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01/04/2013 at 09:00 AM ET

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Giada DeLaurentiis never thought she’d be a boxed hair color kind of girl.

“I was sort of hesitant at first,” she tells PEOPLE. “But then I used it and I was so pleasantly surprised to find out my hair was shiny and soft and bouncy, and all the things that women look for in their hair. So I’m really happy to be using it now.”

A perk? It’s free! DeLaurentiis signed on as the newest face of Clairol Natural Instincts last year, and since, has had some fun experimenting with new hues.

“We’ve gone a little darker for the winter, which is something I enjoy doing,” she says in the clip above, referencing her “Navajo bronze” hue. “I go a little lighter in the summer, a little darker in the winter.”

DeLaurentiis first colored her hair in her early 30s — “I started to have a lot of fun with it,” she says — and now touches up every six to eight weeks to keep her color even and cover those pesky grays.

“I wish I could have perfect hair all the time,” she shares. “It’s not possible, but I certainly try as hard as I can.”

Her haircare routine involves, well, not a lot; DeLaurentiis says she doesn’t brush her hair every day since it’s curly and subjected to lots of blowouts, so she usually runs her hands through her mane, flips her head and uses “just a little bit” of hairspray at the roots. And that’s enough to keep her satisfied.

“I think that whether women want to admit it or not, we are very attached to our hair, and when we’re having a bad hair day, we’re having a full bad day,” she says. “It puts us in a bad mood. So when I can get my hair to feel soft and look shiny, I’m happy.” Hear more from DeLaurentiis — including details on her daughter’s involvement with her hair! — in the clip above. Tell us: Do you color your hair? When did you start? 

–Kate Hogan

PHOTOS: SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON HOLLYWOOD’S HOT HAIR MAKEOVERS!

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