When Rihanna debuted butt-length faux locs in the fall of 2016, most of us assumed it was just another case of the star experimenting with her ever-evolving beauty look. Turns out, the hair change was actually for her role in Oceans 8 — but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t personal. It was Rihanna who requested to wear locs in the film, and who else would do them other than her longtime hairstylist, Yusef Williams?
“We thought it would be strong,” Williams tells Refinery29 exclusively. “Her locs would maintain that tie to Africa. 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 happens to be in America.”
Creating a bold moment of representation is nothing new for the mastermind behind Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty. Now, Rih is using her star power to show worldwide audiences that locs areappropriate for work, glamorous enough for the Met Gala, and cool enough to land a leading role in a summer blockbuster. “All in all, the locs are just really badass,” Williams says. “I couldn’t imagine her character without them.”Learn more about Nine Ball’s glorious hair, ahead.
In the eight days leading up to this summer’s first women-led blockbuster, we’re spilling everything you want to know about it — from Rihanna playing a hacker to the great Met Gala heist.