Actress Beauty Tip #11: Platinum blonde hair

Hollywood’s original platinum blonde

Before Ginger Rogers, young Bette Davis and later Marilyn Monroe dyed their hair platinum blonde, Jean Harlow was the first.  Robert Osborne said in March “Now Playing” article that it’s hard to say anyone is the first:

Since the movie medium is now well into its second century, it’s virtually impossible for anybody to be “the first” to do something cinematically. Make a 3D movie? Some folks still have aching eyes from when third-dimension movies were a craze fifty-eight years ago. Watch a film on an iPhone? Basically, people were watching movies that size when “flickers” were initially introduced in small machines called Nickelodeons over 100 years ago. Even in the early 1930s, when our TCM Star of the Month Jean Harlow began her spectacular career, it was not easy to do something in the film world no one had done before. But Harlow did have first-time bragging rights on one thing: she was the first in what became a long line of platinum blonde bombshells who have added sizzle, sensuality and sassiness to the film medium ever since.

Osborne said before Harlow, dark haired vamps were the sex symbols in the 1920s like Theda Bera and Louise Brooks.

My new platinum hair! I even got bangs!

In honor of Jean Harlow’s 100th birthday on March 3, I decided to dye my hair platinum blonde. I’ve never dyed my hair before, so I thought “What the heck? I’m about to graduate from college so I might as well do it now.”  I wanted my hair to look like a field of silver daisies that someone would want to run barefoot through, like Franchet Tone said in “Bombshell.” I’m also a big Lady Gaga fan, so I wanted to look like her as well.

I used the same recipe studio’s used to dye Harlow’s hair the iconic blond hair, according to the beauty website “Steal Their Style.”

A mixture of:
•Clorox flakes
*They also used Luxe Flakes, but unfortunately those aren’t made anymore so I just omitted it.

There is a reason people don’t use this to dye their hair any more. It smells really horrible and wasn’t very comfortable.  I also look horrible with blonde hair since I have fair skin, as you can see in the picture above.


My real hair. No hair dye for me!

April Fools is really silly but in honor of Jean Harlow’s 100th birthday in March, I thought it would be interesting to look at the dangerous mix of items they used on her hair.  I am wearing a horrible blonde wig I bought at Party City to dress up as Lady Gaga for Halloween 2009.

Several actresses who peroxided their hair in the 1930s and 1940s experienced problems with hair loss, brittle hair and thinning hair. Jean Harlow wore a wig in the movie “China Seas” (1935), because she was trying to let it grow back to it’s natural color, according to IMDB. Ginger Rogers also described problems with her hair in her autobiography “Ginger: My Story.”

I probably will never, ever dye my hair, but certainly not platinum blonde. Please, please, please don’t try this. I’ve always been told never to mix clorox and ammonia so don’t you try it either. If you do and you get hurt, don’t send your lawyers to me. If you feel so inclined to dye your hair bleached blond, don’t do it this way. Actually don’t do it at all. I know very few people who look good with peroxide blonde hair and several of them were actresses-not people I know in real life.

Check back in May for the year anniversary beauty tip!

And just in case you were curious…me as Gaga haha

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page and Radio Waves Over Hollywood Facebook page.