Why did Kathryn Janeway have s many hairstyles in Star Trek: Voyager?
We already talked about how Star Trek has rarely ever done much in the way of design shakeups to characters. Once a character has a look, it’s their look until it isn’t. Avery Brooks had two distinct looks as Sisko in his entire seven years. Hair with shaved face, and a bald head with a goatee. That was it. There really was no other look (besides four episodes in season three).
William Shatner’s James T. Kirk had his swoop hair look and his fuzzy brille pad look. No third look. Patrick Stewart had just one, bald. Michael Burnham has had a few, but hers are usually consistent throughout the seasons. They change in between, sure but not every episode.
Then we have Kathryn Janeway, who had more hairstyles in a single season than the Klingons have been re-designed in 40 years. But why? Well, according to Screen Rant, the decision was due to producers wanting to make sure Janeway had the proper look to retain fan interest.
Star Trek: Voyager added to Kathryn Janeway’s legacy with her unique hair designs
While Janeway actress Kate Mulgrew wasn’t a fan of the constant looks, as she feared it would undermine her character, she did what no other Captain has done before or since; given her character several iconic looks.
Her shorter bob cut was arguably the most seen, but her iconic bun stands the test of time. So much so, the Emergency Command Hologram in Star Trek: Prodigy has the same hairstyle. It was featured all over the advertising for the show. It worked.
Ironically enough, the bob cut is the other hairstyle that a Janway character uses in the show, as the Vice Admiral Janeway character has a distinct bob cut as well. While Mulgrew may have felt the hair styling was a potential detriment to her run as captain, it actually impacted it positively.
Now, 20-odd years later, the fandom is once again obsessing over a captain’s hair; Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike, and his quaffed look. Both captains will forever, and lovingly be remembered for their iconic looks, something that can’t be said about every captain.