Emilia Clarke Says Going Blonde for 'Game of Thrones' Damaged Her Hair

"I miss having nice hair!”

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(Image credit: Getty Images)

The eighth and final Game of Thrones season is almost here (…ish. April 2019, baby!). And though you’ll have to wait a cool seven months to see your favorite characters on screen, you can still be satiated with behind-the-scenes gossip—like the fact that playing Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, apparently destroyed Emilia Clarke’s hair.

The Deets

As any GoT fan—or, let’s be honest, any human living with social media—knows, Emilia Clarke plays one of the most pivotal characters on the HBO show who is known for two things: her dragons, and her long, braided, ice-blonde hair. Though Clarke, a natural brunette, wears a wig in the series, she decided to channel her own inner Daenerys last year and bleach her hair platinum, saying “Fuck it—it’s the last season. I’m going to dye my hair blonde.”

But as anyone who has ever bleached their hair knows, it ain’t nice and gentle. And Clarke confirms as much in a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar UK, in which she discusses her current blonde bob haircut, saying that she chopped it off “because my hair was, like, dying! I’m honestly trying to grow out the blonde, because it’s just killed my hair, and I miss having nice hair!

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(Image credit: HBO)

And, aside from the damage, the blonde hair hasn’t exactly helped her keep a low profile. “You clock anyone who’s got this hair color anyway, so you see someone with peroxide blonde hair you look, and then [people] go, ‘oh my god it’s that chick from the show with the dragons,’ and then I’m running!” she said. Basically, don’t expect Clarke to stay blonde much longer.

Her Routine

Still, while she’s riding out her blonde hair phase, the actress does have a few products she swears by for keeping her hair relatively healthy, including the cult-favorite Olaplex treatment (opens in new tab) (“It’s really good,” she says; “Sometimes I sleep in it”), along with the Philip Kingsley Elasticizer Intensive Treatment (opens in new tab) (“Brilliant”). Both of those out of your budget? Try a drugstore fav, like the Garnier Nourishing Treat 1-Minute Hair Mask (opens in new tab).

Sure, fine, okay—so being Daenerys didn’t exactly directly destroy Clarke’s hair, but would she have ever taken the plunge and bleached her dark hair for fun if she weren’t a major celebrity known for blonde hair? I’m gonna go ahead and say probably not. Ah, Game of Thrones—breaking hearts and hair since 2011.

Chloe Metzger is the deputy beauty director at Cosmopolitan, overseeing the editorial content and growth strategy of the hair, makeup, and skin space on digital, while also obsessively writing about the best hair products for every hair type (curly girl here; whattup), and the skincare routines that really, truly work (follow her on Instagram to see behind-the-scenes pics of that magazine life). She brings nearly a decade of writing and editing expertise, and her work has appeared in AllureHealthFitnessMarie ClaireStyleCaster, and Parents. She also has an unhealthy adoration for Tom Hanks and would like to please meet him one day, if you could arrange that. Thanks.