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Friend shares that the look of the Jabbari tribe in the franchise, led by M’Baku (Winston Duke), takes inspiration from Senegalese warriors. When conceptualizing the character’s look for the new film, Friend played off the idea of a mohawk and referenced hairstyles on Black men from the ’80s — a “1980s Black Man Shag,” she calls the character’s new style. 

While working with natural hair textures, Friend was conscious to incorporate hair care into the styling process for each actor. “Integrity of hair is really important to me so every night when everybody comes in and gets their hairpiece taken off, we take care of their hair by massaging the scalp (using the Better Not Younger Superpower Fortifying Hair & Scalp Serum) and using different products to keep their hair in its strength,” says Friend. 

While on set, Friend used a bevy of products to bring these looks together and help them stay put throughout long filming days, stunts, and just the bustle of a busy Hollywood set — a lot of the movie’s scenes were actually filmed underwater during Atlanta’s heatwaves, so talk about a hectic set. 

Of all the products she used on set, the Prose Custom Styling Gel became Friend’s holy grail. As a member of the brand’s first-ever haircare advisory board, Friend played a part in the development process of Prose’s Custom Styling Gel. “I brought different formulas on set and put them to the test on the cast and crew,” Friend says. “After the end of a long day, I would check in with the styles, which amazingly all held their shape and weren’t affected by humidity or needed a touch-up.” 

Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse

Friend also told Allure during another interview that the Design Essentials Natural Almond & Avocado Curl Enhancing Mousse and Shine-N-Jam Magic Fingers Edge Control also played important roles in the movie’s hairstyling. 

Reflecting back on her experience working on the film, Friend says she loved working on this project because of how intentional everything was. Even concerning hair, the team had cultural and historical advisors come in to consult on how to best make the aesthetics realistic and authentic and to honor the cultures they were pulling inspiration from. “That to me is probably one of our greatest achievements in this movie,” Friend says. “That’s what I’m most proud of.” 

This content was originally published here.

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