Find Out What Gina Rodriguez's Hair Reveals About Her on 'Jane the Virgin'
Plus how to tame your tresses like a true telenovela star.
Complications continue to arise on Jane the Virgin, yet week after week the leading lady schools us on keeping her cool. Since we're already sold on Gina Rodriguez's easy-going on-screen style, let's talk hair. We turned to the head of the hair department for the CW series, Michelle Rene Elam, to get the scoop on the characters' carefree 'dos, plus tips for tackling our own tresses—no matter what telenovela-like plot twists come our way.
What is the difference between styling hair for on and off camera? "Terrific question, I refer to this as real-life looks versus TV looks. The sets have crazy-strong lights—sometimes a simple stray strand looks like a tree branch! We have to use a lot of product to keep hair looking simple and settled. In real life, applying a good product once in the morning should do for the day. We also have to keep hair out of faces so the audience can see the actors' expressions well. In real life, hair can blow across the face and not interrupt a conversation."
How do the characters’ wardrobes impact their hair choices? "For me, it impacts everything. I'm a firm believer that what the character wears should be balanced with the hairstyle. For example, a strappy, flowy dress would say flowy hair, shorts and a tee could be a quick pony, and a precise-cut pencil dress denotes a precise slick style. Then of course there's my favorite—bed head!"
How do you communicate Jane's personality through her hair? "Gina’s character Jane is very natural, busy, no fuss and full of life. So we keep her style true to that essence—alive and fun. She works a lot so her hair undergoes a bit of stress. To keep it healthy and in top shape, I use heat protectants—mostly White Sands Liquid Texture Firm Hold Spray ($20)—and then Paul Mitchell Pro Tools Neuro Unclipped 1.25" Styling Cone ($121) to set her whimsical locks. She has a copious amount of hair, so I often flat iron the roots with my T3 SinglePass Styling Iron ($160) to keep it snug to her head."
How do you communicate her pregnancy changes? "She is feeling less and less able to wear her hair in her face with the added weight of a growing baby, so we've been creating looks that feel more comfortable yet still fits her character of casual, fun and natural."
Jane trypically has her hair in loose waves. When her hair is up and back, what does that reflect? How about when it’s straight? "Up and back reflects beauty; we love it away from her expressive face and even often off her neck. Straight styles we often save for youth—flashbacks of high school age to represent trying harder to look like everyone—or sometimes a special date—again the feeling of trying hard."
Can you share any tips with our readers on easy, everyday updos? "Whipping a little braid somewhere changes every simple style into one with more pizazz. I also love top-knots—so thrilled they are in style. I think they are darling on everyone."
How does hair color play a role in defining the characters? "Color is very important. For example, the natural shades on Jane and Xo [played by Andrea Navedo] show simple working people yet [with] well-cared for shiny hair. Petra [Yael Grobglas], on the other hand, has a very specific glam color representing her money, status and concern for impressing."
The story is set in Miami, but can you share any winter hair tips for our readers that live in colder climates? "Brrrr, well I love to sport hats—have as many fun ones as you can in all shapes and colors. On hatless days, keep some good frizz tamers, such as White Sands Orchids Oil ($26), handy."
Do you have any tips for helping our readers develop their own signature hairstyles? "Yes, do what you hair loves to do most! When you're not fighting your hair, you enjoy it more and it usually looks great. Also, the condition of your hair is the foundation to all sharp-looking styles. Pay attention to what shampoo and conditioner works best with your hair's needs. Sometimes you have to change it up—[Jane's] hair is very particular of shampoos, so she always carries Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Special Shampoo ($37) and Seaweed Bath Co.Balancing Argan Shampoo ($13) with her."
For more hair inspiration, tune in to Jane the Virgin Monday nights at 9pm PST on The CW.