The writer and actress shaved her head over two years ago because her hair was “falling out from my autoimmune disease”

By Julie Mazziotta
February 24, 2020 04:12 PM
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Lena Dunham

After years of health struggles that led Lena Dunham to shave her head, she now sees her hair as a “living metaphor” for growth.

Alongside a selfie showing her flowing locks, the writer and actress, 33, shared why she decided to shave her head two and a half years ago, and how she’s changed since.

“[Two] and a half years ago, I shaved my head. Not in a fun sassy way but in a ‘my hair is all falling out from my autoimmune disease, better rush to the nearest barber shop and pay them 7 bucks to do this’ way,” Dunham wrote on Instagram.

The Girls star said she knows it looked like she was being “erratic.”

“At that point, I didn’t have very many health answers and I also didn’t know how to express my fear to the people around me so they just thought, ‘there goes Lena getting another erratic haircut, just like she has every week since she was seven and cut her own baby bangs with crafting scissors.’ ”

Lena Dunham hair split
Lena Dunham
| Credit: Lena Dunham/ Instagram

Dunham said she loved her short look, and would go back to it again, but right now the fact that she can grow her hair again is a sign that she’s healthy.

“Let me just say, bald is f—ing beautiful, and it’s a full myth that ladies are meant to have long luscious hair — that’s why I have an essential issue with the culture of hair gummies and extensions ordered on the home shopping network,” she said. “But my hair growing has been a living metaphor these last few years — all I did was leave it alone and something I had lost all of came back to be. I’ll carry that knowledge forward and then, you know what? I’ll probably shave my head again. Just for fun, this time.”

Dunham has dealt with significant health issues through the years, from severe endometriosis that required a full hysterectomy to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare disorder that causes weak and painful joints, and loose skin.

RELATED VIDEO: Lena Dunham Had a Full Hysterectomy to Remove Her Uterus and Cervix and End Endometriosis Pain

Even after her hysterectomy, Dunham was still experiencing significant pain and later had her left ovary removed. During her recovery, Dunham developed a “dependency” to the anti-anxiety medication Klonopin and went to rehab for a week, and has since been sober.

“Sobriety hasn’t fixed my world. Life is still challenging — that’s the nature of the game,” she wrote in April. “But every day I am surprised by the richness and depth of, well, reality. I don’t need to escape this beautiful carnival. Instead, I’m on the ride.”