by Charlynn Schmiedt
“When I joined [Voyager] at the eleventh hour, we had nothing but hair problems. Short? Long? With a hairpiece? Without a hairpiece? All the concerns were about my hair—the hair being the trademark of the woman, right?” —Kate Mulgrew, TV Guide Star Trek Special, Spring 1995
Captain Janeway went through as many hairstyles as Troi had lovers on TNG (okay, maybe not that many—but close). In the article quoted above, Mulgrew later explains that the nervousness about her hair was more about the producers’ nervousness about putting a woman in the captain’s seat; and instead of admitting that issue they focused on perfecting her appearance.
Although “the powers that be” did relax about the hair—and Janeway, as her character developed—Janeway went through several changes in appearance throughout the Voyager series.
Hairdo #1: “Au Naturel”
The first shots of “Caretaker,” Voyager’s pilot, were done with Kate’s real hair, shoulder length, simply styled. The scenes were re-shot with the “Bun of Steel.”
Hairdo #2: “Bun of Steel”
In seasons one and two, Janeway pulled her long hair into a bun while teasing her bangs to give her hair a lift. The style is efficient, yet feminine—probably the balance the producers were wanting, so it’s no surprise they decided on this style. The “Bun of Steel” made a return in Janeway’s cameo in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Hairdo #3: “French Twist”
“Wait!” someone must have said in the hair and makeup trailer midway through season one. “Let’s try one more before we settle on the bun.” And thus, Janeway wore her hair in a french twist for the episodes “Heroes and Demons” and “Cathexis.” She returned to the “Bun of Steel” in the following episode.
Hairdo #4: “Shoulder Warmer”
In a precursor to how she would wear her hair later in the series, Janeway dumps the “Bun of Steel”—and apparently the long hair—for a shoulder-length ‘do. The bun returned in the following episode, “Persistence of Vision,” but a girl can play around, can’t she? Surely, they have hair follicle stimulators in the 24th century, thus explaining the sudden return to the long hair.
Hairdo #5: “Side-Twist Ponytail”
Janeway tried this style for a more casual look when she, Chakotay, Tuvok and Paris visited 1996 Los Angeles in the episode “Future’s End.” She apparently liked it, because she kept it until season four.
Hairdo #6: “Short!”
When your ship is constantly under attack, you don’t have time for niceties like fixing your hair. As a result, Janeway chopped off her hair for “Year of Hell.”
Hairdo #7: “Shoulder Warmer 2.0”
Janeway gradually let her short hair grow out and kept it shoulder-length for the rest of Voyager’s journey. Funny how this was, more or less, the same style that was rejected at the start of the series.