The Hunger Games Hair: How-Tos and Details
There has been SO much anticipation surrounding the premiere of The Hunger Games and, now that the movie has officially debuted in theaters, superfans will undoubtedly be adorned in a long braid in "tribute" to the movie's hero Katniss Everdeen, who wears the trademark style for the majority of the book. Or, as an alternative, they may wear their hair in wild Capital-inspired colors. One this is certain... "the world will be watching..."
In addition to being Spring's hottest movie launch, The Hunger Games was also a huge, career-changing opportunity for Cherry Petenbrink, lead colorist for Joico, who was brought to the North Carolina set to create the looks not only for the main cast but for the 500 extras who played the people of Panem in the futuristic storyline. Intended to appear privileged, pampered, couture and edgy, the citizens of “the Capitol” wore a variety of wigs and hairpieces, supplementing their own hair in brilliant brights, pastels and apocalyptic grays.
“Author Suzanne Collins is a very visual writer. I had to create bright, intense and unique shades,” Petenbrink said. “The real challenge was to keep the residents very sophisticated and couture, not a redirection of the punk era of past. I am really proud of the end result.”
In collaboration with The Hunger Games, hair department head Linda Flowers, costume designer Judianna Makovsky, and Petenbrink directed nearly 45 hair designers, including talented local stylists. After Flowers and Petenbrink prepared the wigs and wefts with Joico hair color, the on-set stylists individualized each actor’s look.
“It was a beauty pro’s dream,” says Valerie Robinett, Joico director of public relations, who visited the set during the filming. “At a hair show, you see maybe 25 to 35 models with gorgeous color—here, there were 500! Looking out, it was a sea of color.”
Petenbrink predicts the film’s designs will influence spring and summer color trends. “I truly think that once they see the hair from the Capitol,” she said, “people will say nothing like this has ever been done.”
We're SO excited about the film, and can't wait to see our favorite characters come to life!
The Heroine: Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence
Step 1. Fill the hair with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome Demi Permanent Color in 3/4 parts N6 + 1/4 part G6.
Step 2. Process 20 minutes.
Step 3. Glaze the hair with Joico Vero Chrome in 3/4 parts A5 + 1/4 part N4.
Hair Department Head Linda Flowers identifies three of the looks that she created for Lawrence’s character as her particular favorites:
'50s Hollywood Glam—In the scene in which she returns from the Games, Katniss has transformed from a girl to a woman, and Flowers opted to create a retro Hollywood wave for the scene. For the dry set, she first prepped the hair with Joico K-PAK Protective Hairspray. She used the Topstyler by Instyler to set the hair, creating figure-eight shape curls on top sections and pincurls on the bottom. Once the hair cooled she brushed through and applied a small amount of Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Restorative Styling Oil through hair lengths for maximum shine.
‘60s Updo—The style that Katniss pairs with her “girl on fire” dress is a ‘60s-inspired upsweep, with a deep side fringe. The finishing touch is one of the character’s signature braids wrapped around the base. Flowers prepped the hair with Joico K-PAK Thermal Design Foam before drying, then created curls with the Topstyler by Instyler before gathering the hair in the updo and attaching the braid.
The Headdress—For the chariot scene, Katniss appears in a dramatic headdress, fashioned entirely from braided hairpieces. Flowers reveals that she turned to Spiker Water Resistant Styling Glue to stiffen the braids before she sculpted them into the finished piece.
The Boy: Peeta Mellark, played by Josh Hutcherson
Petenbrink was charged with two significant color changes for the actors. A natural Level 3 dark brunette, Josh Hutcherson’s hair had to be lightened for his role of Peeta. Cherry reveals that the transformation took place in two stages:
Step 1. Joico Vero K-PAK Crème Lightener + 20 volume Vero K-PAK Color Veroxide, applied scalp to ends, lifted to Level 6
Step 2. Joico Vero K-PAK Crème Lightener + 20 volume Vero K-PAK Color Veroxide, applied scalp to ends, lifted from Level 6 to Level 8 and toned with Joico Vero K-PAK Chrome equal parts A7 + A9 + Vero K-PAK Chrome Activator Crème Developer.
For the boys’ hair, Flowers says she used Depression-era looks as inspiration. The hair cuts were meant to resemble DIY—as if they had simply buzzed them at home at some point, and it had grown out. “Of course they are the stars,” she says, “so we made their hair a little looser and sexier than the rest of the District 12 men.”
The Garish Escort: Effie Trinket
Brittle, menacing and outrageously stylish, The Hunger Games escort provides equal parts horror and comic relief. The pink wig Flowers and Petenbrink created for Elizabeth Banks’ Effie has already become the most talked-about hair element of the film. “Effie is couture,” says Flowers, “but this is a fantasy so my choice was to create a look that combined classic with contemporary.” The classic element in the style, she says, is a ‘30s-inspired, finger-waved bob. Flowers inserted small, fuzzy hair pieces between the finger waves, producing an airy, somewhat wild effect.
The other contemporary influence comes in the form of the cotton candy hue. To create the shade on the synthetic parts of the wig, Petenbrink used fabric dye. Then she turned to Joico color to match the hue on the human hair pieces, combining Joico Vero K-PAK Color Intensity 3 oz. Clear + 1-2 drops Pink.
And because Effie is such a stylish citizen, she also steps out in a lavender wig and a lime green wig in the film, created with these Joico formulas:
Lavender: Joico Vero K-PAK Color Intensity 3 oz. Clear + 1 drop Indigo + 1-2 drop Pink
Lime green: Joico Vero K-PAK Color Intensity 3 oz. Clear + 1 drop Yellow + 1 drop Green.