The This Is Us actress tells PEOPLE how she used Garnier Nutrisse Almond Crème to achieve a brighter hue just in time for summer

By Hanna Flanagan
May 19, 2021 06:13 PM
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Mandy Moore Garnier
Credit: Garnier

With mask mandates lifting for the fully vaccinated and travel resuming, life amid the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting for many, and Mandy Moore is welcoming the change with a fresh new look.

The singer and actress went back to her roots (she's a natural blonde!), by debuting her lighter, blonder strands exclusively with PEOPLE.

"I've been longing for some much needed change," says the new mom, who welcomed son August Harrison with husband Taylor Goldsmith on Feb. 20. "It really felt like now was the perfect time to do something different, with the world seemingly opening back up again... normal feels like it's really right around the corner."

But she didn't let go of every quarantine habit just yet. The star actually dyed her own blonde locks herself with a little help from her favorite Garnier Nutrisse hair products and tips from her trusted celebrity hairstylist Nikki Lee.

Mandy Moore Garnier
Credit: Garnier

"I used the virtual shade selector on Garnier's website to take this quick questionnaire and figure out what color was going to be best for me, because I knew that I wanted to keep it more in the darker, natural blonde shade range," she explains. "I was able to find the exact color match that felt like the right move for me: number 70. I was starting with a bit of a darker base this go around, so I was careful not to go too light because I didn't want it to turn brassy. That was a big concern for me."

Once she found her shade, the star consulted with Lee, who suggested she buy two boxes of Garnier Nutrisee Nourishing Hair Color Almond Crème ($7.92; walmart.com) to avoid running out of product halfway through the coloring process.

Moore then followed the directions on the back of the package, working the mixture from roots to tips until her hair was fully saturated. She let the dye sit for the full 30 minutes to lift her brunette base. "That was something Nikki helped me assess as well," she says of the processing time.

"I shampooed with Garnier's new Fructis Plumping Treat + Watermelon Extract Shampoo and Conditioner ($8 each at drugstores). My hair feels so much softer now. You wouldn't even notice I just colored it," the Because I Said So actress — who is also using Garnier Nutrisse Color Reviver in Cool Blonde ($7.62; walmart.com) to maintain her hue — shares. "It's buoyant and bouncy and glossy and shiny and all the things I wanted."

Moore's not only ushering in change in her everyday life, but her professional career as well.

Last week, This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman confirmed the beloved NBC drama will end with season 6 in 2022. (The Emmy winner teases she'll wear a wig for the final season because she's "really excited" to keep this hair color for as long as she can.)

"With this new chapter of my life, it just felt like the right time for a hair change," the star, who describes her blonde hue as "bright" and summer sunshine-inspired says. "The color feels indicative of how exciting and hopeful people are."

Reflecting on her style and beauty evolution over the course of her two-decade career, Moore says, "I've always found that I've enjoyed being a bit of a chameleon."

"That's the fun part that I have found in my sort of personal journey as a woman. I love being able to express myself through fashion and different hair colors and hairstyles. It's just so thrilling to be able to lean into whatever change feels right at any given time."