Pret-a-Reporter

The Deal Behind Robin Wright's 'House of Cards' Hair

David Giesbrecht

The star's hair stylist Paul Norton dishes about how Claire Underwood's pixie undercut came to be.

Any fan of Netflix's House of Cards knows that Claire Underwood, played perfectly by Robin Wright, steals the screen whenever she's on it. Undoubtedly her impeccably chic asymmetrical 'do is part of that equation. "Robin's cut is the perfect balance of sophistication and edge," says her hairstylist Paul Norton, who is responsible for cutting Wright's hair and styling it for red carpets. "It clearly embodies her character on the show and her personal needs in real life as well."

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In fact, Norton tells Pret-a-Reporter, the original impetus for the "badass hairdo" was actually drastic color changes in between the actress' projects. "Once House of Cards became a reality, it then turned into the Claire Underwood cut with minor tweaks both to cut and color," says Norton. As for the former, he attributes the perfect way it always falls to an undercut. Yes, Claire Underwood sports a trendy undercut. "The untrained eye would not see this, but since the sides are basically chopped off it allows the top part to lay nicer since there is less bulk." Clearly it works, as Underwood manages to be glamorous and intimidating at all times.

Indeed, it always seems effortless. And — spoiler alert! — as for the big brunette reveal during season three? "Sometimes schedule-wise my clients have to change the color of their hair, and you can't always change them back as fast as you would like, so I personally like when they make it work for the show and don't jeopardize the hair in any way," he says. "No matter what color Robin's hair is, her acting skills are so epic, and she pulls you in leaving you no time to ponder why her hair is a different color."

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In the new much-anticipated season, Norton also adds that they went a bit shorter for her cut. But that decision was mostly a personal one for Wright, and "they just made it work for her character." But while Hollywood seems to be having a major pixie moment, Claire's 'do is truly representative of Wright's own style. Norton says "it went perfectly with a role she was born to play."

It certainly exudes a sense of power. "[Robin]'s character shows strength like that often attributed to masculinity, which is why her short hair needs to maintain femininity by its asymmetry and flirtiness in the bang area."

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