Lupita Nyong'o's 2022 Oscars Hair Took Traditional Sisterlocks To New Heights

Quite literally.

Oscars 2022 Lupita Nyongo Hair
Photo: Getty Images

If there's one duo we know won't disappoint us on the red carpet, it's none other than Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong'o, and her longtime hairstylist Vernon François. Together, the pair has shown us time and time again that styling options for kinky hair are endless — and the 2022 Oscars red carpet was no exception.

For this year's show, François worked with the actress to take sisterlocks — a stunning style on its own — to new heights, quite literally.

"The overall look was partly inspired by African figures in classical Greek art," François exclusively shares with InStyle. "It is a sisterlocks updo with a soft, graceful, glamorous feel influenced by what Lupita is wearing and the occasion. The asymmetric hand-sculpted shape echoes the floral design in Lupita's dress while elongating the neckline. This is a magnificent, statuesque, regal creation that captures the essence of the Oscars."

"An important detail about this hairstyle is the artistry of movement that is worked in," he adds. "This element complements the tassels on Lupita's dress, and really helps the whole creation to come into its own on the red carpet."

To create the unforgettable and structural look, the hairstylist used products from Matrix, as well as tools from his own line.

Oscars 2022 Luipta Nyongo Hair

He started by cleansing and conditioning her hair using the brand's Anti-Breakage system, Instacure Shampoo and Conditioner. "This collection is the champion of repair for all hair types, to help combat heat and mechanical tool damage," he says.

Next he used the microfiber towel from Vernon François Haircare to remove excess water without creating too much friction. Once the hair was ready to be styled, the haircare expert hand-sculpted and twisted the hair to blend in with the loc extensions. "For this, a leave-in conditioner, such as Matrix Miracle Creator Multi-Tasking Hair Treatment, is essential at this point for helping all elements to work in harmony, looking and feeling their very best," François shares. Also, a touch of Matrix Instacure Tension Reliever Scalp Ease Serum on the fingertips help keep moisture where it's needed throughout the crafting and styling process."

Oscars 2022 Luipta Nyongo Hair

The stylist finished the look using a mix of Matrix's Miss Mess Dry Finishing Spray and High Amplify Hairspray to mattify the locs and add hold.

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To keep Nyongo's naturally kinky hair healthy throughout the styling process, François made sure to use a moisturizing spray on her coils while her hair was still slightly damp.

"When hair is 80% dry, prepare for styling with a spritz of Matrix Instacure Porosity Spray," he says. "It has liquid proteins and vitamin B5 to help minimize the appearance of split ends, reduce breakage, and control static. Gently work it through with the hands and fingertips towards the ends."

With a look this divine, we can already see this masterpiece inspiring summer hair trends. But François doesn't necessarily think you need to mimic this exact Oscars style. Instead, he encourages you to do what works for you.

"Be sensitive to the direction that the hair wants to take you in," he advises. "Embrace different techniques and know that your hands and fingers are your best tools. Don't get hung up on chasing perfection because the idea of that is a myth. Use a mirror to consider all angles because this is a 360-degree style. After pinning securely in place, have confidence to pull strands or sections out to enhance the finished look."

Hair aside, Nyong'o and makeup artist Nick Barose created red carpet magic using products from Lancôme.

For eyes, Barose used Lancôme's Idôle Liquid Liner and gold leaf to create a godly finish. As for lips, he went with none other than L'Absolu Rouge in shade Mademoiselle Lupita for a gorgeous pop of color.

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