Remember those slumber parties from your youth where you’d sit around gossiping about crushes and braiding each other’s hair? Well, instead of little Tina from down the street, imagine if it were Lupita Nyong'o perfecting your plaits.
The Oscar-winning actress did just that in Vogue's adorable new short film “Braids,” where she invites her six closest girlfriends over to have their locks cornrowed, French braided and bantu knotted by her gifted hands.
In the clip, the Kenyan-raised beauty reveals that as an undergrad at Amherst Hampshire College she was “morbidly disappointed” with the African hair braiding salons she frequented and vowed to master the skill herself. Returning to Kenya for summer break, she asked her aunt, who owned a hair salon, to show her the ropes.
“I learned how to cornrow and box braid and twist,” she says as she meticulously twists a friend’s hair. “Now, I really enjoy braiding hair for my friends.”
“When I got back to school from Kenya, I also decided that it was going to be my side hustle, I was going to make some money braiding hair,” she adds with an infectious giggle. Her skills got so good that all her friends would make appointments with her, but “I just didn’t have the heart to charge anyone.”
While her hair braiding business went bust, we’d say things turned out pretty well for the screen star. And while we’ve been fawning over her natural ‘do for months now, it appears she loves its versatility as much as we do. “What I love about my hair texture and this kind of hair is that you can do all sorts of interesting, angular shapes with it,” she says.
“For me, braiding hair is an intimate thing. It’s getting up close and personal, and I like doing it for people that I know and love and trust.”
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