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Julianne Hough's New Hair Color Comes After A Journey Of Hair Color Identity, According To Instagram

Remember how shocked we all were when Julianne Hough traded in her signature blonde locks for a Valentine's-Day-appropriate red mane this past Feb. 14? At the time, it was almost as surprising a physical change to me as when Britney Spears shaved her head, but only because Hough's blonde hair had grown so iconic. It's taken me until just recently for my brain to register that she's really and truly no longer a blonde — and just as I've fully accepted the change, she's decided to do a 180 yet again. Julianne Hough's new hair is blonde again, and my head is still spinning.

Just as she used Instagram last time around to unveil her color change, Hough took to the social media platform yet again to show off her new look. When she first announced she was going red, she made sure to explain how significant the change was for her as a respresentation of a new, fresh mindset: "I'm on this new journey, exploring and finding out who I truly am," she wrote back in February. "I said screw it! I feel more feminine and alive and I love it!"

This time around, she's debuting her new (old?) blonde hair as a symbol of a desire to get back to her roots, in more ways than one:

She captioned the new post,

Back to my ROOTS ✨ I’ve been creating and developing a secret project about transformation and identity, and I wouldn’t have felt this confident in my skin right now if I didn’t step out side the box of what I knew myself as, and what people identified me as. Being a red head helped me dive into my womanhood and embrace my sexuality. Now I’m ready to jump back to my roots with everything I learned and integrated into my body and spirit! Thank you @riawna and @jill901 for bringing me back 😊 #DevineFeminine #Grounded

When she first went red, Hough claimed that she had "always felt like a red head [her] whole life," but now that she's taken the shade for a spin — and has looked stunning while doing so — she's ready to embrace her natural shade once again, and plans to take the lessons she learned as a redhead with her.

She claims trying out red hair helped her get in touch with her womanhood and sexuality, and it's safe to say she nailed it, because wow:

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Even though I was used to seeing her as a blonde, and it sometimes took me a minute to register who's Instagram posts I was seeing, I'll be the first to say Hough was as radiant a red head as there ever was, and she really owned the look. Knowing her reasoning for making the change, it's cool to look back and see how she really embraced her womanhood with her red hair as kind of a suit of armor:

And while Hough's Instagram dished on why she went back to blonde, her colorist, Riawna Capri, gave some insight as to the how:

According to Capri's Instagram post, she reduced the red to make way for "honeysuckle blonde" using Joico's Color Intensity Eraser ($7, amazon.com), which lightens and removes dye without damaging hair.

"Red to Blonde is an all day affair, breakfast and lunch and hopefully not dinner," said Capri, who is a hair stylist at Nine Zero One Salon in Los Angeles, CA. She says the transformation took them seven hours to complete, which, in my opinion, is pretty impressive.

Judging by Hough's happiness, the seven hours spent in a salon chair were clearly worth it. In her post, she hints that she's working on a secret project about transformation and identity, and it's clear her physical changes have helped her learn a thing or two about both self-confidence and how the opinions of others can sometimes shape our identity. She felt her blonde hair put her in a box, and after making moves to step outside it, she's able to return to her natural color without worrying about the limitations she felt before. She's embracing herself and her worth, and she's not afraid to show it all off!

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I truly love Hough's honeysuckle blonde shade, and I really like that she feels so strongly about a desire for her outsides to reflect her insides. Using a new haircut or color to signify a new phase of life or major change isn't a new concept, but Hough seems so genuinely pleased with her life and her look, and it's giving me all the good feels.