Star Trek: Deep Space Nine's Haneek Required Some Complicated Hair And Makeup

In the "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" episode "Sanctuary" (November 29, 1993), the station is visited by a previously-unseen species called the Skrreeans, appearing out of the nearby wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant. The Skrreeans have trouble communicating at first, as the station's universal translator can't get a handle on their language. Eventually, the translator kicks in, and a woman named Haneek (Deborah May) steps forward to speak for the Skrreeans. She explains that their species was recently conquered by the military force of T-Rogorans and kept under military occupation for years. It wasn't until the T-Rogorans were conquered by an even more powerful military — the Dominion — that they were freed. Now the Skrreeans wander the galaxy, lost and homeless, looking for a new homeworld. 

At first Major Kira (Nana Visitor) seems amenable to the idea of the Skrreeans settling on her nearby home planet of Bajor ... until she learns that there are millions of them. Bajor, too, is still recovering from a recent military occupation and is experiencing famine. They wouldn't be able to accommodate the refugees. The Skrreeans, however, become convinced that Bajor is a holy land foreseen by their religious texts and insist on settling there. As more and more Skrreeans begin coming to the station, the locals begin to complain. Not everyone is tolerant. 

The makeup used to realize the Skrreeans wasn't easy to apply. The Skrreeans had rough skin that would flake off when dried, and every actor had to wear a "coating" on their faces, necks, and ears. It wasn't comfortable. Actress May spoke with back in 2017 about playing Haneek, and how she hated the makeup and hairdo she was shouldered with. 

Don't touch the hair

The Skrreean makeup was designed by longtime "Star Trek" makeup artist Michael Westmore. Deborah May recalls having to report to the makeup department many hours before filming, and that Westmore and his team had to glue a thin film on her face peppered with particularly gritty sand. One could "pick" the sand chunks out, if one were so reckless, giving viewers the impression that the Skrreeans were constantly shedding. She also knew that the elaborate hair (seen in the photos above) required three separate wig pieces. It also wasn't easy to remove. May said: 

"The look of the hair and skin was most interestingly achieved. If memory serves, I was in makeup for over two hours every morning. Three wigs and layers of latex and gravel and cardboard, I think, created that shedding quality. Removing it was no easy or short process. One had to stand in the shower for at least 15 minutes until a 'bubble' of water formed under the makeup. Then, it was slowly peeled away from forehead to neck. Not fun for those subject to feeling claustrophobia."

Even more so than on its predecessor "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine" required massively elaborate makeup on the daily. Series regulars Quark (Armin Shimerman) and Odo (René Auberjonois) had full-face masks, and the bulk of the supporting cast was made up of Ferengi, Cardassians, Klingons, Founders, Jem-Hadar, or other protrusion-heavy aliens. Westmore outdid himself on a weekly basis. 

Deborah May returned to "Star Trek" in a "Voyager" episode called "Favorite Son" (March 19, 1997) wherein she played a Taresian named Lyris who tries to convince the human Ensign Kim (Garrett Wang) that he is actually a Taresian. 

"Trek" has always been very good to its supporting players. Well, makeup notwithstanding.