Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston for W's November 2007 cover.

Actor Jennifer Aniston knows good hair, and has been setting trends in the cut (and color) department since the ‘90s. Who could forget The Rachel? Here, the Living Proof co-owner and the four-time W cover star walks us through her approach to beauty from the inside out, her go-to beauty pros, and what happened to her routine when she left New York for California.

When did you first go blonde?
It was actually right before I started Friends. I went with my girlfriend to get her hair colored and the guy just said, “Do you want to throw a couple highlights in your hair?” And I said, “Sure.” I tasted blood, and that was it, I was done. It started with little streaks in the front and it progressed, as they say, over time. Then going and living in California and the ocean and all that, I just sort of went blonder over the years. Little did I know—it was only looking back at old photographs that you realized how far you go.

As a natural brunette, how do you deal with the damage?
So many of the products in the Living Proof line have been incredible at restoring the damage of all of the wear and tear, including color. The newest product is called Timeless Pre-Shampoo Treatment. It goes on like a cream conditioner—you put it on dry hair and brush it through from root to end and wait five minutes. Then, you rinse and shampoo and condition as normal. It adds a protection to your hair color so it maintains the color longer, which is kind of incredible. Especially for those who have darker colors (or are covering grays!), I’ve noticed that for a few friends who have tried it, it keeps that brightness of fresh color longer. And then, the Restore Mask on the weekends always is good to give it a good drink of conditioning.

When you do your own hair, which products do you reach for?
It depends on what’s happening, and what my hair needs. If it feels like it’s been a bit overworked, I usually use the Restore line. Or the No Frizz is always my friend. I let it air-dry as much as I can. I have such kind of awkward, odd curls to my hair that if I really let it go natural, I put a little product at the root and around the front and do a little shaping and then it behaves. It’s always best not to mess with it too much with too much heat.

Speaking of behaving, do you notice a link between your diet and skin? How do you approach beauty from the inside out?
It really is that old adage ‘you are what you eat.’ I notice that if I’m on a vacation or I’m indulging a bit too much in fried foods, or more cocktails than normal — you just notice that your skin dries out, you break out, and you just feel sluggish. It’s a giveaway in your skin and how you feel on a daily basis. So the fresher the food, lots of water and sleep — it all helps.

Are there any professionals that you can’t live without?
My friend of 27 years, Mandy Ingber, is my yoga teacher, and she’s the one who got me even interested in it. I had always tried yoga classes, but I never got it until I took classes with her. She’s incredible. This other incredible woman in New York named Taryn Toomey who teaches this class that’s relatively new called The Class. It’s like boot camp for the soul, it’s sort of like Yoga meets boot camp. It’s a cathartic and exquisite and extraordinary workout. There are many beautiful people that I get to experience, but those are the two that really stand out.

What was your biggest ‘aha’ moment, beauty-wise?
When I moved to California from New York, I was used to being a New York girl in the East Village and wearing so much makeup. You know, it was a Goth period in my life! And then realizing that people don’t wear makeup in California and just seeing myself as pretty without pounds of makeup on my face. I sort of though, “Oh natural beauty, that’s an interesting concept…” I mean coming from the ‘80s where it was just like any color was okay, and on your face. Fuchsia, pinks, oranges, stage-like makeup… remember that?

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