Since debuting a gray-and-lilac ombré hue in September, Orange Is the New Black star Dascha Polanco single-handedly started the pewter hair trend, leaving a thousand #GrannyHair replicas on Instagram in her wake. Ahead of the season 3 premiere on Friday, Polanco came by the InStyle offices to chat about the upcoming episodes—and of course, that gorgeous hair of hers.
"I started dyeing my hair when I was 14, and I sneaked it behind my mom because she said I was too young," she tells us. "Ever since, I've always played with color." But the statement-making look in question? Not the real deal, but we'd never have known it! "I didn't do it to my own hair. It was a wig. She's still at home—her name is Azul," Polanco says. "My hairstylist, Cynthia [Alvarez], wore wigs, and she got this really great gray one. I wanted to try gray, but I wanted a different color at the ends, and she did it for me."
Polanco loved switching up her 'do even back in high school, and experimented with faux hair pieces back then, which explains why the placement of her ombré strands made the style look so authentic. The duo of blonde highlights she wears on-screen as Dayanara Diaz, however, were her own idea. "When I was 14, I would watch Spanish soap operas and Thalía had a novella called Marimar where she wore a big blonde streak," she tells us. "So with Dayanara, she has these big blonde streaks—those were mine, and they let me keep it for the show since it worked." Just like every star on Orange Is the New Black, it seems like even the hairstyles have their own interesting back-stories. Keep an eye out for Polanco—and her blonde streaks—on the season 3 premiere of Orange Is the New Black, which will be available for streaming on Netflix starting Friday, June 12.