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20 Hair Secrets From the Set of The Hunger Games and Catching Fire

From the editors of Cosmopolitan.com:Hair designer and head stylist Linda Flowers, who was behind ALL of the hair looks for The Hunger Games and Catching Fire (but who won't be behind the hair on the Mockingjay), dishes about what went on behind the scenes.

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1. Jennifer Lawrence tried on six brown wigs to determine her character Katniss's hair color. To figure out what shade of brown Jennifer Lawrence's character's hair should be, Flowers rented five 6 thousand dollar brown wigs ranging from light to dark to show director Gary Ross. Although Lawrence really liked the lightest one, Ross eventually decided on the darkest shade after a two hour-long process.

2. But J.Law didn't wear a wig in The Hunger Games — her braid was her real hair. Any time she wore it down in the movie, though, she had three sections of clip-in extensions: one on the left and right sides of her head, and one along the back of her head. 

 

3. The famous Katniss side-braid wasn't just consistent with the book and pretty — it was also practical. J.Law could be recognized at any angle on screen and her hair was contained, which made shooting easier.

4. No one else could have Katniss's braid. For the District 12 shots, Flowers created over 100 variations of braids: headband braids, like the one Primrose Everdeen is wearing below; plaiting, which is a technique that uses more than three strands; and more, so there wouldn't be any braids that look like Lawrence's.
 


5. Katniss's side-braid is harder to create than it looks. "I used this product I created called the TopStyler to get dread-like texture on the top of Jennifer's head, because for her character, bathing was a luxury and I had to give it that roughed-up look. But you can also twist your hair and then wrap it around a curling iron rod to get the same effect," Flowers says. "Textured hair also helps dark hair color pop on screen, which was why texture on her head was important." From there, Flowers would twist and curl the outside piece of hair before incorporating it into the braid to increase the braid's texture. Then, she would braid the three strands of the braid under each other — instead of over one another — to make the braid pop more. Finally, she would secure it with a hair tie that was the same color as Jennifer's hair.


 

6. After Catching Fire, J.Law cut her hair into a pixie cut to get rid of all of the dye build-up from going darker. "She wanted to go back to blonde for award season, but her hair had so much color build-up that she decided to cut it off to her shoulders," Flowers said. "I tried to lift the brown pigments out of her hair twice with a base-breaking formula, which helped, but then Jennifer went to her personal colorist and spent eight (!!) hours there, bleaching it. The entire process really damaged her hair, so that's when she went full pixie to get her hair back to a healthy state."

 

7. Flowers's team applied over 500 wigs and pieces of hair onto the rest of the cast and extras for just the Capital scenes in The Hunger Games. This way their hair could be done and easily kept that way.

8. Synthetic hair had to be used on set of The Hunger Games while filming in North Carolina because of the intense humidity there. To ensure that the styles wouldn't flop during filming due to the long hours and heat, Flowers used all-synthetic wigs, which typically kept the style longer.

9. J.Law got sick of her Katniss braid during the filming of Catching Fire. "Jennifer loved the braid at first, but when we started shooting Catching Fire, she said to me, 'Nothing against you, but I'm sick of this braid,'" Flowers said. So, Flowers compromised with J.Law, keeping the braid when Katniss was hunting and fighting, and then slowly changing her hair throughout to mix it up.


10. The pastel color palette (instead of super-bright shades) for the hairstyles in Catching Fire was selected by director Gary Ross, due to his fear that bright colors would look garish and unsophisticated.

11. To get those amazing pastel- and brightly colored wigs, the colorists used fabric dye. But they had to be careful not to change the shape of the wigs, so the colorists repeatedly dipped the hair in cold fabric dye until they got the shade and intensity they wanted.
 
12. The wig for Elizabeth Banks's character Effie Trinket initially looked like Bozo the Clown's. So Flowers decided to tone it down a notch and make it peach. "We wanted to follow the book as best as possible — this hair color was still in the orange family, but it looked more couture," she said.

 

13. In Catching Fire, Flowers's team used fewer than 350 wigs, but they were more intricate. It took 40 hairstylists and 20 interns to get everyone ready. Flowers is a fan of using cosmetology students to help her because they're open and willing to work, and they bring great energy to the long, hard days. 

14. Woody Harrelson's wig was inspired by one of his brother's hairstyles. Woody really loved his hairstyle and wig because it looked like it belonged on him. 

15. J.Law asked to wear her hair "down and sexy" as much as possible for Catching Fire. "She's a dream to work with and really lets you do what you need to do, but she also has an opinion," Flowers told Cosmopolitan.com. "Plus, she's from Kentucky, so she likes big hair." 

16. Jennifer Lawrence got a horrible ear infection from being in the water 10 hours a day while filming Catching Fire"It's hard to avoid that kind of thing when the weather is cold and you're in the water for the majority of the day," Flowers said.

17. Josh Hutcherson had to bleach his hair for the entire duration of filming Catching Fire, and it took three colorists to get his hair to the correct shade of blond. Two colorists tried to get Peeta's hair color as light as Gary Ross wanted it, but Flowers was able to nail it on the third try. 

18. Liam Hemsworth's hair had to be dyed darker.

19. In Mockingjay, J.Law will wear a wig because of her pixie cut.

20. To let loose after 14-hour days, the cast and crew would go dancing over the weekend in Atlanta (where Catching Fire was shot). "We would go to this underground club, which played mostly rap, and just let loose — it's important to have fun when you're working that hard," Flowers said. 

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Photo Credit: Lionsgate/Getty Images


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