Hayden Panettiere on New Red ‘Do: “I Was Tired of Being a Blonde”

 Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Why'd Hayden Panettiere ditch her blonde 'do to become a redhead?

"Because I could!" the Heroes star, 21, told UsMagazine.com at the NYC premiere of Temple Grandin Tuesday night. "I was tired of being a blonde and being… you get stuck in one thing and known for one thing and as a cheerleader or whatever that image."

Continues Panettiere,"It's fun to change things up, and I feel I don't have to overcompensate as much personality-wise when I have red hair as I do with blonde hair."

Panettiere says the new look suits her better.

"I'm typically a very fiery person anyway, but I just feel like cute and blonde and little is just so one category and one thing and changing my hair color, I feel like I don't have to overcompensate so much for the fact that I don't like being called cute or anything like that — especially being all 5-foot-2 of me," she told Us.

The actress also told Us that she shrugs off criticism for dating older men. (She split from Milo Ventimiglia, 32, in last February, and is currently cozying up to boxer Wladimir Klitschko, 33.)

"It just happens to be the people that I'm drawn to, and you go, 'How old are you?' And then it's like 'Typical!'" she said while laughing. "It's just a number and it's just on a birth certificate and whoever it may be, older, younger, blonde, brunette…."

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