Daisy Jones & The Six: Behind the Scenes with Lead Hairstylist MaryAnn Hennings
BTC Exclusive: How Department Head MaryAnn Hennings & Team Recreated Iconic ‘70s Styles for Daisy Jones & The Six
Peace, love, rock and roll—and retro shags with fringe. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid took readers by storm when it hit bookshelves in 2019, so it’s no surprise that the TV adaptation (airing on Amazon Prime) is living up to the hype.
The story follows the fictional rise (and fall) of rock and roll band Daisy Jones & The Six, starring Riley Keough, Sam Clafin, Suki Waterhouse and Camila Morrone. While the excitement around this show is real, we couldn’t help but notice one thing: THE HAIR. Long layers, heavy fringe and retro men’s cuts—no band is complete without a rock and roll look, and Hair Department Lead MaryAnn Hennings (@maryannhenningshair) and team didn’t disappoint.
In this exclusive interview with BTC, MaryAnn takes us backstage and shares her styling secrets. Keep reading for her must-know styling techniques, how to lead a team and her go-to products on set.
From Behind the Chair to Behind the Scenes
A true Hollywood fairytale: A young stylist begins her career at a Beverly Hills salon and one day a celebrity sits in her chair. “The salon I was working at had a heavy movie star clientele at the time. So one day actress Marilu Henner came in and I was new so I was shampooing her, and she was complaining about her [current hairstyle] and she asked me to fix it,” MaryAnn explained. Of course, she agreed.
From there, the connections started rolling in. “After I did her hair, she said ‘You have to do my boyfriend’s hair!’ Who happened to be John Travolta, which led to me meeting Jamie Lee Curtis,” she adds. MaryAnn soon found herself (at just 20 years old) working with some of the best photographers and celebrities in the industry. “I didn’t even know it at the time!”
With her celebrity clientele established, MaryAnn then worked to get into the Make-up Artists & Hair Stylist Guild (also known as IATSE Local 706) where she began her career as a film and television hair stylist.
What was it like moving from salon to set? For MaryAnn, it was the best way to go. “Getting a cosmetology license doesn’t mean you’re a good hairdresser. It means you’re safe and know all the rules,” she explains. “It gave me a foundation that I could do any hair at any time. The salon I worked at was very strict and required a lot of training. So when I read a script [now] and it requires wigs or takes place during a certain time period, it takes the fear away,” she adds.
Bringing the Hairstyles of the ‘70s to the Big Screen
When reading Reid’s novel to prepare for the adaptation, MaryAnn was already visualizing how to recreate the characters’ looks for the screen. “1970s rock and roll is such an [iconic] era, so thinking about inspiration for the hair was so easy,” MaryAnn explained. “So on our inspiration board, I visualized [Fleetwood Mac lead singer] Stevie Nicks for Riley Keough but not a complete visual copy, more like encompassing Stevie’s vibe during the ‘70s,” she adds.
With each character’s vibe in mind, MaryAnn started to plan on the evolution of each character, not just in time (the show does jump decades and time periods) but also during their rise and fall of fame.
“In the beginning of the show, [the characters] are young, so no one is teasing their hair out or anything—they’re just kids,” she shares. “So everyday, looking at these characters you see the story playing in your mind and you know what sort of changes you want to make to their looks each day to follow the story.”
There is one look that stands out in MaryAnn’s mind. “There is a scene with Camila [Marrone] where she is going through a major personal transition. So I did her hair in the most iconic ‘70s style: teased at the crown and a feathered face frame. She went from a beautiful young wife to a stunningly confident woman. That was definitely my favorite hairstyle because it had so much to do with her transition, you can’t be a great actor and look wrong, it all has to come together,” she shares.
Leading A Team: Why Skills Aren’t the Only Thing That Matters
Building a successful team—in a salon or on set—takes a leader that knows how the right stylist will help the team succeed, and gives them the encouragement they need to grow.
“When hiring I really went on personality, because you don’t really know someone’s skill set until they are actually working. So because we work so closely with makeup and wardrobe, if you have someone that is in it for themselves, it can mess up three departments, not just ours,” she explains. “You have to trust people, not only that they know what they’re doing but that they will be able to last the distance. [Having the right people] makes a huge difference.”
Styling Secrets: How MaryAnn and Her Team Created Retro Styles for Today’s Cool-Girl
If there is one thing we know for sure, it’s that retro styles are coming back BIG TIME. So how did MaryAnn and team create hairstyles that were authentic but also contemporary?
“We used modern day techniques to create these ‘70s looks,” she answers. “In the ‘70s hot rollers were HUGE, and hairdressers know that the [finished look] with hot rollers is much different than using a curling iron. So using the techniques from now gave these looks a modern twist.”
If there is one thing to know about working on set, it’s that styles change FAST. “You have to know when styling that it will change and be manipulated quickly,” MaryAnn explains. So instead of relying on wigs, MaryAnn and her team applied extensions to switch up a character’s style quickly.
“I [prefer] to use extensions because they offer more versatility. You can apply them upside down or sideways depending on the scene,” she explains. “Every character goes through a few changes to their look throughout the show so it was really all about making movie magic and having fun creating these looks.”
Product Picks: MaryAnn Shares What’s in Her Styling Kit
There is no way we could chat about these hairstyles without knowing what products MaryAnn and her team grabbed on set. When it was time to share them, she immediately grabbed her kit—here’s her go-to products for styling Daisy Jones & The Six:
- LolaVie Glossing Detangler and Perfecting Leave-In Conditioner: “I honestly ended up buying this for everyone on set,” gushes MaryAnn. “These products brought the hair back to life, which is really important on set when the hair is being constantly manipulated and heat styled so much,” she adds.
- Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother. Believe it or not, Riley Keough (who plays Daisy Jones) did not use any wigs or extensions during filming. That’s right: IT’S ALL HER NATURAL HAIR. So, it was super important to MaryAnn to keep Riley’s hair as healthy as possible in between filming.
- IGK Hair Good Behavior line. We’re not surprised this salon favorite is also a go-to onset. Especially when fighting frizz during a rock concert in New Orleans.
- IGK Hair Beach Club Volume Texture Spray
- Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray
- Living Proof Volumizing Hair Texture Spray
Daisy Jones & The Six premieres March 3, 2023 on Amazon Prime.