Rihanna's hairstyle in 'Ocean's 8' carries a powerful message
The films coming out of Hollywood have been decidedly more "woke" than usual. Certainly, the recent Marvel film, Black Panther, isn't your average superhero flick. With its nuanced portrayal of black culture and its developed female characters, it's arguably one of the most socially aware films to come out of the Marvel universe of late. However, there remains a dearth of such movies which feature a slew of women, kicking arse, front stage and centre.
Well, that's if you're discounting the upcoming all-female Ocean's 8. The newest instalment of the Ocean's franchise is due to star a number of A-list women, including Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Mindy Kaling and Helena Bonham Carter.
It's not out for another week, but there are already some juicy nuggets of information pouring in. Don't worry, it's nothing of the spoiler variety, rather, these are beauty secrets straight from the mouth of Rihanna's longtime hairstylist, Yusef Williams.
Speaking to Refinery29, celebrity hairstylist Yusef Williams disclosed that Rihanna specifically requested that her character Nine Ball wear locs in the upcoming film. "We thought it would be strong," Williams said. "Her locs would maintain that tie to Africa. She'd keep her accent. She wasn't just going to be some American girl in this movie. Nine Ball is still a Caribbean girl that just happens to be in America."
"All in all, the locs are just really badass. I couldn't imagine her character without them," Williams continued, before elaborating on the process behind it all:
"Production gave us a lot of freedom to create her character visually and play with her look. Gary and wardrobe trusted that we would just nail it. We wanted this girl to be cool, chill, and very minimal. She would wear the same things over and over again. But I think the one thing she probably cared about the most was her hair. When people have locs, it's kind of like their crown. It's their pride and joy. It's like a flower... you gotta nourish it and watch it grow. Hair played a really big part in who Nine Ball came to be."
Williams then touched on how much work was required to achieve the look that Rihanna was going for. "I had to fly my assistants to Paris, and all four of us were putting in locs, because we needed to get her done within three hours," he told the publication. "That is really a lot of work that would probably take 10 hours for one person to do. It's braiding the foundation and then wrapping and coiling the hair. We finished at 2am, then we got on a plane and started taping Ocean's."
"We didn't use Marley hair, which is a little bit more refined, pretty. Instead, we went with a kinkier, looser textured hair for a reggae feel. We didn't do too much parting, either; when you start to part and make sections, the hair becomes a little bit unrealistic. We haven't relaxed Rih's hair for years now, so we wanted a lighter, natural-textured hair to match."
And apparently, between launching Fenty Beauty and her lingerie line, Rihanna was still able to spend a lot of time thinking about how she wanted to portray Nine Ball. Back in the autumn of 2016, the pop-star took to Instagram to show off waist-length locs in a black-and-white photo, which was captioned with a reference to a Bob Marley Song.
Well, it's certainly become clear that Rihanna doesn't do things by halves...