We’ve loved watching ‘Undercovers’
star Gugu Mbatha-Raw versatile hair looks. Whether working as caterer Samantha Bloom in sunny California or carrying out a spying mission in bitterly cold North Korea, Mbatha-Raw’s tresses always fit the occasion, and locale. We spoke with ‘Undercovers’ hair department head Louisa Anthony about Gugu’s hairstyles and found out how she keeps the star’s hair looking so gorgeous and healthy despite all the episodic changes. ESSENCE.com: What is your daily routine with Gugu’s hair? LOUISA ANTHONY:
Gugu has naturally curly hair, so I start out by using Pureology shampoo and conditioner, and then I mix a mixture of White Sands The Cure 24/7 repair oil and Orchids Oil for her ends which will prepare the hair for blow drying. Then I use Paul Mitchell Elixir, which is a styling oil and gel to define her curls, and I pull that equally through her hair. I diffuse it with a blow dryer and diffuser and then I use the Enzo Milano iron to loosen or soften the curls, depending on the style. ESSENCE.com: Are you changing her hairstyles for every episode or every scene? ANTHONY
: It depends. We have created a signature look for her as the character Samantha Bloom, and then we’ll have a look that goes with her undercover persona, depending on the look or country she’s supposed to be in. Then we’ll have a hairstyle that we call her tactical look where she’s going into a rough and tumble action scene. So basically there are three or four looks per episode, depending on the disguises she goes under. ESSENCE.com: That’s a lot for her hair to go through. ANTHONY:
In the beginning we were doing a lot of straightening and curling but now we’re now trying to keep her soft and natural. Personally I think curly hair is so much more personality and you can do so many different interesting things. ESSENCE.com: Does Gugu wears her hair natural? ANTHONY:
Yes, it’s natural and very curly. It’s very versatile hair. You can either relax the curl with an iron or blow it straight with a blow dryer. Her hair lends itself to many different styles. ESSENCE.com: Do you ever use hair pieces? ANTHONY:
Yes, we use some hair piece and wigs for quick changes. ESSENCE.com: Are there any products that you swear by? ANTHONY:
Bumble and Bumble conditioner and hairspray is amazing because it gives you good hold and allows you to re-manipulate the hair in the event that you want to change the style. It’s very important that people know about the Enzo Milano curling irons and Chi irons because they are state-of-the-art irons that are coated with Teflon, so they don’t burn the hair like the old-fashioned metal irons and they make hair very silky and give a very beautiful curl. Be sure to check out Gugu’s stunning coif on tonight’s episode of ‘Undercovers’.