STYLE
11/15/2012 09:06 am ET Updated Nov 20, 2012

Blonde To Brunette Makeover: How Dying My Hair WAY Darker Actually Made Life Easier (PHOTOS)

There's a decent number of women out there who spend a considerable amount of money, time and effort being blonde -- whether they were born with it or just want to look like it. So it's not all that common that someone with naturally blonde hair just isn't that into it. Add the fact that it might make you look young (we're talking carded-all-the-time young) would be a major plus for some ladies, but for Stef, who works in news media, it ended up being a hassle. When she made the decision to ditch her natural shade for a dark brown color (this isn't the first time), friends tried to discourage her, reminding her people pay good money for color like hers, even claiming guys like blondes better. Undeterred, she forged ahead with her color appointment. Here's her story, as told to us:

"Naturally I'm a dark blonde. People usually call me dirty blonde. The first time I ever did anything color-wise was in college. I dyed it brown. I was in Miami, and everyone in Miami at that point was basically either blonde or wanted to be blonde because it's such a beach community. I was just sick of that climate of highlights, highlights, highlights everywhere, so I went darker. But eventually I got tired of having to go in and get my roots done. I had a breakup and that's when I started to go back to blonde. I wanted to do something fresh. I feel like a lot of color changes happen around big life changes, new job, endings of relationship. That kind of spurred it. 

I don't have many friends who are blonde. When I decided to go darker some of them were like, 'What are you talking about? This is your natural hair color, you should keep it!' As the appointment got closer, I started to question it. I was like, maybe I should just keep it because it is kind of rare to be a natural blonde. I think when you first go that dark and it's that much of a drastic change, you're like, am I wearing a wig right now? This feels totally unnatural. I want to go back. And I have fair skin, I looked so much paler than I thought I was. It was just a huge adjustment, but now it feels more natural. I do my makeup differently. The brown hair complements it in a certain way. I've been wearing a lot more lipstick. When I had lighter hair, I don't know why I didn't feel comfortable wearing lipstick. But since it's been darker I've been trying more colors. 

There's something about the richness of the brown. I can wash and go and I don't feel worried about looking like a teenager. I'm around newscasters all day. If you have really bright, bleached hair and you're styling in a certain way, it has that professional sort of appearance. I just don't have the time to do that. When I would walk in with straight blonde hair, they would be like 'Oh, are you in high school?' It's a little bit easier to not feel as self-conscious about it now. I know lot of people don't recognize me. Some people I know will just walk right by me. In terms of first impressions, it's hard to say. Before I dyed it, people would be like, 'Why dye it darker? Guys think that blondes are way prettier.' I was like, 'Ugh, ok.' Being single in the city, that kind of did bother me, but I knew I shouldn't be affected by that. Though I honestly haven't noticed anything. It's not like people are shunning me because I'm a brunette now. I have a date tomorrow."

Stef's hair was colored by Dana Ionato at Sally Hershberger Downtown Salon. Check out her transformation below, plus 11 more stars who've been both blonde and brunette.

PHOTO GALLERIES
Blonde to Brunette Hair Makeover

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