, 2018 02:14 PM
Riawna Capri/Instagram

Julianne Hough’s blonde hair has always been as much a signature as her killer dance moves and sunny personality. But last week, the star debuted an entirely new look: a bright shade of red, which she’s been wanting to transition to for a long time. And while it was a shocking change, Hough says she feels more like herself than ever before — and her husband, Brooks Laich, is all for it.

“It was sort of like, everybody kind of knows me as the blonde American girl and just very happy and positive, and I’m almost 30,” Hough told People at the Love United Charity SoulCycle ride in Hollywood she hosted with Laich to raise money for Charity Water. “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. 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.”

Laich didn’t mince words when it came to describing his wife’s new do.

“I love it,” the hockey star tells People of his wife’s new look. “It’s sexy as hell. It really is… Ever since I’ve known her she’s only been blonde, but I remember watching Footloose just being like, ‘Damn. This lady is hot’. So when she said she wanted to change it I was all for it. She went red and it looked beautiful.”

It’s a good thing they’re both so crazy about the results, because achieving her new look wasn’t easy. Hough’s colorist, Amber Maynard Bolt, described the entire process for PeopleStyle, from her inspiration photos to achieving the final result – an Herculean effort that took nine hours and two tries to achieve. See our by-the-numbers breakdown below.

2: The number of products Julianne was sent home with to maintain her hue
“I only sent her home with Joico shampoo and conditioner for color! I also did add some of her pigment to the conditioner so she could keep it up.”

3: The number of cups of coffee Maynard drank during the process
“I’m a new mom. I live on coffee!”

5: The number of reference photos Julianne brought as inspiration
“She had a couple different photos of Jessica Chastain. Different angles and light. She also had some photos of a friend of hers. She really wanted to keep the red in the natural family.”

6: The number of years Julianne has been prepping for this change
“This is something she has wanted to do for a long time. Six years in fact!”

9: The number of hours the process took
“The reason why it took so long is because I’m a perfectionist! I wasn’t happy with the original outcome, so I asked her to come back in so I could tweak her hair. We actually talked most of the time. She’s on a path similar to one I took some years ago, so it was a nice realization to see we had so much in common.”

29: The number of ounces of dye it took to achieve the perfect color.
“It took a lot of color to get her final result. Because she was bleached, I had to take my time to get her look! ”

Countless: The number of times Julianne said she loved her new look
“Throughout every stage of her color she beamed! She loved every step. She said she loved it so so many times! Her enthusiasm actually made me feel really comfortable to take her red!”

With reporting by Mariah Haas and Jackie Fields