The last time we spoke to Stranger Things' lead hairstylist, Sarah Hindsgaul, she teased that there would be some major hair changes during season 2 of Netflix's hit show — but we had no idea that they would be this good. Between shielding our eyes from the Shadow Monster and yearning for Eleven and Mike to finally be reunited, we couldn't take our eyes off the perms, chops, and unprecedented volume of a certain mullet-meets-pompadour.
But it turns out, the biggest shockers are actually the ones you couldn't see. Fun fact: Over 150 wigs were used this season (even Detective Jim Hopper is wearing one!) as well as tons of extensions (including Will Byer's perfect bowl cut, believe it or not). In fact, two of the only characters not wearing fake hair are Steve Harrington and Eleven (yep, that's her natural curl, friends). Oh, and did we mention that the goop from the Upside Down tastes like bananas? Suffice it to say, Hindsgaul is full of secrets — and she's sharing them exclusively with Refinery29.
Give Sarah a follow on Instagram for a BTS look at life on the set, then keep scrolling for 12 things we learned from the multi-talented hairstylist, below.
#1. Will Byer's Hair Is Actually 100% Extensions
"Planning was a little bit different this year, because everyone has been so busy with press, so I started reaching out three months before. I said, 'Please stop getting haircuts, I know you guys want to look great with all the photoshoots and interviews, but don't cut your hair!' [Laughs] I was like the evil witch texting them every week asking for a photo of their hair. Sometimes they would ignore me so I'd have to contact the parents with, 'So, what's happening with the hair?!'"
Will's hair was [still] way above the ears when we started the season; I understand it though, it's hard to have a bowl cut when you're coming of age. So we did a full head of extensions. He hated them — he'd come back from playing soccer [on a break] with extensions hanging down and be like, "I can't do anything with these things!' They all play soccer on every single break."
#2. Detective Jim Hopper Is Also Wearing A Wig
"David [Harbour] wore a wig for the first three months of shooting because he shaved his hair off! I was like, 'No! Hopper doesn't have short hair!' He shaved it into a mohawk and said, "I want to be funky, I am so sick of this '80s shit!' [Laughs] We had to do a lot of readjustments the first few months that made us very, very busy, but hopefully you can't see it on screen! That's the work that goes into it that no one knows about."
#3. Over 150 Wigs Were Used On Set
"A lot of our early prep was used for the big Halloween party. Every single background actor had to get '80s hair, but hair that also fit a Halloween character. I think we ended up using over 50 wigs just for the background actors. The whole scene is two minutes long and it took weeks to prepare for. I'd say about 150 wigs total were used in season two, because every single one of our characters and stand ins had a wig, too. We also had about 70 background wigs ready at all times."
#4. Billy's Hair Was Inspired By An '80s Rob Lowe Image
"Billy is the one character I am the most proud of having designed this year. Steve was the bad guy last year, so we had to top that. I didn't want him to be unattractive, and after six months of filming I started to find him hot with the wig — I am so brainwashed! [Laughs] Dacre is very good looking, which worked to our advantage. We found this amazing picture of Rob Lowe back in the day, then Rob Lowe tweeted it a month ago! I was like, 'That's my reference photo!' It made my day."
#5. Eleven's Shaved Head In Her Flashbacks Is Totally Fake
"They transferred her hair from last season onto her in post production, so we just had to put a full bald cap on her for those scenes. We did have one wig for Eleven, where she has the flashbacks and it starts growing out."
#6. Eleven's Curly Crop Is Real — & The Reason It's Untouched Makes Total Sense
"Millie didn't get a perm — her hair is naturally curly! I wanted something natural and really childlike. That's Millie's hair, we just kind of scrunch it up and she goes. I didn't want to have to touch her too much this season, I want her to be free. Her character has such an arc this season and so many emotional scenes, you don't want anyone standing around fussing with you. I wanted to give her that peace."
#7. 008's Undercut Has A Hidden Meaning
"There is something lingering. She went through years of getting her hair shaved off and she is still trying to deal with these demons. She is keeping her hair [partially shaved] to keep her anger and hatred alive. That's why we did that — it's a reminder for what they did to her."
#8. The Goop From The Upside Down Tastes Like Bananas
"The goop gets in the hair and is hard to remove — I always worry it won't come out of the wigs. That comes from our makeup department and it's a master mixture of all kinds of stuff, including coffee grounds so it looks like dirt. It tastes good, there was a lot of effort put into the taste because it goes into their eyes and mouth. They didn't want it to be too sugary or sticky, but they also didn't want it to taste or smell horrible. There are different flavors; a lot of it tastes like banana."
#9. Steve's Hair Is All His — Believe It Or Not
It took 15 products to find the one that would hold his thick 'do; you can read all about it here.
#10. Winona Got A More-Flattering Cut
"We grew her hair out this season because she has a love interest, so we thought we'd give her a more flattering look. It's a year later, so everyone has changed quite a bit."
#11. Your Suspicions About Mrs. Wheeler's Romance Novel Are Right
"The man on the cover of Cara [Buono]'s romance novel is supposed to look like Billy — we had a lot of fun with that! She's reading the novel and he just shows up at the door. That whole day the whole crew was just laughing. It was fun to sex her up and give her a more vampy look."
#12. Nancy's New Lob Has A Hidden Meaning
"Natalia came to me last year and said, "My character has been going through trauma, we need to chop my hair off and make it look like I chopped it off myself.' Most people, when things happen to them that are very traumatic, it can come out through their hair with a change. People do haircuts after traumatic experiences all the time. We imagined her mom would be really pissed and it probably happened in the bedroom with her own scissors."
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