Captain Marvel is the most powerful superhero in the Marvel Universe, and her hair was inspired by equally strong women in real life.
Because the just-released movie takes place in the ’90s, Camille Friend, head of the hair department for the film, and her team looked toward icons of that era for reference.
“One thing about the ’90s is that it wasn’t really a great hair period,” Friend told Page Six Style with a laugh. “For Brie [Larson, who plays the titular character], we wanted her to have a little edge. So we looked at the women who were rockers of the age, like Chrissy Hynde and the women of Fleetwood Mac.”
For Larson’s best friend, Maria Rambeau (Lashana Lynch), Halle Berry’s iconic hair from the period was the stylist’s singular reference. “I wanted people to instantly know and not have to guess at the time period. Especially when you’re doing a movie like that, you don’t want the hair to take viewers out of it.” For beloved Agent Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), Friend referenced old pictures of the actor himself to craft his younger look.
To achieve Larson’s grunge-y aesthetic, Friend envisioned a wig that was as close to the actress’s natural hair as possible. The hairstylist, who was in charge of hair for “Black Panther,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” and “Captain America” as well, said that wigs are typically used in most superhero flicks, since the look can be easily duplicated on multiple stunt people.
Not only did she have to style multiple wigs that looked natural on the star as both Carol Danvers and her superhero alter ego, she also had to manufacture Captain Marvel’s iconic mohawk.
“The mohawk was one of the hardest things we had to do on the movie! It was a lot of research and development,” she said. “We did a lot of testing to get the right shape, the right color, the right cut so that it would move. It was a labor of love, that mohawk.”
The fact that Danvers — who was an Air Force pilot before she obtained her superhuman strength and photon-blasting capabilities — is the first female lead of a Marvel movie isn’t lost on Friend. “I felt really honored to be picked [to head this movie] because, first of all, it is the first female lead and, second of all, she is the most powerful in the universe. So that made it really exciting,” she said. “I always love when I get picked to do an origin story because you really get to put your stamp on it.”
And fans of the movie felt no different: “The greatest thing was when I went to the premiere and all those little girls were dressed up as Captain Marvel,” Friend said. “It’s an origin story, but it also has the message: You can do it, you can make it, don’t let anything stop you. That’s the greatest thing about it, and it makes people feel good.”
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