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Rand's Wheel Of Time Season 2 Haircut Means More Than You Think, Admits Josha Stradowski - Exclusive

"The Wheel of Time" is a story that is chock full of characters, yet the one who clearly stands out from the rest is Rand al'Thor. The obvious differentiating factor here is the fact that Rand is the Dragon Reborn, a reincarnated hero who is destined to save or break the world. Josha Stradowski, who plays Rand in Amazon Studios' "The Wheel of Time" adaptation, said as much in a recent interview with Looper. "That's the fun bit," he declared. "He goes from the shepherd, the young man, to the savior of the world, basically, or the guy that breaks it."

While Rand stands out due to his destiny, his physical appearance also betrays his unique nature — especially his red hair, which is not common in his home region of the Two Rivers. In Season 2 of the show, Rand shaved his crimson locks down to a neat buzz cut. In the story, this is to try to keep a low profile and avoid being recognized. However, in our conversation, Stradowski added that it also stemmed from a personal choice.

"I have this tradition that after shooting," the Dutch actor explained, "with Rand Season 1, I walked around with red hair for two years — and the fastest way to get rid of it is to shave my head. After Season 1, I did that, and they saw that and took that idea for Season 2."

Stradowski went on to say, "I love that idea, because it's not only because of the color of his hair that he's more anonymous, but it was also to sacrifice the past. It's literally shaving off all your hair and leaving it behind and, trying at least, to be reborn."

Maintaining short hair was more work than it looks

When Looper visited Jordan Studios in Prague earlier in 2023, we had a chance to sit down with the Hair and Makeup Supervisor for Season 2, industry veteran Davina Lamont. After echoing the need for Rand to cut off his hair to keep a low profile, Lamont clarified that this didn't mean her part was over. On the contrary, Josha Stradowski required constant observation from her team to make sure his naturally non-red hair wasn't peaking through his short hairdo.

"[Josha Stradowski] is not a natural redhead," Lamont explained, "so we have to continually color his hair every time we cut it. Although he looks like not much effort has gone involved within my department — he's not long in the chair — there are days where he has an hour of hair coloring every 19 days."

Stradowski also clarified that just because Rand had short hair in Season 2 doesn't mean it will stay that way. On the contrary, now that he's revealed as the Dragon Reborn and doesn't need to stay in hiding, things are going to change yet again in the haircut department. "What I can reveal," he said with wry sincerity, "is that Season 3, Rand will have a little bit more hair on his head. Big plans." What that will look like remains to be seen, but it appears we'll be getting more of Rand's signature redhead look moving forward. Even so, knowing that the short-haired Rand of Season 2 had motivations both in front of and behind the screen gives it its own fun sense of purpose.

All Season 2 episodes of "The Wheel of Time" are available to binge now on Prime Video.