Backstage

  • <i>The starring cast of </i>American Horror Story<i>’s latest season, “Freak Show”</i>
  • <i>Department Head Monte C. Haught uses <a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/26/dry-texturizing-spray/' target='_parent'>Dry Texturizing Spray</a> to backcomb the voluminous waves of Elsa Mars, played by Jessica Lange.</i>
  • <i><a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/26/dry-texturizing-spray/' target='_parent'>Dry Texturizing Spray</a> helps set Amazon Eve’s pin curls, played by Erika Ervin (right).</i>
  • <i>For the bobs on Bette and Dot Tattler, both played by Sarah Paulson, Haught uses <a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/59/royal-blowout-heat-styling-spray/award-winners:true' target='_parent'>Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray</a>.</i>
  • <i><a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/59/royal-blowout-heat-styling-spray/award-winners:true' target='_parent'>Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray</a> adds shine and body to the Old Hollywood look on Maggie Esmerelda, played by Emma Roberts.</i>
  • <i><a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/68/soft-lacquer-heat-styling-spray/' target='_parent'>Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray</a> is Haught’s favorite for Desiree Dupree (left), played by Angela Bassett, and Gloria Mott (right), played by Frances Conroy. </i>
  • <i>Haught also uses <a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/68/soft-lacquer-heat-styling-spray/' target='_parent'>Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray</a> on “Freak Show” performers Salty (left) and Pepper (right), played by Christopher Neiman and Naomi Grossman, to style their signature single curl.</i>
  • <i>To slick back Ethel Darling’s hair, played by Kathy Bates, Haught turns to <a href='http://www.oribe.com/index.php/products/view/57/rock-hard-gel/' target='_parent'>Rock Hard Gel</a>.</i>
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"American Horror Story"

The FX television series American Horror Story has been frightening and entertaining audiences since its premiere in 2011, and with the help of Hair Department Head Monte C. Haught, the talented cast looks forward to their Emmy Award-winning hair transformations every season. From a haunted house and insane asylum to a coven of witches and, this season, a small-town freak show from the 1950s, the plot of the show leaves plenty of room for creativity and fun.

Haught’s creative process is collaborative between him and AHS creator Ryan Murphy. After reading the script of the first episode for each season, Haught meets with Murphy to design the perfect look for each character. “Preparation is also a very important part of the process,” he explained. “A lot of research must be done on period pieces because the smallest details in the hairstyle can make a difference from one decade to another.” For this season’s “Freak Show” series—and just in time for Halloween—we went more in depth with Haught’s hairstyling for AHS, including his inspiration, special techniques and his go-to Oribe products.

What was the inspiration for this season’s hair?


This season’s inspiration is based on middle-class America in the 1950s. I wanted our blue-collar cast to have an authentic look specific to that place and time in history. Each cast member of the “Freak Show” was given a specific look inspired by his or her wardrobe and character backstory. Their looks range from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Have you done anything different with hairstyling for this season compared to the past ones?


This season, roller setting and pin curl setting is being used to achieve the authentic looks. We created artistic updos for certain freak entertainers to set them apart from the rest of the crowd and accentuate their unique look and features. We also use styling products to create a lived-in, textured look for our carnival workers.

What are your go-to Oribe products on set?


Dry Texturizing Spray has been a favorite for giving the perfect grip needed to help sustain backcombing for Elsa Mars' (Jessica Lange) hairstyle. It also helps hold backcombing and pin curls in place on Amazon Eve (Erika Ervin).

Royal Blowout Heat Styling Spray is used on Bette and Dot Tattler (played by Sarah Paulson) and Maggie Esmerelda (Emma Roberts). We were also pleased to discover that Royal Blowout gave a light sheen on a synthetic wig used on Regina Ross (Gabourey Sidibe).

Soft Lacquer Heat Styling Spray has become a favorite on Maggie, Gloria Mott (Frances Conroy), Desiree Dupree (Angela Bassett), and, of course, on the signature curls for our beloved Pepper (Naomi Grossman) and Salty (Christopher Neiman). It gives a great hold, and we love the way the shine just brushes out and gives a natural look.

Rock Hard Gel gives that slick look that was so famous in the 1950s. Ethel Darling (Kathy Bates) sports this look to accentuate her sweet beard. We commonly use Rock Hard Gel on some of our background actors, too.

Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray has helped to protect numerous styles from the great Louisiana humidity.
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