You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

When “RuPaul’s Drag Race” hair department head Gabriel Villarreal was in beauty school, his teacher was obsessed with teasing wigs.

“She’d say, ‘Okay, well, let me get my rat tail comb.’ And she would stab it inside the wig and she would pick it up. And if she shook it and it did not fall off, it was teased enough,'” Villarreal recalls on the set of the hit reality series.

Speaking to Variety’s Marc Malkin, Villarreal said when he was a contestant on the show, “I can remember being more intrigued with what was happening behind the scenes than what was happening in the challenges.”

Since joining the production staff, he considers RuPaul’s Season 10 promo wig his favorite: “I said, ‘Let’s do something white. She’s never had a white wig for a promo. And let’s also do red lipstick because those minor little things together with the catsuit are still on the ‘Ru’ brand. That’s always the thing.”

Head hair stylist Hector Pocasangre said when it comes to beauty tools, he always has a rat tail comb, Mason Pearson brush, and can of hairspray on hand. “I’ve done every type of look on the show. I’ve been here since Season 1,” he reminisces.

Villarreal says when returning for a new season of “RuPaul,” “you have to be able to say, ‘I definitely see a progression.’ Or else you’re not doing your job. And you always know if you’re on target when she looks at it and says, ‘I’m ready.'”

More Artisans

  • Barry HBO

    'Barry' Stunt Coordinator Breaks Down That Insane Fight With a Little Girl

    Stunt coordinator Wade Allen details the extensive planning behind the “Barry” Season 2 episode “ronny/lily,” which features long takes aplenty, a Rite-Aid Taekwondo battle and Bill Hader’s Barry getting “his ass kicked by a little girl.” The idea for the episode came about a year ago. “Bill [Hader] and I riffed about how funny it [...]

  • Behind the Choreography of 'So You

    Behind the Choreography of 'So You Think You Can Dance'

    The judges on “So You Think You Can Dance” don’t just critique the performers; they’re judging the choreographers, too. “You have to sit in the audience and smile and hope that [the dancers] kill it. As much as they’re getting looked at, the judges are looking at your stuff, too. All the choreographers are back [...]

Most Popular

  • Saoirse Ronan Variety Cover Story

    Saorise Ronan on Why ‘Little Women’ Is Still Relevant Today

    Golden Globe contender Saoirse Ronan reunited with her “Lady Bird” director Greta Gerwig and co-star Timothée Chalamet in “Little Women,” a film she uncharacteristically approached Gerwig about at an award show. “I just tapped her on the shoulder and was like, ‘I know you’re doing ‘Little Women’ and I know Jo is going to be […]

  • Mindy Kaling Constance Wu

    Actors on Actors: Mindy Kaling & Constance Wu (Full Conversation)

    Mindy Kaling and Constance Wu both starred in woman-directed films this year; Kaling in Nisha Ganatra’s “Late Night” and Wu in Lorene Scafaria’s “Hustlers.” In their “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation, the two shared stories about working with female directors and how playing women who are ambitious used to be portrayed as a negative […]

Access exclusive content