“I just liked the idea of pushing the hair over to one side and lining all of the twists in the same direction, which was key to keeping this look sophisticated," the stylist tells Refinery29. "If anything, the technique is called 'Wanna Be African Marley Twists.'”
With help from Marva Stokes, François used his own Vernon Francois Mist~Nourishing Water to help lock in hydration along with Vernon Francois Pure~Fro Moisture Spray to soften her kinks and coils, which made it easier to braid. "The Eco Styler Styling Gel with Argan Oil and Let's Jam Shining & Conditioning Gel work very well together in keeping the 'Wanna Be' shape with no flaking," he adds.
François explains that the twists weren't just a chic red carpet style... they also serve as a way to give Nyong'o's hair a rest. "The less Lupita has to do with her hair, the better. If Lupita had her way, she would have Wanna Be African Marley Twists all year round," he says. Teamed with a glittery swipe of blue shadow and sheer berry lips, Nyong'o looked fierce... fierce enough to make a king freeze like an antelope in headlights.
Upon closer look, we can't help but note the similarities between Nyong'o's new look and one of the most popular styles in the movie – Erik Killmonger's locs. Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan) wore his short locs and side fade in a number of ways, including a ponytail and in braids. François tells us that the comparison is just a coincidence, but there's no denying the pandemonium around Killmonger's 'do. Before the movie's release, lead hairstylist Camille Friend told us that Jordan was more than game to grow his hair out for the role. "When we started filming, he had like five inches on the top, and his sides and back were faded," Friend said. "We added loc extensions to his hair to give him the look, and so he could remove them after the movie."
We're sure that Friend and Jordan both had a feeling that Killmonger's look would resonate well after the film wrapped. Friend told the Huffington Post that "every guy on Instagram" is sliding in her DMs for styling secrets and Jordan had a few predictions of his own. "I think it might set a little bit of a trend,” Jordan told Yahoo! Entertainment. "I could see that. [Black Panther director Ryan Coogler] is from Oakland, and I’m from Newark, New Jersey, and I used to have locs. So we were trying to figure out what that hairstyle would look like if it evolved. Something that was trendy that dudes would wanna rock once the movie came out." Correction: guys and girls.
“That would be wonderful to see this trend more often," François notes. "The combination of cornrows and single-twisting has always been a part of the African culture. The idea that we are now going to see more of these on social media and on the red carpet is really exciting.”