04/10/2012 08:14 am ET Updated Oct 11, 2012

Christina Hendricks And Jessica Chastain Inspired Me To Go Red (PHOTOS)

My hair has been through a lot. In its natural state, it's a muted shade of brown. Growing up, my dad called it "mouse brown." My first foray into hair color was during my junior year in college when, on the advice of my hairstylist, I went red. She said it would make my blue eyes pop, and I liked how easy it was to maintain (Clairol was my at-home tool of choice). After a rough year spent abroad, I decided to go the other way: I cut my hair pixie-short and bleached it blond. Since then I've grown it out, dyed it very dark, and after the birth of my children, chopped it all off again and kept its natural color: no muss, no fuss (I even cut my own hair, but that's another story). I've had so many different hairstyles over the years that people often comment "Wait, last time I saw you, your hair was different."

It's time to shake things up. Actresses like Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone and Christina Hendricks have made me ready to go copper. Thankfully, I was in good hands: Bravo TV's "Shear Genius" star Rene Fris offered to help me do it. He's the only one I trust to cut my short hair and keep me from looking like a prepubescent boy.

Rene's first piece of advice was to know your skin tone and which shades will compliment it. His advice: red hair works well with cool skin tones. Think pale skin against a shock of red hair, a la Lucille Ball. Avoid red if your skin tone is yellow, it will make wash you out. Red is known to fade quickly, so touch-ups every 6-8 weeks are necessary. In terms of makeup, don't be afraid to go for a bold red lip, just keep the rest of your face clean and simple. Or, go for dark brows and pale lips like style star Taylor Tomasi-Hill.

Are you ready to take Rene's advice? You're in luck -- after a deluge of fan mail from "Shear Genius," he developed an online styling tool where you send him pictures of yourself and he creates a custom video about your hair type, skin tone and face shape and how to best cut, color and style your 'do. Take it to your local hair cuttery, and voila, you have the work of a celebrity hair stylist.

Check out my transformation and 41 flame-haired celebrities who served as inspiration. I'm happy with it because honestly, while blondes may have more fun, it's the redheads that are laughing the loudest.

In related news, Elle Fanning recently dyed her hair red -- what do you think of the drastic transformation?


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