In real life, Bailey wears her hair in locs, and it was important to her to keep them in the film — no wig. “After speaking to Halle, she really wanted to keep her natural hair,” says Friend. They had to figure out how to translate the style into this other world, fitting director Rob Marshall’s vision while changing its color.
When the topic of hair color came up, Friend knew she had to find a solution that worked best for Bailey. She was concerned about dyeing her entire head red and the damage that would cause, so Friend came up with a workaround. In partnership with a company called Extensions Plus based out of California, Friend got three custom shades of red, 30-inch hair extensions made to encase Bailey’s locs.
“We just started mixing the colors, starting from darker and working to lighter and, literally, taking and wrapping each of her locs with this hair,” Friend says. The process in total required three stylists and took two days, but once it was in, they were set for a while. “It could stay in her hair anywhere from six to eight weeks and then be touched up in between, because when you’re in the water, it’s a little harsh on the hair,” says Friend.