Although “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” is a historical drama, hair designer Nic Collins wanted to bring a modern sensibility to the characters’ looks. The series alternates between dual timelines of 1761 and 1817, but Collins incorporated inspiration from recent decades, especially the 1970s, in her designs.

“The historical periods are beautiful, and they existed,” Collins says, speaking from London. “So you do look at your knowledge of the period. But unless the brief is [to make it] absolutely historically correct, my goal is to appeal to everyone. Everybody wants to feel connected to what they’re seeing on television. So for me it’s really important to contemporize the period so that it feels more real. Look at the wedding scene for Queen Charlotte. She has a beautiful, full Afro picked out to the maximum height, but at the front she has period-style rolls. Something like that is a real mix.”

Coming onto “Queen Charlotte,” a prequel to “Bridgerton,” Collins had the added challenge of designing for characters the audience already knows. In the later timeline, Golda Rosheuvel reprised her role as Queen Charlotte, as did Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury and Ruth Gemmell as Violet Bridgerton. That meant Collins needed to create a continuation of their familiar looks but also imagine how they might have been styled as young women.

“We based them on the ‘Bridgerton’ characters and looked at their styles, and we didn’t change the hair color, but we adapted their styles to the show that we’re working on,” Collins says. “We spoke to the actors as well, about what choices have been made and why those choices were made on ‘Bridgerton.’ It had to flow.”

With Queen Charlotte in particular, Collins wanted it to feel like the 16 intricate, custom wigs Rosheuvel wears could fit seamlessly within a larger collection owned by the character. She and her team maintained the color palette and general shape as those previously worn by the actor on “Bridgerton” while also bringing in their own flair. If you look closely, the wig details visually evoke narrative or emotional themes.

Hair and makeup designer Nic Collins works on a wig worn by India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte.

Hair and makeup designer Nic Collins works on a wig worn by India Amarteifio as Young Queen Charlotte.

(Liam Daniel / Netflix)

“We looked at the storylines and went ‘OK, what can we take from this event or the storyline? How can we bring this into a wig?’” Collins recalls. “In Episode 6, it’s about fertility and not having heirs to the throne — she’s desperate to keep this line going. So we put orchids on the back of the wig, which represent fertility. And at the opera we put two little lovebirds on the top of her wig. She’s watching this beautiful opera and thinking about George and loneliness.”

Collins also wanted to establish a through line between the elder Charlotte and her younger self, played by India Amarteifio. The later episodes, where Charlotte wears two more ostentatious ball wigs, hint at her sartorial style to come. As a viewer, you can imagine how her wigs become bigger and bigger over the years.

“It was really important to make that journey and entwine those two characters,” Collins notes. “I really wanted to have a sense that they connected. This is one person’s story. We wanted to make sense of that with how they looked and were represented.”

A row of wigs line a shelf.

Hair designer Nic Collins worked on more than 1,000 wigs for “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story.”

(Liam Daniel / Netflix)

It was also important to showcase Queen Charlotte with natural, textured hair. The team created five wigs for the younger version of the monarch, three of which recreated Amarteifio’s own hair. Although historically textured hair always existed, it’s rarely portrayed on-screen, especially in period stories. But, as Collins points out, the style is completely accurate to the era.

“It’s important to present these images and to represent people in their truth,” she says. “Textured hair is perfect for the 18th century, because people didn’t really have straight hair at all. We have straight hair now because we use shampoo and conditioners. But back then, everybody’s hair would have been textured. Portraying authentic [Black] hair is really important. It’s important for audiences. It’s important for the actors. And the response has been amazing. It’s quite humbling to be able to have been part of this.”

Although Queen Charlotte is the primary focus of the series, Collins and her team had dozens of other key characters to design. They also created wigs for nearly 800 background actors. She estimates her team of 21 purchased and styled more than 1,000 wigs.

An elaborate floral design adorns a wig worn by Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte.

Hair designer Nic Collins estimates her team of 21 purchased and styled more than 1,000 wigs.

(Nick Wall / Netflix)

“We wanted everybody to have their own look,” she notes. “We never doubled up on the wig. We created one wig per person so that everybody was individual to the hair, texture or color. We probably made 30 a week [during prep], and then it was ongoing throughout the production.”

Standing opposite Charlotte is King George, who is in the midst of a secretive mental health crisis when she arrives to marry him. When actor Corey Mylchreest showed up on set he had a very short hairstyle, which was left over from a previous role. There was some uncertainty about what the character should look like and how he should present himself, but ultimately everyone felt the short style suited George’s state of mind.

“We did try some wigs on him, and everybody, including myself, came to the same conclusion: He looks great with the short hair. It just works,” Collins says. “And somebody who’s going through what he’s going through would have no interest in their hair. It’s just there. We’ve seen the older King George, where he did have a wig on, but that’s because it’s ceremonial and he’s not in control of dressing himself. It made sense that the younger George was still very much in control of himself in most of the storyline when we first meet him.”

Collins, who previously won two Emmys for hairstyling on “Downton Abbey,” is delighted by the response to “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story,” especially from fans.

“I’m so grateful for ‘Downton’ and what I achieved on it and the team,” she says. “I absolutely loved working on it. But it is really lovely to start a show and actually create it from the beginning, even though it is part of ‘Bridgerton.’ … Your ultimate goal is that you create something that is not necessarily loved but is respected and looked at like, ‘Wow, this is something that we’ve not seen before. This has not been done before.’ I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved in that way.”