Seeing natural hair across movies and television is slowly but surely becoming the norm. More and more young Black girls are able to see consistent examples of women who look like them amplified, even in roles once not occupied by women of color. One of those examples is Javicia Leslie in her role as Batwoman. Scheduled to make her official debut on the small screen in early 2021, fans have already gotten a sneak peek into what we can expect when season two of TheCW series airs.
Most notable, are the voluminous curls Leslie is seen wearing in the promo image, a look that we’re told by hairstylist Takisha Sturdivant-Drew, was intentional. The bold ‘do is proving more than just a head-turning hairstyle, but instead something created with young Black girls at the front of mind. Check out our interview with Sturdivant-Drew ahead.
What’s the inspiration behind Batwoman’s look?
Takisha Sturdivant-Drew: The costume that was designed for Batwoman was created to make a big, powerful, strong statement. So for her particular look, as well as her being an African-American woman, I thought that we should make the same statement with the hair.
How did this opportunity to be a part of the Batwoman cast come about?
TSD: How I met Javicia is I started working with her on press for God Friended Me. Then she was having a birthday party in Los Angeles and I was in New York and she texted me asking if I could send her a couple wigs. The theme was I believe and ‘80s theme so I got her a couple of wigs that I made from my own extensions line, and one that I sent her is actually the Batwoman wig. So when she got picked for the show, apparently they said that that wig was the exact look they wanted. So Kesha called me on the phone, it was during COVID-19 so I was in the house stressed out and she was like Batwoman wants you to create the wig. I seriously started screaming and running around my house.
What’s the impact of natural hair being seen on a superhero?
TSD: Oh my God, it’s going to show little Black and Brown girls that they don’t have to look a certain way or be a certain color to be a superhero. You don’t have to have straight hair. You can have any look that you want to. So I just feel like you can have any look you want to, and for others to see that is huge.
How did you create that volumized and defined texture?
TSD: It’s all the work of the Tangle Teezer. It’s a brush that fits in the palm of your hand, and I can basically glide through the hair easily without putting any tension on it. Whether you have wavy hair, straight hair, curly hair, hair, it will expand your curl into an amazing texture. The way the teeth are designed, it doesn’t disrupt the curl in the process like other brushes. It just slides right down the hair shaft and adds more definition, not take it away. It’s really changed my world. You can use it on wet hair, you can use it on dry hair. Even when I’m brushing my clients out, and I have some of them that I’ve been very sensitive, they’re never complaining.
How long did it take you to make the wig?
TSD: I’m such a virgo and I’m so anal. So I’ll even look at something and I walk away and think about it then come back and fix it. So it took me about two weeks to make the first one and then production reached out again and asked for another one so that one took me about the same time.