As millennials and Gen Z grapple with pop culture’s treatment of famous women in the ’90s and early 2000s, Pamela Anderson is finally being recognized as the icon she is. From TikTokers recreating her iconic beauty looks and their reclamation of “bimbo culture” to Marc Jacobs featuring her in their Heaven campaign this past fall, Anderson is having a moment—also spurred by Hulu’s Pam & Tommy, which she had no hand in and didn’t approve of.
Now, Anderson is telling her own story with her Netflix documentary, Pamela, A Love Story. “I know everyone creates their own level of drama in their lives. I guess you can say I’m very creative or very dramatic,” she narrates from a diary entry in the film. The documentary touches on Anderson’s life in the public eye, from her promising beginning as a Playboy model and casting as C.J. Parker on the hit series Baywatch, to the darker parts of her life, like her tumultuous marriage to Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee.
The doc touches on Anderson’s big moments—like being cast as Roxie Hart in Broadway’s Chicago in spring of 2022—but also shows her more mundane moments, too. For example, the day after her final show, she’s seen sitting on her couch in her apartment, wearing a white tank top and no makeup, and sipping from a mug. The shot shifts to a product sitting on a tabletop: the super affordable Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color in shade PL1 ($10) for platinum blonde hair, confirming the long-running rumor that Anderson box-dyes her hair at home.
Anderson reveals, “I use cruelty-free brands and change them up.” But throughout the film she’s pictured with Garnier’s ammonia-free formula. The formula relies on bleach as a part of its super-lightening technology, which creates a pure, light blonde color—Pam’s signature Blonde for decades.
So, why does Anderson use box dye instead of tapping the countless hairstylists she’s worked with over the years? “[My mom] taught me how to color my hair from the drugstore,” she says in the film as the cameras follow her to her local drugstore in her small town of Ladysmith, British Columbia. “$5 for a box, and I can do it myself in 20 minutes! Scandinavian Blonde here I come.”
If you want to follow in Pam’s lead and dye your own hair at home, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind. “Do not wash your hair before applying color,” Millie Morales, Garnier consulting celebrity hairstylist previously told Byrdie. “This will irritate your scalp and can become painful. The hair should be clean of product but not of your natural oils, as it acts as a protectant.” Furthermore, you’ll want to choose shades with “cool” or “ash” undertones, since box dye tends to lean brassy, and make sure your shower is stocked with purple shampoo.
The downside of platinum blonde box dye? Firstly, applying bleach to chemically-damaged or color-treated hair can do more damage than good—so talk to your colorist before taking the plunge with any at-home color treatment. Secondly, you should only really use box dye to lighten your hair a few shades to avoid damage, so this technique works best for people with naturally blonde hair. If you have brown, red, or black hair, it’s best to seek out a professional hair colorist to help you arrive at the Pam Anderson blonde of your dreams.