A new year, a new Zac Efron. We’re not even two weeks into 2019, and the actor has already let his followers know that he has dyed his hair platinum blond. Efron showed off the new hairstyle and his accompanying natural-hair-color beard, in a photo of himself in action at an indoor rock climbing place. “No Free Solo,” he wrote, without drawing extra attention to the blond locks peeking out from beneath his beanie.
Efron’s latest hairstyle is a welcomed change from his recent ones. Back in July, Efron shared a photo of himself with a head full of dread locks. He shared a photo of his look with the caption, “Just for fun ?.” It didn’t take long for the comments section to fill up with notes about why it’s offensive that Efron, a white man, was wearing dreadlocks, a hairstyle that black people are often judged unfairly for having. One example of that is when Efron’s friend Zendaya wore dreadlocks to the 2015 Oscars, where television host Giuliana Rancic speculated that the actress and singer must “smell like patchouli oil.” At the time, Zendaya eloquently explained that “there is already harsh criticism of African American hair in society without the help of ignorant people who choose to judge others based on the curl of their hair.”
A month after that incident, Efron shared a photo of himself fishing along the Los Angeles river while wearing braids on his head. Neither hairstyles appeared to be for film roles, and Efron has never commented on either of them.
His new hairstyle, though, is a lot less divisive. It’s also the blondest Efron has been to date, after he got lightened tips for 2016’s Baywatch and subsequently dyed his ends platinum blond. Could this lighter hairstyle be for the screen? Probably not, because Efron is not currently in the middle of filming anything, although it could be for the upcoming press tour behind his forthcoming Ted Bundy biopic, Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. The film also stars John Malkovich, Lily Collins, Haley Joel Osment, and Jim Parsons, to name a few, and premieres at Sundance Film Festival, beginning January 24. Efron clearly has Sundance on his mind, as he confirmed as much recently while sharing a photo from the film.
When he does appear, he will be a little easier to spot now that we have a sneak peek of his blond hair—that is, if he hasn’t switched it up again by then.