Lupita Nyong’o has long favored headbands as the go-to accessory for her award-show hairstyles — including when she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2014 for 12 Years a Slave — but she switched it up for the 2018 Academy Awards with an accent we can’t stop staring at. Woven into three thick, deeply parted, asymmetrical braids are golden threads that perfectly pick up the tones her shimmering Versace gown.
The loops of golden string aren’t just a beautiful style, however. The look is inspired by traditional Rwandan Amasunzu hairstyles, whipped up by none other than Vernon François, who was responsible for the Black Panther star’s hair on the cover of the March issue of Allure. “We wanted something clean and sculpted to accent her dress and show off the neckline,” he says of the look.
After washing her hair with his branded Pure Fro Shampoo and Conditioner, François spritzed Nyong’o’s hair with his Mist Nourishing Water and Scalp Nourish Ment Braids and Locs Spray, and blow-dryed her hair with a round brush. He went over the ends with a flatiron, leaving out the roots for some extra texture. Then, he shaped her hair into the style you see and set it with hairspray before weaving in all that glorious thread.
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François is known to be a fan of lustrous accessories, recently telling Allure that he encourages people to use not-so-obvious elements to change things up with their own styles. “Don’t be afraid to repurpose things; choose different metallic colors and finishes,” said François, who always gives Nyong’o plenty of input when it comes to the looks he does for her. “It’s always a collaborative, creative process when Lupita and I work together. We bounce ideas around and get excited about the possibilities — and about resetting expectations for hair.”
Nyongo’s golden threads were brilliantly complemented by makeup with metallic touches, including dark blue and bronze eye shadow and bronze lips.
More on Lupita’s best beauty looks:
- Get the Details of Lupita Nyong’o’s Hair and Makeup for Allure‘s March Cover
- Lupita Nyong’o Is Slaying These Senegalese Twists
- This Is the Highlighter Lupita Nyong’o’s Makeup Artist Uses on Her
Watch Lupita Nyong’o take a Rorschach test: