Connie Britton hairEvan Agostini/Invision/AP

Whenever you’re having a bad day, watching Friday Night Lights and thinking your hair will never be as amazing as Connie Britton’s, just know that she too started slow in the tress department. Don’t believe us? Well, maybe you’ll believe Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who shared the below photo on Twitter today.

#tbt via @washingtonpost: @ConnieBritton & I in China during our @Dartmouth days in the 80s!
Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) September 18, 2014

Gillibrand and Britton were roommates while studying abroad in China during their Dartmouth days. And both had deeply different dos than they currently rock. Gillibrand sported a curly pony (in sharp contrast to her sleek senatorial bob these days), while Britton had the ultimate ’80s do: A helmet-y, short and shaggy mini-mullet.

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Of course, we knew that Britton’s magnificent mane couldn’t have just arrived fully formed like that, but it’s nice to have photo confirmation that there was once a time when her hair was less amazing than these nine things, and that (as she’s admitted) the glorious ginger shade has had a little help along the way. Not that it will help us when we’re having mane envy during next week’s Nashville premiere, but it sure doesn’t hurt.

Did you know the two were roomies? How amazing is this photo? Should she go short again?

–Alex Apatoff