Redken on the Met Gala Red Carpet with Lupita Nyong’o and Amandla Stenberg
After the triumphant return of the Met Gala, we wanted to share a “Get the Look” breakdown for Lupita Nyong’o and Amandla Stenberg hairstyles as they graced the red carpet. Redken Ambassador, Vernon François, transformed their hair to create unforgettable hairstyles that would beautifully complement their American-inspired ensembles. Thanks to François’ easy step-by-step process and product recommendations, you too can achieve these amazing looks. Check out how he perfected these hairstyles below!
INSPIRATION: Brooklyn-born conceptual artist, Lorna Simpson, inspired the look. Her take on texture is powerful, and I wanted to imitate the effortless wave and movement that she conveys in her work. This technique gives a stunning contradiction of strength and fragility, highlights, and shadows. The transparent folds conjure a feeling of tulle material from romantic American fashion, inspired by the theme of this year’s Met Gala. It’s so exciting bringing this ethereal, fine, lightweight, delicate, hairstyle to life within the afro hair experience, with a muse that not only has kinky coily hair, but who can effortlessly wear and showcase the beauty of every hair texture.
- Lupita’s hair was colored ahead of time with Shades EQ 3N and 3NB, Shades EQ Bonder Inside 000, and Redken’s new Color Gels Lacquers 10 Minute.
- Preserving the health of hair is always my priority, and a caring foundation of your routine before getting to the styling part is a must. I used Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner to help add moisture and keep her hair looking healthy.
- At the hairstyling stage, I prepared Lupita’s hair with Mist Nourishing Water from my own haircare range, spritzing all over to gently wet the strands.
- Then at a gentle speed, warm temperature, used Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer with the Wide-tooth comb attachment to help lengthen hair as it dries, giving hair the ability to be braided down.
- Next up, the hairpieces. All were laid out, sprayed with Redken’s Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray and Triple Pure 32 High Hold Hairspray to help smooth and add hold, before setting in place with Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer with the Diffuser attachment.
- Once set, the hairpieces can be lifted almost like a sheet of wrapping paper or a layer of crepe paper.
- You’re then free to shape, create, and pin into your desired look as you wish. When securely in place, I used the diffuser and hairspray again for a secure and reliable hold.
- The Dyson CorraleTM hair straightener let me sculpt the crown section of the hair. I have a technique where the sides of the flat irons are used to mold, shape and contour. And finishing with Redken’s Shine Flash gave Lupita’s hairstyle a red-carpet-ready glow.
INSPIRATION: Durags are linked with often quite masculine African American culture, most often worn to protect hair or extend the life of a hairstyle. Embracing the durag worked perfectly for Amandla, as a nod to the Met Gala’s American Fashion theme, while leveling out the gender balance aesthetic of her overall look. In reimagining the durag – making it from hair instead of silk, transforming the back into a dramatic train – Amandla elevates this beyond an accessory, claiming it as integral to her identity.
- First, Amandla’s hair was lightened with Redken’s Flash Lift Bonder Inside. Acidic Bonding Concentrate Shampoo and Conditioner were also used to keep her hair and color looking healthy, before drying hair with the Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer with the Diffuser attachment and Wide-tooth comb attachment to lengthen Amandla’s hair out.
- Next, I prepared Amandla’s hair before styling with my own Mist Nourishing Water and Redken’s One United as a heat protectant. This combo works well for Amandla’s bleached hair, helping me to achieve as much as possible in a short space of time, as is the case with red carpet events!
- Then, Amandla’s hair was braided. To seal the braids, I spritzed all over my own Leave-In Conditioner, followed by Redken’s Triple Pure 32 High Hold Hairspray and Quick Dry 18 Instant Finishing Spray for a strong, yet flexible hold – before using Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer with the Diffuser attachment until completely dry.
- To shape the finished style, bow, and tie, I wrapped, molded, and balanced the braids using my fingers; re-visiting the diffuser and hair sprays to help hold everything in place.
- I applied my own shaping technique using the sides of Dyson CorraleTM hair straightener to direct hair at the front into its final position; smoothing the back of the durag made of hair to sit and look its most authentic using the Styling concentrator attachment and the Dyson Supersonic™ hairdryer.
- The hairstyle was finished with Redken’s Shine Flash all over for red carpet glamour.
Vernon Francois as he walked the Red Carpet at the NAHA Awards in Las Vegas