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Mandy Moore - Lead
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Everyone knows about "The Rachel," Jennifer Aniston's Friends haircut that defined the '90s. After Y2K, though, a new hair icon took the throne: Mandy Moore, whose locks we all low key worshipped. If you remember early aughts rom-coms and Nicholas Sparks movies accurately, her status as a hair chameleon during the years of Juicy Couture tracksuits is unmatched. Moore played with pixie cuts, bobs, lobs, the side-swept bangs we all had to have, and of course, a butterfly clip or two. In the span of the decade, she went from blonde, to chestnut brunette, to a full-blown redhead.

In the name of nostalgia — and that perfect curly brunette hair she had during the school dance scene of A Walk to Remember — InStyle chatted with Moore about her personal relationship with hair, how she keeps it so damn healthy, and more.

You've had so many different hair colors. Did they all feel like "you" at the time you had them?

Yeah, I mean I do love to change my hair. In a world where so much is out of my control, it’s nice to sort of take the reins and do something and shake things up. I think it’s deeper than being a blonde or a brunette. It’s about figuring out how your outside can reflect your inside. That takes a little soul-searching, but I have fun with every iteration of myself and my hair color, but I definitely feel more like myself as a brunette.

How did you decide on the hair color you have now?

For me, it’s about ease and convenience. I think the shade that I am right now is closest to my natural hair color. It’s just a more enhanced, elevated, prettier version, I guess. I definitely feel more like myself like a brunette. I have experimented with different colors over the years, and it’s the one shade I always come back to. Right now, I’m wearing a chestnut shade from Garnier Nutrisse. But, I love the transformative power of a color change, it never fails to get me super excited.

Tell us about how you decided to go bright blonde back in the day.

Oh goodness. I look back at myself with bright blonde hair, and it feels like a different lifetime. It feels like many, many chapters ago and it was. I mean, I was a young kid. I was 15 or 16, and it felt like the thing to do. I had started highlighting my hair around that age and then I got a record deal and sort of started my foray into the public. I ended up keeping my blonde hair for two or three years and then the first time I delved into brunette was in my role in A Walk To Remember. I pretty much haven’t gone back since.

Mandy Moore Blonde - Embed
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What about hair length? What do you feel most comfortable and confident in? Have you ever been afraid to cut your hair?

I am not afraid of cutting my hair. In fact, I look at people with cute short haircuts and I’m kind of envious. I think for work it’s best to keep it slightly on the longer side. I guess I feel more comfortable and confident with my hair a little bit longer. There was a time in 2003 and then again in 2004 when I cut my hair super short for a film, and I loved it. Because I felt open and exposed, but in a good way. It was like I had nothing to hide behind. I felt sexy, edgy, and cooler than my normal self. It was also around the time that I started coloring my hair this chestnut-y brown, so maybe just that combo of both the short hair and the chestnut brown pushed it over the edge. I loved it.

So what is your haircare routine like then?

My haircare routine is pretty simple. My scalp is on the oily side, so I wash it every single day, and I like to incorporate a deep conditioning mask to make sure that my hair isn’t overly dry. There’s a lot of heat and styling and what not that I experience and go through everyday, so for that I really love the Whole Blends Honey Treasures Repairing Mask. It nourishes and repairs my hair, and it’s the kind of thing I can slap on and go about doing some stuff or put on a face mask and tidy stuff up, and then I will jump in the shower and rinse it. I’m still trying to figure out how to do the kind of undone/done "S" waves that Ashley Streicher does so well, and I’m just not there yet. I’m pretty much a wash-and-go kind of girl. I let my hair dry with the natural texture that it comes with.

Mandy Moore Bangs - Embed
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We loved when you had bangs — especially because so many people are afraid to cut them.

That is very kind of to you say, because I am one of those people! I’ve played around with bangs many times, and like clockwork, I instantly regret the decision. It’s like, I cut them and immediately start growing them out. They are high maintenance and the whole growing-out process is really arduous, so I’ve kind of given up at this point in time. I have declared myself as a no-bangs girl. For now, anyway, and I’m sure that will probably change.