Star Trek isn’t known to change people’s looks often but when they do, it works.
Star Trek usually works as an episodic series, which means they want characters to look at consistently as possible from episode to episode. That is less of a trend in Picard and Discovery but for every other Star Trek show, the idea is to keep people in the usual look as often as possible.
That doesn’t mean some changes don’t happen but when they do they’re very rare and oftentimes, very jarring. Not in a negative way, however. You just get so used to seeing a character in one look for so long, that when you see something different, it takes time to adjust.
Star Trek hasn’t done this often but when they have, it’s quite shocking, but in a good way, and these are just three of the times this has happened.
Three times Star Trek changed up a character’s look
Will Riker grows a beard and then shaves it again
William Riker debuted with a clean-cut, babyface looking the first season of The Next Generation. In season two, Riker grew out his beard and it became his trademark “look” for the rest of the show’s run and even through the first two films. It was his look. Then Star Trek: Insurrection took place and bang, Babyface Billy is back. It was an odd choice, and apparently, someone didn’t like his bald face because by Nemesis and later Picard, the facial hair was back.
Benjamin Sisko grows a goatee
Another character that had a radical change to his look was Benjamin Sisko, who started off the series with a tight buzzcut and a clean shaving look but by the end of Season 3, Sisko had started growing out his facial hair. He had a full beard by the end of the season and starting in season four, he had his trademark goatee that he would rock through the end of the series.
Kathryn Janeway gets a haircut(s)
At the time, this was quite a big deal. After all, William Shatner, Jean-Luc Picard, and Benjamin Sisko didn’t go about changing their hair all too often, yet when Kathryn Janeway debuted she came with a tight bun look for her hair. If she had just changed this look up once, it would’ve been a big deal on its own but Janeway was constantly trying out new styles and it was refreshing. She was a person lost in the Delta Quadrant with no hairdresser, or command to pull rank, of course, she was going to try new looks out. They were all bangers too.