At this year’s Academy Awards Lupita graced the red carpet looking as elegant as ever. And while her dress and makeup were absolutely flawless it was her perfectly coifed ‘do that caught our attention.
Nyong’o and stylist Vernon François are known to use hair as a way to pay homage to her African roots. So it came as little surprise that she used Hollywood’s biggest night as an opportunity to do the same.
“Lupita’s look was inspired by images of Amasunzu hairstyles, which are traditional to Rwandan culture,” François said in a press statement to ESSENCE. “We wanted something clean and sculpted to accent her dress and show off the neckline.”
Amasunzu hairstyles, which are said to resemble crests, are traditionally worn by Rwandan men and unmarried women and used to indicate an individual’s social status. The style is worn by unmarried women indicating that they are of marriageable age. Although the Amasunzu has fallen out of style in recent decades, it is currently experiencing a revival in popular interest.
To recreate Nyong’o’s look, François washed her hair with Pure-Fro Shampoo and Pure-Fro Conditioner to help the hair retain moisture. He then prepped Nyong’o’s hair with the Mist-Nourishing Water and Scalp Nourish-Ment Braids and Locs Spray to soothe and protect strands before blow-drying with a round brush.
Using only his hands, François molded Nyong’o’s hair to create the clean contoured Amasunzu-like structures. To complete the look, François weaved a gold thread through her hair using a classic stitch technique for a touch of glamour and shine. We love when individuals use beauty to make a statement and pay tribute to their culture, and Nyong’o did so effortlessly and beautifully.