From Blonde to Brunette, Charlize Theron's Head-Turning Awards Season Transformation

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Charlize Theron at the 2019 Academy Awards

Hairstylist Adir Abergel explains the why behind three of the actress' best 2019 hair looks.

Clearly hairstylist-to-the-stars Adir Abergel loves a dramatic transformation to finish awards season. In 2018, he lopped Saoirse Ronan’s hair into a bob and, this year, he clipped a similar style for Charlize Theron and orchestrated a brunette dye job for her appearance at the 91st Academy Awards, courtesy of colorist extraordinaire Tracey Cunningham. Abergel debuted the look on his Instagram, captioning the reveal: "Decided to chop it all off before the big moment."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Decided to chop it all off before the big moment. #cantwaittoshare #oscars2019 #hairbyadir

A post shared by Adir Abergel (@hairbyadir) on

It is Theron’s third look this awards season that has showcased the versatility of a bob, with an elaborate Critics' Choice Awards moment, a glamorous half-up 'do for the Golden Globes and an ear-grazing elegant turn for the Academy Awards.

“Hair is one of your greatest accessories and changing your color is an amazing way to play with your look,” Abergel tells The Hollywood Reporter. He attributes the Tully actress' fearlessness and willingness to experiment: "She's open to new ideas and that's when the magic and creativity really begins.” Abergel highlights that "cohesion" throughout award season is incredibly important when you are storytelling: “It's like doing a clothing collection … you want to have a continuous story to tell."

Theron previously went dark for her role in the 2005 film Aeon Flux and also had a brief chocolate hair stint over a decade ago in 2007, so the dramatic red carpet reveal of her brunette tresses proved to be a striking, attention-grabbing finale to this year's awards season. Here, Theron's three dynamic hair looks that prove she is on top of the hair game in Hollywood.

Golden Globes; Jan. 6, 2019

To mimic Theron’s black-and-white Dior gown, Abergel chose to play with two sections of hair in the half-up, half-down style, adding that he focused on “high shine in the back and soft texture through the front.” He used Virtue products (Abergel is creative director for the brand), including the Polish Un-Frizz Cream to minimize humidity-inducing frizz. The unexpected element to this look? The hairstylist used a needle and black thread to secure the hair.

Critics’ Choice Awards; Jan. 13, 2019

"This was really three hair styles in one,” says Abergel of the deep side part and long angular bob, the four-row cornrows pulled into a low twisted ponytail, and the custom Givenchy halo headband placed below the crown on the back of the head. Too much going on? Not at all. From the front, it looked exquisitely chic — a “hit of ‘90s minimalism,” as Abergel calls it — while the back was intricate and unexpected. To keep the front looking smooth, he used Virtue Split End Serum.

The Academy Awards; Feb. 24, 2019

“When I saw the beautiful light Japanese indigo fabric on her Dior dress, I immediately knew I wanted to create a dramatic contrast with her hair,” Abergel tells THR of the decision to transform from blonde to brunette. “I envisioned taking her hair to a luxe, rich shade of brown that would enhance those gorgeous blue eyes.” The actress’ reaction to the idea? “She totally trusted me.” With the look going viral, Abergel has certainly helped Theron end award season on a dramatic note.