Lena Dunham has been changing things up left and right in the beauty department lately! After making the case for long ombre locks that had her looking completely unrecognizable back in February, the former HBO star followed it up with a jaw-dropping color change that had us doing a double take. Yes, ladies and gents, the RL Hannah Horvath went red!

It wasn’t a decision she made lightly: In fact, she wrote an entire essay on the experience for Vogue, explaining the reasoning behind her major makeover.

As the American Horror Story: Cult actress shares in the piece, it was a change she desperately needed in her life after wrapping up a seven-year run on Girls. “I looked in the mirror and saw a tired, fearful person; I was not the self-starting, sparks-flying dynamo I had expected to be at 31.”

She goes on to explain that unlike the stereotypes she’d grown up with of blonde (“innocent and desirable”) and brunettes (“shrewd” and “polished”), redheads symbolized something “a little dangerous — eternal interlopers” — all descriptors that appealed to the struggling star. “While hair color can’t solve problems we need to solve ourselves, it can be a catalyst,” she says.

Perhaps because of their rarity (less than two percent of the population is said to have natural red hair), the 31-year-old was drawn to the allure of figures such as Shirley Manson and model Karen Elson, who once said, “It was the very thing that made me beguiling to the fashion world,” developing an obsessive desire to don the color.

And boy, did she ever! Editorial colorist, Lena Ott, gave us a peek at her handiwork with a series of Instagram shots, writing, “I’ve been sitting on these photos of the beautiful and vivacious Lena Dunham for months! Lena did the transformation to RED and writes about the fire she found within.

It’s a totally different look than we’ve ever seen from Dunham, and TBH, we kind of love it! It didn’t last for long, however — as she explains in the piece, just 10 days later, perhaps emboldened by her new fiery hair-color, she made the drastic decision to shave it all off.

Well… not all of it. “I needed enough hair to remain a redhead,” she wrote. “But close to the scalp, with a spiked peak, Annie Lennox style.”

Still, it was enough to give her the personal kick-start she felt she needed. “I did feel brave,” she pens. “I felt an ownership over my body that had been given a jump start. It’s just like Manson says, ‘Red hair trickles into each crevice of your existence, coloring everything.’”

What do you think of Lena’s brief look? Let us know over @BritandCo.

(Photo via @lenatott, Mike Coppola + Frederick M. Brown/Getty)