Top 10 Iconic Blondes
History has a long roll call of iconic blondes who made each shade their own. Here are some we’ll never forget
Some say it was the peroxide that killed her. Despite Harlow’s claims that her hair colour was natural, her stylist Alfred Pagano admits it was a dangerous concoction of peroxide, ammonia, Chlorux and Lux flakes administered weekly to maintain the blonde’s platinum tresses. It was this deadly combination of chemicals that may have killed her (noxious hydrochloric acid has been linked to kidney failure). Either way, Howard Hughes was so bewitched by Harlow’s hair colour, he offered up $10,000 to any stylist who could match it.
Blonde becomes her
Goldie Hawn epitomised the dizzy blonde. Her goofball image and cute clowning entertained a generation and despite a brief flirtation with red hair dye in classic comedy Private Benjamin, she continues to reign supreme as the sunniest of blondes well into her 60s.
Debbie Harry’s iconic coiffure that spawned a thousand two-tone imitations was almost an accident. “I was always doing my own hair and I didn’t think I could do the back.” Despite her band trading on her blonde status they were forced to wear ‘Blondie is a Group’ T-shirts and badges to set the record straight.
Smells like teen blonde
Poster boy for the nineties grunge movement, Kurt’s untimely death has only served to elevate him to blonde sainthood. King Cobain’s dirty blonde locks rarely saw shampoo but boy, oh boy, never has a scalp full of black roots looked so cool.
Some like it blonde
Rumour has it that plain old brunette Norma Jeane had only booked into have her hair straightened and styled, but the chemical process left her locks a lighter, reddish-blonde colour and she didn’t look back. Marilyn was also rumoured to bleach her pubic hair as she liked to be blonde all over. Her status as a movie star blonde was cemented in her turn as Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes but she never forgot her roots, quipping: “It takes a smart brunette to play a dumb blonde”.
Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease:
Hopelessly devoted blonde
Grease’s angelic Sandy Olsen was modelled on blonde 50s starlet Sandra Dee. It wasn’t until the credits loomed that her perky blonde bob turned from straight to permed and her image went from goody-two-shoes to vamp in a matter of seconds. Good Sandy versus Bad Sandy – the jury is still out.
In 90s cult film True Romance, hooker with a heart Alabama marries her unlikely knight in shining armour before the two embark on a crime spree so violent, even Bonnie and Clyde would balk. The gun-toting blonde fizzed her way through two hours plus of screen time wearing not much more than a turquoise bra and a slick of red lippy. But it was her white-blonde Farrah Fawcett-inspired feathered bangs that we really fell in love with.
Despite a turn as teenage tearaway Jen Lindley in angst-ridden TV drama Dawson’s Creek, Michelle’s career didn’t really make cinematic waves until she went for the chop (follicly speaking). A surge of imitation pixie crops soon followed in her wake. Matching her pageboy mop to a wardrobe of cute sixties-inspired mini-dresses, this modern day Mia Farrow touchingly admitted she wears her hair in memory of her late lover, Heath Ledger: “I cut it for the one straight man who has ever liked short hair and I wear it in memorial of somebody who really loved it”.
Bright young thing Juno’s star is fast ascending but her ever-changing hair colour is tough to keep track of. Despite several screen appearances as a russet haired siren, her most famous characters to date have been played as a bleached blonde with ringlets so matted they border on dreads. A blonde icon in the making – she’s one to keep an eye on.
Saucy popstrel Nicki isn’t a natural blonde, but that hasn’t stopped her from finding fame on stage as a Barbie blonde bombshell. Her chameleon colour-changes are tricky to predict – she’s gone from pink to green to blonde in a series of heartbeats – but each do outdoes the last. We wonder what’s around the corner…