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Get Her Look – Rita Hayworth

January 9, 2010

Ask most people to name one thing they associate with Rita Hayworth, and they’ll undoubtedly reply ‘red hair’. Rita was famous for her flaming red locks and is a classic example of what a little bottle of hair dye can do.

Rita, was naturally dark, but it was her hairline more than her colour that had to change.

Her hairdresser at Columbia, Helen Hunt, came up with the answer – electrolysis, the permanent removal of hair by electric current into the follicles.

“They took photos of Rita,” Hunt recalled, “blew them up, and drew lines indicating where the hairline was and where it should be. The change was important but subtle.  I used to bleach the front of Rita’s hair, so the hairline wouldn’t be so prominent–the cameramen were always after me to lighten her hair.”

The process of permanently removing hair by electrolysis was slow and painful, however Rita persevered and it paid off.

Rita however always maintained becoming a redhead changed her life.

In a 1941 interview, when she was 22, Rita said she got a chance to act when actress Ann Sheridan went on strike demanding more money.

Warner changed her hair colour to strawberry blonde for the 1941 movie Strawberry Blonde, and made her have a striking resemblance to Sheridan..

“I used to feel like a Spanish girl,” said Rita, “but with red hair I feel, well–like an American.

“It was Helen who suggested that I become a redhead. It was the turning point in my career. As soon as I became a redhead things began to happen.”

“Rita never looked in the mirror,” said Hunt. “You’d think she’d stare at herself, like the other stars did. She’d never even look at her hair when I was through.”

“Look at your hair, isn’t it beautiful?” Hunt sometimes asked.

“Oh, yes. Thanks, Helen,” Rita would say after looking at it briefly in a mirror.

If you, like Rita are not a natural redhead, maintaining the colour and shine will take some doing. Paul Mitchell’s fabulous Colour Protect range is a must.

The shampoo and conditioner (£7.95 & £9.95, 300ml, www.paul-mitchell.co.uk) will help extend the life of your hair colour.

Rita’s skin glowed with luminosity – achieve her complexion with Estee Lauder’s gorgeous new Nutritious Vita-Mineral foundation (£24.50, http://www.esteelauder.co.uk). Powered by pomegranate, it’s nutrient rich, and adds a radiance to the skin.

Every starlet wore red in Hollywood, and Rita was no exception – red hair, red lips, red nails. Probably Revlon Red as well. You can’t get more classic than Revlon Red lipstick and nail polish. For a more orangey red, try Barry M’s 121 Pillar Box Red lipstick and red lipliner (£4.25 & £2.25, www.barrym.com).

Rita’s beautiful eyes were enhanced by amazing lashes. Lashes are huge news for 2010 and there are dozens of new mascaras about to be launched.

At the moment, our favourite here at Bombshells is Clinique’s High Lengths Mascara (£14.50, www.clinique.co.uk, from February) which is truly astounding! Your lashes will look just as long and lustrous as any false lashes. The ‘Willow’ wand is a one-sided flexible applicator – the results are stunning.

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