By Colleen Kratofil
Updated March 18, 2015 08:51 PM

One of Hollywood’s most famous redheads ditched her signature shade to go back to her natural roots! After nearly 20 years with fiery tresses, Christina Hendricks, 39, is now a blonde — and she told PEOPLE all about her big hair transformation.

Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Brian Ach/Clairol

“The color has this new energy about it,” Hendricks, Clairol’s Nice ‘n Easy latest hair color ambassador, told PEOPLE exclusively. “It’s fun. It may not seem like a huge deal, but I think every woman knows that when you color your hair it changes your vibe. I’m having a lot of fun with it. It reminds me of when I was a kid — half my life I was blonde. It’s a bit nostalgic and there’s this sort of youthful feeling about it to me.”

She’s only been a blonde for 48 hours, but the Mad Men star said she can’t wait to start testing out new makeup looks to enhance her strawberry shade.

“I’m going to start experimenting with different colors and see what looks best,” she said. “I’m sure some lipsticks will end up in the trash can.”

Hendricks also cannot believe how “healthy” her newly-dyed strands feel. And she said the timing of her hair change could not have been better — since she’s saying goodbye to her iconic TV alter ego, Joan Holloway.

“It’s [the end of Mad Men] sort of the impetus behind my color change,” she explained. “I had been red long before I had played Joan, but they did start to become sort of the same person. I started relating the red to Joan. When everything was coming to an end, and all of sudden I was moving to New York and all these changes were happening I thought why don’t I just embrace the change and change a little bit of everything, and give Joan a nice little send off. It was sort of an emotional thing for me too.”

Brian Ach/Clairol

It also seems fitting that the star who went red with Clairol as a 19-year-old up-and-coming model, trusts the haircare giant with her mane once again. “Clairol took me red, and I was absolutely thrilled,” she told PEOPLE when she announced her role with the brand. “I loved it so much, I still actually have the picture from the shoot. I went back to my agency and said ‘I’m staying red, this it it, I love it.’ And they let me!”

Do you like Hendricks’s new color? Do you think she should stick to red? Share below!

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–Colleen Kratofil and Brittany Talarico