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Behind the Braids: Inside the Hunger Games Hairstyles

Even though the Hunger Games trilogy is known for its action sequences, there's one aspect of the films that always piques our interest: the hair. From Katniss's french plait to everything Effie Trinket wears on her head, the hairstyles that have come out of these movies are nothing short of amazing. We chatted with Linda Flowers, lead hair designer, department head, head colourist, and wig designer (phew!) of The Hunger Games about what goes into the eccentric locks of the movie.

POPSUGAR: Katniss is known for her plaits. How did you come up with the different styles for her looks in the Capitol versus when she's in the arena or in District 12?
Linda Flowers: In the film, you notice when she first arrives at the Capitol, Katniss has a coloured braid across her forehead. Her braids always connect her to her family, her roots. She always maintains some version of the braids as to not lose who she is. The braids are symbolic. For instance, when she arrives at the Capitol she has a HUGE braid. It’s a sign of revolt.

PS: What about Prim's hair?
LF: Prim always has braids too — little bows out of hair. They are similar to Katniss's braids, only slightly different. This shows continuity and unity between she and her sister.

PS: What was your inspiration for Johanna's hair?
LF: Johanna is a wild card. Her hair had to be very street, very choppy with colour. Not a perfect haircut. I wanted it to look as though she did it herself. Because she is a darling of the Capitol, her hair is her way of rebelling — it's not a glamorous hairstyle. This pays tribute to her personality. She is very raw and an amazing fighter. Johanna is the opposite of what the Capitol represents.

PS: Effie Trinket has incredible costumes. What was it like creating her many hairstyles?
LF: So fun! Effie is one of my favourite roles in the whole movie. She is the fashionista, and she embodies everything the Capitol represents. Effie is always accessorised immaculately. I created looks that were over the top. She wore these crazy Alexander McQueen costumes, and her hair had to stand up to them, complement them. A simple style would have been lost.

PS: Who are some of the other characters you had the most fun creating looks for?
LF: Caesar Flickerman and his different wigs. In the book he has a purple wig. So I created a two-toned lavender/purple wig. He's always fun to do. Also his sidekick, Claudius Templesmith, was also interesting. He wore a very feminine, cool wig. The two together are interesting, colourful people — both very extreme.

PS: What's it like bringing the Capitol style to life?
LF: It's challenging and fun. I'm allowed to use my imagination — this is not a time period piece where I have pictures to reference. Everything had to come from my imagination. It was very scary to see if my ideas would be accepted and very exciting when they were.

PS: What are some of the challenges of working on the many looks for the Catching Fire cast?
LF: Time. We have to do so much in such a short amount of time. For instance, I had three weeks to do 300 wigs! Of course, I have a lot of help — amazing hair artists, platinum stylists. I have a great team. We work together to get the most out of the time we have.

Image Source: Lionsgate
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