A dramatic hair change often follows a major life change — even for Gwen Stefani.
While breaking down six of her most iconic looks over the years in a new video for Vogue, the singer revealed that the spunky pink hair she rocked in 1999 at the VH1/Vogue Fashion Awards marked a transitional period in her personal life.
“So, what happened with the pink hair?” Stefani, 50, says in the clip. “It’s so true: if you go through a breakup or a really big change in your life, sometimes you go ahead and change your hair to try to, I don’t know, wash whatever feelings those are out of your hair.”
“I was really confused at this time,” she adds. “I was 29 years old. I was really confused about my relationship. I didn’t know who I was. I had come off a long long tour. I had gotten famous. I got to buy a house. I got to move out of my parent’s house. So much had happened.”
At the time, Stefani was the lead singer and only female member of No Doubt, a rock band whose hit single “Don’t Speak” topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 16 weeks in 1995. Despite her new-found fame, Stefani told Vogue that she had full creative control of her look — and admits she used Manic Panic box hair dye to achieve the bold color.
“I didn’t have any budgets. I didn’t have a stylist. It was literally on my own with all guys,” The Voice coach said. “I wanted my hair like cotton candy light hair. I had this vision of what I wanted and I ended up with fuschia pink hair for like a year.”
Stefani has no doubt (pun intended) refined her look over the years, but she’s never strayed from risky punk-inspired styles. She frequently works with avant-garde designers like Moschino creative director Jeremy Scott and the celeb-favorite brand, The Blonds.
“This look is something that I begged for,” she said, describing an embellished corset she wore during an episode of The Voice. “[My stylists] actually begged The Blonds to make this outfit for me so that I could have it for a performance that I did on The Voice…so beautiful!”
She concluded: “I’m always going to be the same person and I’m always going to like the same things…Every single day is a new day and yes, I think my style is always going to evolve.”
“Honestly it’s bizarre, it’s crazy,” Stefani told E! of receiving the award. “It makes me think back to Anaheim, just looking through Vogue magazine and thinking, ‘…I’ll never get my hands on those clothes, I’m just gonna go to the thrift store and make my own clothes.’”