Marvel’s latest superhero movie, Black Panther, isn’t out until Feb. 16, but it’s already generating serious buzz. And in a recent interview with The CutCamille Friend, who is head of the film’s hair department, says she wanted to use the movie as an opportunity to celebrate natural hair.

“There’s no press and comb in this movie,” she told the publication. “No relaxers, no nothing! That was one of the things that I really was firm about. I requested that people come with their natural hair.”

Friend said the all-star cast, which includes Lupita Nyong’o and Daniel Kaluuya, had a natural hair treatment plan consisting of shampooing and conditioning as well as oil treatments. She added that occasionally diffusers were used to blow dry their hair, although she preferred to dry it naturally.

She told The Cut that she drew inspiration from the Zulu, Maasai, and Hima tribes in Africa, from modern styles in the natural-hair movement, and from the Afropunkmovement.

“I don’t think black hair has ever been seen in a movie like this,” Friend said. “It was an honor to do it and to have an open form to design and take hairstyling to the next level. That’s what we accomplished; we had a great crew and we worked really hard.”

 Lupita Nyong’o’s character, Nakia, had twist knots done on her hair, while Angela Bassett’s character, Ramonda, donned a handmade wig. “There were about 110 pieces of individual dreads — we sent those to the wigmaker [Natascha Ladek], and the wigmaker inserted them in the wig,” Friend told The Cut. “That whole process took about a month.”

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