Feb. 17, 2007 — -- Those who thought Britney Spears couldn't be further removed from her former pop princess image are in for a shock.
On Friday night, Spears was spotted in Los Angeles sporting a never before seen look -- a newly shaved head.
The same day, reports surfaced that Spears checked into rehab at Eric Clapton's Crossroads facility in Antigua. Spears reportedly refused to stay and checked out a day later.
Harvey Levin, managing editor of TMZ.com, said that Spears' family, concerned about her excessive partying and drinking, staged an intervention and made her go to rehab.
"Her family and friends staged what I guess you would call an intervention and basically said you have to go," Levin said. "[They] got her to go to a facility there and I am told she was there for a very short period of time and said this is not for me and left."
Spears' reported rehab visit and new, hairless look is the culmination of a wild few months for the pop star. After filing for divorce from her husband Kevin Federline last year, she started club- and bar-hopping all night, all over the country. Spears' behavior troubled her longtime former assistant so much that she published an open letter online saying she was "heart sick by the way her life is unfolding."
"Britney is exhibiting an extreme exaggeration of the behavior of the young starlets out there today. Britney, who once had a thriving career as a pop star, now seems to have no career at all," said Ian Drew of Us Weekly magazine.
Her every move has been a tabloid dream.
"On New Year's Eve there was an incident at Pure nightclub in Las Vegas where she just collapsed after midnight," Levin said. "She said she was exhausted, there were a lot of people who think she was drunk."
Spears isn't the only young starlet getting into trouble. Lindsay Lohan just finished a month-long stay at a California rehab facility. Nicole Richie was charged Friday with a DUI stemming from a December arrest. Miss USA Tara Conner spent the holidays getting treatment for alcoholism.
But is rehab the cure-all or just help for a troubled career?
"Rehab is many different things to many different people," Drew said. "Sometimes it is a p.r. ploy and its done simply to rehabilitate someone's image or show that they are cleaning up … or are doing something about a problem in order for business reasons."
People close to Spears are worried that her recent behavior is hurting her career. Larry Rudolph, her manager, has said that Spears knows about the concern and knows "what she needs to do."
Regardless, Spears' fans will have the final say on her new, edgier image. If a bald, scandal-ridden Spears can sell as many records as she used to, she may be able to rehab her career and her image.