Christina Hendricks knows about new beginnings. With seven seasons of Mad Men behind her, she’s moving past Joan Holloway and on to new adventures—and new hair colors.

As everyone knows, a new hairstyle is the best way to get over a breakup, end a style rut, or in Hendricks’ case, celebrate your sixth Emmy Nomination. As Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy Global Hair Ambassador, it’s her duty to remind us how easy and fun it can be to change up our hair. As Hendricks prepares for Mad Men‘s final night at The Emmys, we spoke with her about losing her famous fiery red hair, got some helpful insight into how to try new projects, and most importantly, learned where we can plan to watch her next.

YouBeauty: It’s so exciting to talk to you at the start of such a big week. I know as a fan it’ll be so exciting to see the Mad Men cast together again—how does it feel to head into your final Emmy season with this cast?

Christina Hendricks: It’s strange! This is our last go around for Mad Men, so I think it’ll be quite celebratory but maybe a little bittersweet. Who knows when we’ll be back again? We have to start our spin-off shows now.

Let’s talk hair. Red hair is so iconic to Joan Holloway, did it feel like part of your identity as well?
I’ve been going red since I was 10 years old off and on, and I was that same red for almost 20 years so it’s been a very very big part of my life, which is why when the show ended I thought it would be fun to switch it up a little bit and move on from Joan and go into a different phase.

Did you feel different as a blonde? I know for me, hair changes affect my mood and my style.
I think it feels softer and a bit more subtle so it’s affected me a little bit. I was a blonde as a child so it’s youthful and a bit of a different energy.

Are you planning any other big hair changes soon?
I decided to shift a bit more strawberry recently, so I’m still a bit more blonde for me but it’s got a little bit more warmth in it again. My shade right now is Clairol’s Nice N ‘n Easy 8SC, Sandy Copper Blonde.

What’s your beauty routine like on a normal day like today?
I usually wake up in the morning and very quickly use a hot towel on my face to wake myself up, and at the end of the night I always use either an oil-based cleanser or a gel-based cleanser and usually a serum and moisturizer. I also always have a cream blush in my purse. Lately, I’ve been using Make Up For Ever’s creme blush. I also keep some sort of lipstick or lipgloss to refresh during the day.

Do any extra beauty prep when you know you have a special event, like this week leading up to the Emmys?
You know, I just got off a very very long flight and my skin is a little dehydrated and I was actually thinking that this very morning—I’m going to go home tonight and put on a moisture mask.

I also wanted to ask about your move to comedy with Another Period, which by the way is so fun. What was that like for you? Did it feel like a big jump? 
It was so completely different from the process I was used to on Mad Men. They would sometimes shoot three or four episodes within one day, so you would shoot one scene from episode seven and one scene from episode two and you just jumped around, so you really had to grasp everything and know where you were in the storyline. I was thrown for a loop. I was the nerdy student with a paper and pen in the corner, like “Ok, my character just left this room,” and I realized no one else was really doing that. But it helps me keep my story straight. It was so fun and completely different—I ended up with a lot of food thrown at me.

Do you have any tips in a situation like that, for getting out of your comfort zone? It seems like you’ve been through some changes lately, with beauty, with work.
I know, I guess just take a deep breath. I get nervous and scared too. I know that the pay-off is always going to be good and it’s always the initial first day, or the first thing you try is a little bit scary and I always feel so proud that I pushed myself to try something new. There have been some changes recently, and sometimes restless nights, but you wake up in the morning and say, “Three hours from now, it won’t seem as bad as it does right now.”

On Mad Men and Another Period you worked alongside such talented ensembles—in different ways but all such talented actors. Does something draw you toward working with ensemble casts?
I do actually really like working with ensemble casts. I think because as a child I started with community theatre, in a play you’re really working as a team, it’s a group production. I’ve always enjoyed the collaboration with other people. It’s been nice to continue that through my career. I personally like watching shows and movies that are ensembles as well.

Is there anything special that you’ve learned from set about working in a collaborative environment?
Just that everyone is an equal contributor, really to listen to other people, and that there’s no star in the room. Everyone is there for a specific and important reason. It feels very natural to me.

Before I let you go, what’s next for you?
I just finished a show called Hap and Leonard that will air in the fall, and I have several projects that I’m deciding between. I’ve had the last two months off—my first two months off in six years—and I’ve been enjoying that. You’d think those two months would be relaxation but I’ve been moving, remodeling, I’ve been on the move, I’ve also been nesting and making a home as well.

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