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’Stranger Things’ Stylist Teases Season 3 Hair and Breaks Down 7 Iconic Character Hairdos

From Steve and Dustin to Eleven and Mrs. Wheeler, stylist Sarah Hindsgaul reveals the work and design choices that go into each style.

"Stranger Things" hairdos

Joe Keery, Millie Bobby Brown, and Gaten Matarazzo, “Stranger Things”


Nancy the Popular Girl Grows Up

Stranger Things nancy hair

Natalia Dyer had strong opinions about her character’s hair and worked with Hindsgaul on changing it up for Season 2.

“Natalia felt strongly that Nancy would have changed a lot since last year. So she was all about cutting her hair off,” said Hindsgaul. “After these traumatic experiences, it’s really normal that you go home and put a scissor to your hair. She imagined that she would have done that herself, in the bedroom, and her mom would probably not have been so excited about it. But a lot happened for her. She lost her virginity and her best friend, all in very short time. A lot of growing up from the little girl she was in the first season.”

Will the Wise and Wigged-Out

Stranger Things

Noah Schnapp, “Stranger Things

Courtesy Netflix

Although Will’s super-‘80s bowl cut looks simple, it was an ordeal for young Noah Schnapp. Since the style is so dated, he couldn’t rock it in modern times. “That is not a little boy’s dream for what he wanted to look like all year long. So I could not make him grow it out,” said Hindsgaul. “All the other boys, they’re growing their hair when I told them to, like three months before.”

Therefore, the hair department had to give Schnapp a wig and extensions that were shaped into that cut.

“It was still over his ears, so we had to get pieces made all the way around, like a big circle of extensions, which was … I had to take about 5 to 10 minutes for him in the mornings because [minors] don’t have any time on set. He would come in and we would throw these pieces in. He’d want to play soccer in between takes but he had these annoying, fake hairpieces.”

Billy From the Brat Pack

Stranger Things Billy hair

Newcomer Dacre Montgomery plays bad boy Billy, whose mullet makes a bold statement.

“It came from this Rob Lowe photo that we found. And we were like, ‘This is it. This is what Billy should look like,’” said Hindsgaul. “And Rob Lowe tweeted the image like, a month ago after he saw the campaign, and it made my day. He tweeted the exact photo that we used as an inspiration picture for Billy. That was amazing. I was jumping up and down in joy, and Dacre was texting me: ‘Have you seen this? This is crazy! They found the actual photo.’ So it’s hanging in the trailer.”

Montgomery has short hair in real life, and therefore the ultimate mullet wig had to be made to achieve that well-crafted Billy look.

“Dacre’s look was decided like two and a half months out, between me and my wig-maker. So the piece comes in and we fit it to him, and then it gets sent back and we adjust the colors,” said Hindsgaul. “It’s a longer little fiddly process of getting it just so, the perfect mullet. We use a piece of Dacre’s own lock, so that it’s natural and we would blend Dacre’s hair into the wig. And we had color-corrected the wig so it fits Dacre’s coloring. But we made Dacre a tiny bit lighter. He went through the lightening of his mustache and his brows and stuff and make-up to get him to that lighter ashy tone that he had from the show.

“I’m so used to looking at all these mullets. I’m like, ‘If anybody looks good, it’s Billy with his mullet.’ So beautiful.”

Shifting Dustin’s Perfect Shag to a Steve-Inspired ‘Do

Stranger Things Dustin hair

On “Beyond Stranger Things,” Gaten Matarazzo had revealed that for his everyday look, he does very little besides towel-drying his naturally curly locks. Hindsgaul confirmed the easy styling and said, “We leave it. I think he is probably the easiest actor on a day-to-day basis. He comes in pretty ready. Everybody else has to go through a lot of work, but he comes in pretty perfect.”

Inspired by Steve’s hair care tips though, Dustin decides to try a new style for the Snow Ball. And while the results were dramatic, they didn’t translate into girls accepting his invitation to dance. The look started out differently on the page from how it ended up though.

“In the script he just kind of teases it up and it’s all over the place,” said Hindsgaul. “We did that, and he just looked like he put his finger into a socket, and I was like, ‘This is ridiculous. He’s not going to the dance like that! We have to make it somewhat of a success,’ which also makes it sadder when it doesn’t work out. So it’s like, ‘Why don’t we make it exactly like Steve’s hair, in a curly version, in a Dustin version?’”

Messing with perfection to make it look like something else takes work though. “It is a very very hard mousse that goes in on the side,” she said. “Then it’s clipped in and then we blow-dry it in so it comes hard, so it can’t move. Because otherwise those little curls are gonna take over. It’s a mix between that and a lot of teasing and a lot of hairspray. Our biggest go-to on ‘Stranger Things’ is teasing and hairspray.

“And that’s what came out of that,” she continued. “And I love the images of them in the car. It just makes it so heartbreaking. I was crying. I was crying when we shot it. You can’t show up in that outfit, with that hairdo, and nobody says, ‘Yes.’ That’s just cruel.”

Mrs. Wheeler, Hot Modern Mom

Stranger Things 2 Season 2 Cara Buono

This season spent time with more of the kids’ families, and that included the Wheelers. Mrs. Wheeler (Cara Buono) in particular has a great hair scene when she’s roused from her bubble bath to find Billy at the front door.

“We really wanted Cara’s hair to be shorter on top of this year and have more layers,” said Hindsgaul. “We decided to not do that to her own hair, because that’s a very tough haircut to rock on a daily basis. For most of [the moms], we were trying to make it look like they had been permed, then blowed out, and then teased. This whole three-step process. Also, a lot of the moms were a little more set back to the ’70s.

“But Cara is our most modern mom, since she has a lot of time on her hands. And she’s trying to win Ted over. It’s not easy, as you’ve seen. But we had fun with her during the whole bathtub scene where Billy comes in too. To actually jack her up and make her all sexy in that good ‘80s way. That was a really really fun day.”

“Stranger Things” is streaming now on Netflix. 

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