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"I Feel Sexier!"
The Psych Counsel: "There's a cultural concept that more—money or blonde hair or weight loss—is always better, but we can lose perspective on how far we've gone," says psychologist Rita Freedman, PhD, who suggests that Lauren ask herself: "Am I comfortable only around certain people, in certain milieus, and not in other settings? What do I want from this look—to appear sexier, to be accepted by my peers?" "The answers might help her realize that she's conforming to a stereotype that could be limiting her."

The Beauty Counsel: "Overbleached hair is incredibly damaged, and must be eased toward a more natural color," says colorist Rick Wellman. "If you just put a dark dye over the blonde, the result will be moldy green." So he added golden tones before weaving in brunette pieces. If you're coloring at home, choose low-peroxide or no-peroxide formulas, like Clairol Natural Instincts; look for golden and apricot shades and avoid anything that says "ash." With more depth to the color, Lauren's hair instantly looked much thicker; hairstylist Patrick Melville also trimmed away her frazzled ends.

Lauren's Reaction: "I never imagined what an immediate and positive impact I would feel from this change. A few days after I got my new color, I landed my first role in a major feature film—and the actress I beat out was a platinum blonde! I realize what a stereotype I had been playing into before. Now I actually feel sexier—like people are looking at me, not my hair."

Orange and pink sapphire bangles, Daniel K; 888-841-7676. Gold bangles, Mimi So; 212-300-8655. Ring, Sara Weinstock; 412-687-7600.
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