The star tells PEOPLE all about her iconic character

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April 06, 2015 07:51 PM

Dyeing her hair blonde may have helped Christina Hendricks say goodbye to her TV alter ego Joan Holloway, but the Mad Men star did reveal that she hoped to experiment with Joan’s look more while the show was still filming.

Michael Yarish/AMC

“One thing I tried for years and was told no every time was I wanted her to have her hair down,” Hendricks told PEOPLE. “And my boss said, ‘Women find a style they like and they stick to it,’ and I went, ‘That’s the craziest thing, my girlfriends and I are changing our colors and cuts all the time.’ Now I’m glad, because it ended up being her look. I think I’ve had every possible updo known to man over the past seven years.”

Hendricks added that a signature Joan hairstyle could take anywhere from 35 minutes to three hours to create.

“In the beginning it was very tight and very sprayed, and by the sixth season I was like, ‘Come on, she’s going to a party. Can’t we just loosen it? How about a little more Brigitte Bardot?’ But there was very little wiggle room — they watched my hair like a hawk. I heard there was a threat at one point that if I kept asking to put my hair down, they were just going to chop it off.”

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And while she’s happy to leave her formal French twist days behind her, Hendricks did say that her role as the sassy secretary-turned-advertising-firm partner on the hit AMC show has shaped her style off-screen.

“I think I dressed very differently before Mad Men, because I didn’t know better,” Hendricks shared. “You learn as you go. I learned so many things from Janie Bryant, our costume designer, about tailoring, about fit and the things that really suit you. I would run around with flowers all over me if I could, and then I realize that it’s not particularly flattering. I’ve learned to take the things that I love from all those elements and take it back into the shapes and silhouettes that work so well for me on the show, and sort of blend the two in my real life. You have to sort of learn as you go.”

She added that she definitely loves vintage styles, but she makes sure to wear what works for her body type. “I’d love to wear just beaded flapper dresses every day, but there’s no shape. That doesn’t work for me.”

As for Mad Men‘s current take on ’70s style, Hendricks revealed she loves anything boho. She also loves flare jeans, a huge spring trend this year.

“Bell bottoms are good, but not real extreme ones for me,” she shared. “I splurged and got a pair of Stella McCartney ones last week, and they’re good.”

One denim style she’ll avoid no matter how big the comeback: acid-wash jeans. “I found a picture of me in stone-wash jeans and I was like, ‘What year of my life was this? What was I thinking?’ I was always against it, but somehow they slipped back into my wardrobe.”

What do you think of Hendricks’s style sense? Do you agree that Joan Holloway should have let her hair down more? Sound off below.

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–Brittany Talarico

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