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'Private Practice' Star Amy Brenneman Debuts Dramatic New Hair

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

After battling a chronic intestinal disease that led to a shocking weight loss and then surgery, actress Amy Brenneman has bounced back and is showing off a pixie-inspired hairdo that is equal parts inspiration and necessity. “My hair was looking so weird, and it was growing back out in such bizarre different lengths,” the Private Practice star told PEOPLE while attending the Healthy Child Healthy World Gala in Los Angeles, “so it was either this style, or I become an Orthodox Jewish woman and wear a scarf on my head!” While her new look isn’t as drastic as a change in faith, it’s definitely one that required a leap of faith, which the 46-year-old actress took with an eye on a certain Big Love actress. “That Ginnifer Goodwin, she really inspired me!,” she said. “She is so cute with that short, short hair.” Though it’s still relatively new for her, Brenneman feels as if she’s mastered the most important rule of being a woman with short hair. “The one thing you have to remember,” she said, laughing, “is that you have to wear lipstick so that you don’t look like a seventh-grade boy.” Despite the potential pitfall of being mistaken for Justin Bieber, Brenneman admits that the short cut has had a positive effect on her self esteem, an aspect of her personality that took a serious blow while she battled Ulcerative Colitis. “It actually makes me feel more feminine somehow,” she said, “and even more young. I’m digging it!” Tell us: What do you think of Amy’s new do? –Reagan Alexander