Over the past year, Mom star Allison Janney grew out her hair color. “I cannot tell you how amazing it is to feel free,” gushes Allison, who showed off a short silver ’do during a recent TV appearance. “I’m enjoying this new chapter in my hairdo world. … It’s just heaven.”

As the eight-season run of her hit comedy moves toward its May finale, Allison, 61, is looking forward to whatever comes next in her career and personal life. “I’m getting to know who I am and what I want,” says the Emmy and Oscar winner.

Allison Janney Gray Hair

While growing up in Dayton, Ohio, Allison aspired to become a figure skater, but her 6-foot height made excelling at the sport difficult. “I was always sort of a late bloomer,” she confides. “I felt like my career started late, and I think it was because of my height. I was playing 40-year-old women when I was 20!” She came into her own in middle age, winning the breakout role of witty press secretary C.J. Cregg on The West Wing at 40.

Allison’s personal life has also moved slowly. She has had several long-term relationships with men and been engaged once, but has never married or had children. “I think if I found the right guy at the right time who wanted to have kids, I probably would have. … I’ve never had that instinct to have kids, [and] I’m at peace with it,” says the star, who also doesn’t stress about being single. “I’d love to eventually find someone to share my life with, but if it doesn’t happen, I think I’ll be just fine.”

For more on this story, pick up the latest issue of Closer magazine, on newsstands now.