One thing is for sure right now, Marvel’s new comic book remake Black Panther has everyone talking. Whether it’s the on-point music, incredible costumes or all-star cast, the superhero film seems to have nailed it on every front. And that includes the hair. Below, we look to the film’s radical celebration of natural Afro hair through its use of modern and traditional styling.
Intricate braids, bouncy Bantu knots and luscious dreadlocks – Black Panther is proving to be a revolutionary movie for many reasons, not least its celebration of natural black hair. Often in mainstream feature films, Afro textures are restyled through straightening or the adoption of wigs and weaves, but not in Black Panther; according to the film’s head of hair, relaxers, hot combs and hot presses weren’t used in any of the styling. Speaking to The Cut Camille Friend said, “That was one of the things that I really was firm about, I requested that people come with their natural hair.” Below, we pick out three of the striking styles that make Black Panther equal parts beautiful, radical and revolutionary.
Intricate braids make multiple appearances in the movie, weaved with splashes of colour and sculpted into towering looks. Black Panther’s breakout star Letitia Wright showcased fine caramel-coloured braids that were secured in a half-up-half-down style throughout the film. If you are looking for a style that promotes hair growth without compromising striking appeal – make this your next hair choice.
Lupita’s knots may boast a striking resemblance to a style known as Bantu Knots (sectioned hair that is raised and twisted upon itself), though lead hair stylist Camille Friend prefers to call Lupita’s style Wakanda Knots instead, since they are flatter, smaller and lifted only slightly at the roots. To achieve this look, part hair with a wide-tooth comb, secure each parting with a hair-tie and twist the hair on itself before fixing the knot with a bobby pin.
A modern take on culturally significant style, Michael B. Jordan’s choppy short dreads are full of movement. As the villain of the story, Friend wanted his hair to be “strong and bold”, she told The Cut. The style achieves extra edge and interest with the addition of faded sides too. Angela Basset’s character on the other hand showcases dreads in their most recognisable and traditional state. A special hand crafted wig was developed especially for her character which feature over 110 pieces of individual dreads with four colours weaved in – apparently it took a month to finish!