Being on Game of Thrones doesn't sound like a good time for your hair.
Sophie Turner, a natural blonde, spent years dyeing her hair a fiery red shade for her role as the show's heroine, Stansa Stark. Not counting Stark's brief stint with black hair with Littlefinger, the Lady of Winterfell has always been a redhead. Unlike her character, Turner has always been up for experimenting with her hair colour.
After years of going from red to blonde and back again, Turner's hair was fried, damaged, and needed a break. She partnered with haircare brand Wella as its global ambassador in 2017, coloured her hair an icy shade of blonde, started wearing wigs while filming GoT, and never looked back.
Today, far away from Winterfell, Turner is an icy crystal blonde, styles her long lob in soft Old Hollywood waves, and prefers royal blue velvet Vetementsdresses over Stark's embroidered silk gowns. When I met with her at the Gansevoort Hotel in New York City, I was legitimately distracted by just how shiny and healthy her bright blonde hair actually is — thanks in no small part to Wella's new Koleston Perfect hair dye and INVIGO Care Line.
Find out how Turner maintains her hair colour, which GoT co-star she thinks has the best hair, plus why filming dictated her hair-washing schedule.
I bring a lot of moisturisers and that’s really it for my skin aside from sunscreen. I use La Mer Moisturizer. There’s also this really cool cactus water; you can get it from Sephora. It feels like silk going on your skin. I usually wear Kiehl’s sunscreen under my makeup — if I’m wearing makeup to go skiing, which is completely impractical. But, I do it for the après ski.
For my hair, it can get a bit dry and frizzy so I like to the Wella’s INVIGO Nutri-Enrich Frizz Control Cream, which is really amazing. You put it on every morning and it completely takes away all of the frizz, so it’s great for hat hair and helmet hair. My hair can get pretty dry as well, so I use the INVIGO Blonde Recharge Color Refreshing Conditioner in Cool Blonde and Mask. That rehydrates the hair, but that weather is brutal.
Speaking of the new year, what beauty and fashion trends are you looking to try in 2019?
I know that with my makeup I want to be more experimental. For my clothes, I’m all about comfort. The older I get, the more I start to care less about what I look like from day-to-day when I’m going to the grocery store. I’ve been wearing the same sweatpants for the past four days and I love it. Hair-wise, I’m ready to be more experimental and try some really fun new things because I have a big press year coming up.
You’ve been blonde for a little while now. Would you be down to try a new colour? There are so many pastel ones that are cool right now.
I know! My friend Maisie [Williams] just got pink hair and it looks so good on her. It’s kind of inspiring me to maybe change my hair up a bit. I think that maybe not this year, but next year I’m so down to even go brunette or do something fun like pink, blue, or green.
You’ve been blonde for around a year now. How has your blonde haircare routine changed since you first coloured it?
It’s much less about repairing and all about maintaining healthy hair. To be honest, whenever I dye my hair now, we use the new Koleston Perfect. It basically gives your hair a much more even tone and it hydrates it. Think of it like this: Your hair has potholes and they need to be filled. That’s what the technology in these new dyes fill the holes and get around the whole hair so that you have a more cohesive, even colour. When you dye your hair, you would think that your hair is going to be gross and dry, but now it feels better once I’ve dyed it.
I’ve read this rumour that the male actors on Game of Thrones weren’t allowed to wash their hair so that it looked dirty and grimy. Is this true and did the girls have to do it, too?
Well, for the first few seasons I was allowed to wash my hair because I was an aristocratic young girl. Towards season 5 they started asking me to not wash my hair and it was really disgusting. Now I wear I wig so I can wash my hair whenever I want, which is nice. But yes, for a couple of years I was living with pretty greasy hair.
I imagine that would also be really itchy.
Really itchy! Also, we would have the snow machines going so we would have little snow paper particles that would get stuck in the grease. It was disgusting.
Who had the longest, most intensive hair routine on the show?
It was probably Emilia [Clarke] because she needed a bald cap, a wig, and then had intricate design on the wig. Actually, mine seemed to take longer this season — I don’t know why. Wait, it’s because she’s dyed her hair blonde! But, it’s mainly the people with the wigs that take the longest.
Who do you think has the best hair on the show?
Kit Harington. He probably takes the most care of his hair out of like everyone on the show I know.
Really? He has a more intensive routine than you?
He’s obsessed. Before red carpets you would always see him scrunching the ends of his curls to make sure they’re perfect. We all take the piss out on him for that.
There’s a lot of crazy fan theories about the hairstyles’ symbolism on the show. How has Sansa Stark’s hair evolved with her character?
It’s true, there’s definitely a correlation. For so long, Sansa’s hair changed season by season depending on who was influencing her. The first few episodes she was a Northerner in Winterfell and took after her mother with a simple braid down the back. Then when she went to King’s Landing it was a big, decadent halo that was very much like what the Queen wore. With Littlefinger, she dyes her hair black and wears all black. Then she goes back to Winterfell and returns to her mother’s hair. She created her own identity in season 7 and that kind of runs through to season 8. She’s chosen how she wants her hair to be, and she’s finally the leader and influencer instead of being influenced by everyone else.
The trailer for the final season just came out. John Snow, Arya, and Sansa all have their hair pulled back in it. What crazy fan hair theory would you come up with based off of that?
There’s been some kind of explosion in Winterfell. Suddenly, all of our hair just went ‘whoop’ and stayed there. The grease really helped. Actually, it’s all just grease. They haven’t washed their hair for so long that they just brush it back with their hands and it stays.
Kit Harington cut his hair and Maisie Williams dyed her hair pink once you were done filming GoT’s final season. You obviously didn’t do anything crazy to your hair, but how did you commemorate the end of the show?
I did nothing! So, that’s what I’ve been doing. For the past 10 years, I’ve constantly been on set so I don’t know what my hobbies are. So, right now is all about me figuring out my hobbies.
You’re outspoken on social media about mental health, an issue that effects many young people. Why do you think it’s important to talk about mental health and has grown up with your character helped form who you are?
It’s really interesting because her character has a lot to do why I feel like we have to speak out about these type of things. From day one she’s been manipulated and abused, even down to being sexually assaulted by her husband. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about her character and it made me realize that if we just spoke about this more, it wouldn’t be such a taboo, and people would know how to speak out about it and accuse the people who’ve done this to them. If we make it a dialogue, people will finally have the courage to talk about it, reach out and find a therapist, or talk to a friend.
Also, it would encourage the people in the government to create more facilities for people with mental health struggles. In the UK there are a few places, but they’re not nearly as good as the States. We’re lacking in how to help these people. Depression is the second biggest killer in affluent Europe and America and we need to reduce that to help people by talking to them and providing safe places where they don’t feel like a freak.
Do you have a self-care routine that you follow?
I recently started using Headspace. It’s a meditation app that tracks your days. It gives you tips like how to register emotions and let them pass. I’m trying to learn that because I’m one of those people who spirals when I’m sad, jealous, or angry, or anything like that. I also talk to a therapist once a week and it really helps. Even if you don’t have an mental health problems, it helps center yourself and get out of your own head a bit.
This article originally appeared on InStyle US.