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April 03, 2018 11:49 AM

The change of seasons is a popular time for hair makeovers, and Leighton Meester is kicking off Spring with a major transformation.

The actress, not only chopped off some serious inches for a fresh new lob, but she also made the most major hair color change of her life: going completely platinum.

“I don’t even feel comfortable saying that I just went blonde. It is a totally different color of hair!” Meester told PeopleStyle right after she completed the seven hour color process with Aura Friedman at the Nexxus New York Hair Salon. “But I love it!”

Meester’s played with a warm dirty blonde hue in the past (she most recently rocked the color about a year ago), but has never plunged into an icy platinum color like this until now.

Michael Simon/Startraks

“I’ve had long, natural hair for a long time. The length it got to felt like the exact opposite of what I wanted to go for. I really felt like something that was a stark difference would be invigorating and fun,” Meester told us. “I like to try different things and experiment. So when I wanted to change my hair, I just thought, “I should just completely go for it!'”

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Nexxus

The actress scoured Pinterest and Instagram for platinum blonde inspiration photos, but ultimately wanted to go for a ’60s Hitchcockian blonde.

Leighton Meester/Instagram

“Jayne Mansfield was very much the inspiration when we first got to the salon, but just with a little more of a modern edge,” Meester said.

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Even before getting in the salon chair for the color change, Meester prepared her hair at home to make sure her ends would stay healthy and strong despite all the bleaching.

“I was using the Nexxus Keraphix Masque as much as possible just to keep my hair super healthy from root to end,” she told us. “And I like doing the Nexxus Keraphix Reconstructing Protein Treatment once a week too. It’s really important for me for my hair to feel as healthy as it looks.”

When Meester isn’t getting her hair blown out by a professional for a red carpet or work, she prefers air drying, which she’s most excited to now do with blonde hair. “I’m always excited to see how it dries naturally because I have naturally wavy hair. After I get a new color or cut I like to see how it will dry,” she said. “But I do like styling it differently and trying new looks and textures with a new color too.”

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