Lady Gaga Had 55 Different Hairstyles in House of Gucci

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci
Courtesy of IMDb

If Ridley Scott had it his way, Lady Gaga’s Patrizia Reggiani would have only had two hairstyles in his new film House of Gucci. To say that Gaga’s longtime personal hairdresser and wig designer, Frederic Aspiras, disagreed would be an understatement: He went ahead and gave the actor-slash-singer no less than 55. “For my job, it was about being able to use hair as a tool for the actress to really delve into the mind of this person, who she was portraying,” Aspiras said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. Gaga was on board from the start: “I want to not see Lady Gaga on that screen,” Aspiras recalls her telling him at the outset.

To achieve that goal, Aspiras and Gaga started out each morning of the five-month shoot with four to five hours of hair prep. Aspiras, who would set his alarm for 4 a.m., regularly reminded himself that at least they had it better than Jared Leto, who took six hours to transform into Paolo Gucci on a daily basis. “I had to be as authentic as possible by using exact techniques of a 1970s hairdresser—wet set rolls, backcombing, French lacing, spiral perms,” Aspiras said. “I wanted the texture. I wanted the vibe. I wanted the way it moved. Exactly the way it felt. Because it needed to transport you to that time. This was about 25 years of a person’s life.” (The film spans 1972 to 1997.)

He had no shortage of inspiration, having compiled a 450-page directory of historical looks he culled from ‘70s documentaries, interviews with Italian women and Italians who knew Patrizia, and research on the Italian actor Gina Lollobrigida. “If you came to our glam trailer, it was like CSI,” Aspiras said. “Floor-to-ceiling mood boards.” Not to mention the 10 roughly $10,000 wigs he customized to supplement Gaga’s real, typically platinum blonde hair.

Courtesy of IMDb

And yet, even with all that prep, Gaga still had to spend hours in the hair and makeup chair. Aspiras was committed to using “fundamental hairdresser techniques” that he learned from his mother, who was also a hairdresser. “For the ‘70s, I did wet sets,” he recalled. “In the ‘80s, I did spiral curls. In the ‘90s, I did power blowouts—to the T. Exact technique, exact type of products.” For the wet sets, that meant using gel, rollers, and serum, then topping it all off with finishing spray after breaking up Gaga’s curls by hand. The spiral perm curls later in the film were even more labor-intensive: Aspiras pieced each of them out and finger twisted them by hand. As for what Gaga did the whole time, well, she needed to reserve her energy: In case you couldn’t tell from her laughably over-the-top accent, the role of Patrizia has her doing a lot.