Rihanna is always ready for a new hairdo and brought her daring style choice to her role in Ocean’s 8, asking that her character (Nine Ball) be able to rock the butt-length faux locs she debuted in the fall of 2016.
Yusef Williams, the pop star’s longtime hairstylist, spoke with Refinery29 about why Rihanna wanted Nine Ball to have dreadlocks. “We thought it would be strong.” He revealed that production let the fashion-forward singer have control over the look of the character. “I think the one thing she probably cared about the most was her hair. When people have locs, it’s kind of like their crown. It’s their pride and joy. It’s like a flower… you gotta nourish it and watch it grow.”
The Bajan singer chose the hairstyle to represent her West Indian roots and its connection to the motherland. “Her locs would maintain that tie to Africa,” Willaims said. “She’d keep her accent. She wasn’t just going to be some American girl in this movie. Nine Ball is still a Caribbean girl that just happened to be in America.”
It took Williams and a team of three assistants about three hours to install the locs. The female-led Ocean’s 8 hits theaters June 8.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.