Range of styles: Get to know ‘Cruella’ hair stylist Nadia Stacey
What was the inspiration behind the hair looks and overall hair design/approach?
The film is set in 1977 in London. The Punk scene was big, Vivienne Westwood had opened her first store on The Kings Road and fashion was changing. I wanted Emma Stone’s character to be influenced by this scene. A kind of creative chaos in the look. I also had to create over 10 different styles alone for Emma and I needed to sometimes hint towards the shape or style of the original Cruella because she has a lot of fans.
Tell us about the process you went through to develop the looks for the lead characters?
Each character needed a strong silhouette, something synonymous to them. Emma Stone’s character is more of a punk and influenced by that fashion whereas the Baroness—Emma Thompson—has perfected her look in the 1950s/60s, so it meant that we had a whole range of styles to draw from. Naomi Donne, a personal [makeup artist] to Emma Thompson created exactly what I wanted for the Baroness and developed all these different styles based around a theme. Lots of pulled back, not a hair in place, sculpted styles while Cruella has a wildness to her look. You have to think of the character, who would they reference for their look, who would inspire them?
How important was it for the actors to be on board with your vision in order to carry out the various looks? What Did Emma Stone think/say when she saw your vision for the first time?
It’s absolutely vital they like, and more importantly feel right, in your creations. It’s they that have to feel the character as a whole and believe in the look. Emma is fantastic to collaborate with, she has strong ideas but is equally very open to any of my ideas and willing to try so the madder the looks became, the more she was up for it. We had such creative free rein from our director Craig Gillespie too, so it meant I could really try and push the boundaries.
What was your favourite look to create?
There are so many, and they are all so varied so it’s hard to choose a favourite. There is one which is based on 18th century Marie Antoinette style – that seems crazy for Cruella but that’s the kind of creative freedom I had. The black and white sides are styled up towards the classic shape but then it goes off to the side and the shape changes; everything I did, I wanted to put a twist on it. I do love the bob shape with the bangs too. That feels very punk to me.
How do you ensure actors’ natural hair is taken care of under wigs?
We have to prep the hair underneath with a product that will flatten and slick the hair down to make it as flat as possible, so I like to use conditioner or masks because I think the hair is benefitting all day under the wig.
How did you ensure the wigs/hair pieces used for natural looks stayed looking natural? Any tips for styling wigs?
All the wigs are real hair, so you have to treat them as such. If I was putting in rollers or using irons or any styling implements, I would always use a heat protecting spray like the HASK Keratin Protein 5 in 1 Leave in Spray. It helps protect and keeps the hair conditioned and smooth for styling.
How do you look after wigs on-set?
Depending on the style, some were heavily sprayed with hairspray to set them, but generally I like to keep the hair free to move, which I feel if you are trying to give the appearance of real hair. It’s important that it moves like real hair, it makes it more believable, so in that case I like a lightweight spray that will smooth out and control without being too heavy.
How did you keep your hair colour bright and healthy?
I think preparation before styling is key. It’s the maintenance of keeping hair in good condition before you even think about styling that will make it healthy and shiny so it’s all about the shampoos and conditioners and masks you use.
Did you have to dye any of the actors’ hair during filming and if so, which HASK products did you use during the process and why? Were HASK products great to prep hair before dyeing? Do they help keep dyed hair vibrant?
We didn’t dye anyone’s natural hair, but we dyed wigs and hair pieces and because the hair is so treated previously it can dry out very quickly, exactly the same as over-processed hair. For me the life savers are the HASK hair oils because they are so absorbing so they don’t sit heavy in the hair. Also, the macadamia one smells incredible!
What were the biggest challenges/issues styling hair on-set of this film, and how did you overcome them?
We had 3 black and white wigs for the whole shoot for Cruella and over ten different designs and because of the fast pace of the shooting schedule I had to style these three wigs over and over again, so they were in and out of rollers, hair pieces added to them, they really went through it! There are also a lot of stunts and action sequences so we needed products that would hold the styles. I also had nearly 100 different cast members with multiple looks so to look after Emma Stone full time and design all those looks was a challenge!
Which HASK products would you recommend to keep hair healthy that has had either a lot of products (like hairspray) or heat tools?
I like the Tea Tree Shampoo and Conditioner to take out any impurities but also keep the hair soft and conditioned but again weightless and not heavy with product. I also love the Tea Tree 5 in 1 Spray to heat protect as the styling begins again.
What was the most memorable moment of being on the set of the film Cruella?
There are so many to choose from and the film has so many iconic moments, but I think nothing will beat seeing Emma as Cruella for the first time. All those weeks of prep and seeing her in full hair and makeup was amazing.
How can people at home recreate Cruella’s iconic curls using HASK products? How did you combat humidity? What were your favourite products for frizz control and why?
If they are blessed with curly hair then the new Curl range is fantastic, all the benefits of HASK products specifically targeted for curls. They should add curl enhancing mousse to wet hair and dry with a diffuser to really encourage the curls. Tip your head upside down when drying to create lots of volume; when you tip your head back the hair will be wild, but that’s what Cruella would want!
Then use HASK curl defining cream just to define and take away some of the frizz. Its humidity-proof formula will keep your curls looking lovely. If you have straight hair, I would use a thermal protection spray like Keratin protection 5 in 1 spray to protect before you use a curling tool, rollers or tongs. Create the curls and use the curl defining cream as above.
What were your three must-have products when styling hair on-set?
I love the HASK Coconut Masks and would give the wigs a treatment as much as possible to revive the hair and put back the condition lost in over styling. I also used this on Emma Stone underneath the wig to condition her hair during the day. The Rose Oil and Peach Colour Protect Shampoo and Conditioners were great because the black and white hair needed to be really defined and strong, so I needed to punch the colour up.
Also, the white side of the hair could start to look yellow with over-process and I felt that these shampoos really worked to protect that. All the 5 in 1 because it allowed me to maintain the frizz without adding heavy product all day to the styles. Sometimes our shoot days could be 12 hours long and too much product would ruin the style. These sprays (all of the 5 in 1’s actually) are perfect for on set checks.
Which HASK products were key to creating the looks and why?
Keratin 5 in 1 Spray for the heat protection because of all the styling. They are the best. The hair masks for protection of actors’ hair under wigs and for a once a week treat or to send them home with them. The nourishing Coconut ones are great. The Rose Oil and Peach Colour Protect because the black and white hair IS Cruella!
What HASK products were used to keep the actors’ hair hydrated and healthy during filming? And what tips were given to the actors and actresses in between shooting?
As above, the masks. I love them all, but I recommend the Argan Oil Masks a lot as they are so repairing over the weekend before a shoot.
Which HASK products did you use on Emma Stone and why? What were the benefits and why were you using them? Did Emma have a favourite HASK product she loved?
All the above were used on Emma for all her different Cruella looks. She had so many different looks and processes that as ever my goal is to protect her hair and so have always used the HASK masks on her under wigs. The Tea Tree 5 in 1 Spray is something I use on her a lot as it is so lightweight and free of all the nasties which is great when I need to spray products on her on set, so I feel confident that I’m spraying natural products around her.
How did you use HASK’s Dry Shampoos during filming and why?
We had to create lots of punk styles on the extras and supporting cast and that means lots of body in the hair, so you need something to take out any grease or too much moisture to be able to create the styles. It was good to get some of the Charcoal Dry Shampoo in the root to rid all the excess oil and give a good base to start creating! That worked well too in some of the punkier styles for the Cruella wigs too.
Which other actors were HASK products used on?
The HASK products were used across the film. The crowd team where they had over 6,000 supporting actors had the products and were using them regularly. We also had to create sprayed red style for Paul Walter Hauser and use the Charcoal Dry Shampoo for texture. I liked to use the 5 in 1 sprays for Kirby Howell Baptiste’s afro wig too.