There’s another red-headed Ariel in town and no, I’m not talking about the iconic mermaid. We chatted with Ariel Winter about her red hair, a far departure from the black strands we’re used to seeing from the Modern Family actress. But with the show ending and Winter starting the next phase of her career, it was time to shed Alex Dunphy for good. Perhaps surprisingly, light hair comes naturally for the star. “I love changing my hair. I’m naturally blonde, which people are always surprised by,” Winter tells STYLECASTER. “I’ve been dyeing my hair black for 13 years because of the show.”

More than a decade of hair dye has left Winter’s mane a bit damaged and she recently decided she wasn’t going to do it anymore and just stuck with the Alex Dunphy black. “I’ve always just loved to experiment with my hair,” she says. “And then last year, I’ve kind of given up for two years, dyeing my hair because I was like, ‘Listen, I’ve tried every color. I’ve fried my hair. And this is the only color that looks good. Every other color I pick doesn’t look good.’”

That all changed when she saw a strawberry blonde shade online she fell in love with. She texted her colorist, Tabitha Dueñas at Nine Zero One salon in Los Angeles, to see if there “is there any possible way, any chance in the universe” she would give her this hue. And she said yes. “I did it last year. And I loved it so much,” Winter said. “And then I said myself, ‘as soon as the show is over, I’m not going to have dark hair again unless somebody pays me to have dark hair again.’”

Some think those with red hair are more “fiery” but Winter doesn’t feel she changes with a hair transformation. “I think my personality is the same, regardless of what hair color I have,” she says. “I’ve always been loud, I’ve always been aggressive. I don’t think the red hair made me more aggressive.”

Watch the above video to get a peek at Winter’s stunning transformation.

Interview by Jason Pham.