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Ellen DeGeneres shares her hair color horror story: 'My hair was falling out'

The daytime talk show host debuted a new look on Tuesday's show after enduring a bit of a hair disaster.
/ Source: TODAY

Ellen DeGeneres' short blond 'do has been her signature look for years, but viewers who tune in to her show this week will notice that she's suddenly gone blonder and shorter than ever before.

As she revealed during her latest monologue, that wasn't the plan.

"I had my hair done over the weekend — and by 'the weekend,' I mean the entire weekend," DeGeneres said as she began to explain the seemingly simple process that turned out to be a complete ordeal.

The 61-year-old is used to frequent trips to the salon to keep her roots looking light and bright, sometimes opting for all-over highlights and sometimes going with a blonder-on-top look.

But this time, she decided to save time by going with a single shade of blond, which, ultimately, didn't save any time at all.

"It started with the same sentence all bad hair stories start with, 'I tried a new person,'" she said. And that untested colorist took two and a half hours to create what DeGeneres immediately declared, "Not good."

"So the person said, 'Well, let me try it again,' and they tried it again," she recalled. "We were running out of time, and they're like, 'It'll rinse out. Every time you shampoo, it'll get better.'"

That was an important reassurance, because, according to DeGeneres, "It was basically many colors. ... I couldn't even pinpoint what color it was. It was, like, orange and pink and purple. I had the pride flag on my head."

But color was just part of the problem. Soon she realized the repeated bleach-and-tone process caused a lot of damage to her hair.

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"So my hair was falling out — like, literally, I would touch my hair and hair was falling out," she said. "I think my hair was so embarrassed, it didn't want anything to do with my head and said, 'I'm getting out of here.'"

Still, she didn't want to just leave like that — after all, as she told wife Portia de Rossi, "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" must go on.

"I said, 'Portia, I've got to get my hair done before I go back to work,' and she said, 'It's not that bad.' I said, 'No, it's horrible,' and she said, 'It's not.' And then finally I convinced some people to come to my house and fix it, and I told her, and she goes, 'Oh, thank God. It was horrible!'"

DeGeneres shared footage of that valiant salvage effort, in which a pair of professionals applied corrective color and rubbed the solution into her hair by hand to activate it, since her hair couldn't even handle heat.

The results? Her new 'do looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about how it feels.

"I can't touch it. I can't wash it," she said of her now-fragile locks, adding, "Today I should be fine if I don't sneeze or blink."