Lena Dunham’s Blonde Ambition
Behind the scenes of the actress's new look.
Less than 24 hours after wrapping up the fourth season of Girls, Lena Dunham is in the TriBeCa salon owned by her longtime hairstylist Rheanne White for hair overhaul: a platinum blonde bowl cut. “I always consider our hair—my hair—to be a collaboration,” says Dunham, as she sits under a heated hair processor, plastic wrap capping a mop of locks covered in blue-ish bleach. “We like to try new strange identities; we like it to be odd and funny and reference something. Rheanne and I had this idea of like a sixties Vidal Sassoon-y cut and we felt that making it blonde would take it to the next level.” This isn’t the first time White has given Dunham an end of the season do-over (the 2012 pixie, anyone?), but this transformation, just a week before the Emmys, is by far their most dramatic. Dunham hasn’t touched her hair color in more than 7 years after she went through college as a self-made platinum blonde using beauty store supplies that caused “all my hair to fall out.” But part of what motivated the writer-actress-director to finally go back to bleach—this time applied by colorist Tanner Bassett—is her upcoming book tour for “Not That Kind of Girl,” which kicks off September 30th. “I really want people to feel that the character on the show (Girls) isn’t the person who wrote the book,” she says. In the nearly cleared out salon, Dunham, White, and Bassett talk about the look as if it were an art project. “The concept came from looking at pictures of Agnes Varda,” says Dunham of the 86-year-old French feminist film director. “She has this purple bowl cut she’s been doing since probably Vidal Sassoon cut her hair in the ’70s. She’s a big idol of mine—I met her once—and I love the fact that the cut has taken her from 25 into advanced age.” Dunham, who works with White for most of her photo shoots and major events, including the Emmys, also likes the versatility of the look. “It can be androgynous and sweet or really bold and feminine depending on how you style it,” says Dunham. “I also joke that I’ll look like a little boy from the ’70s. Like I’m the littlest Partridge.”