The Hunger Games – Mockingjay Part 1 was one of the hottest films this year, and from the very first film, the iconic Katniss french braid gained incredible popularity, taking to red carpets and runways. And who came up with this ingenuous hair creation? The Hunger Games’ Hair Department Head Camille Friend. Starting her career in Arizona, Camille learned the ropes working with salons such as John Atchison, Vidal Sassoon and Framesi. Later, she found herself working in a Beverly Hills Salon, owned by Brian Andrews (who worked on films). On one particular day, the salon received a call that would literally change her life. They were looking for someone to work on a movie, and well, the rest is movie-making, hair-creating history! Her portfolio is filled to the brim with hit films such as Dreamgirls, The Help, Django Unchained and Captain America 2 – just to give you an idea. Find out what her thoughts are on the Katniss braid trend, how she toned down Effie in the latest Hunger Games franchise (how was that even possible?!) and get her play-by-play on a ‘typical’ day on set.
Let’s talk about the Katniss braid. Even from the first film, did you ever imagine how popular that side braid would become?
It is amazing how popular the Katniss braid has become. Braiding has become a fashion statement. You see so many actresses on the red carpet with braid hairstyles.
What inspired you to create this type of braid on her?
In Mockingjay I changed the braid a little by doing a fishtail. Katniss is a little older and I wanted to establish a different look. The original braid was a simple french braid.
We love Effie’s wigs. The bigger, the better, right? How did you come up with all of her extravagant looks?
Effie’s look has evolved from over-the-top glamour, to District 13 chic. In Mockingjay Effie’s look is scaled down, but [still] with a sense of fashion. I designed looks using scarves in different sizes and shapes - to give Effie a sculptural look.
A lot of people might not know what is involved in being a Hair Department Head on a film. While there is no such thing as a “typical” day, can you describe what a day in the life is like for you on set?
I like to start the day with positive energy. Every morning on the drive to work, I listen to inspirational, meditative or gospel music. When I get to the trailer, I look over the call sheet and sides (the script pages for the day). I make coffee or tea, and make a protein shake (it takes to long to order food!!!) I prepare my station for the day. I remove pins from wigs, light candles, and pull the right equipment out for the actors. After the actors are done, we prepare for set. I take a chair and three set bags (extra large, large and small). In the extra large bag I have extra towels, a mini blowdryer and a hat. In the large bag I have products, gum and mints, and bobby pins/hair pins. In the small bag I have glue, alcohol, brushes, combs and hairspray. Then we go to set for six hours before lunch. After lunch the actors come back into the trailer for after lunch touch-ups. Then we go back to set until we wrap. After wrap we remove the wigs or hairpieces from the actors and shampoo the actors’ hair. Then, we block and clean the wigs and prep for the next day.
What was some of the best advice you received when you started your career?
Know your craft and learn how to do everything. Know how to cut, color, barber and style.
And finally, what has been your biggest accomplishment to date?
I feel like I have so many things I still want to do… the best is yet to come!