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Outrage or Progress? Halle Bailey's Hair Extensions and Locs in 'The Little Mermaid

Halle Bailey's Hair Journey: Embracing Extensions and Locs in "The Little Mermaid"


In a groundbreaking moment for representation in Hollywood, Halle Bailey has been cast as Ariel in Disney's live-action adaptation of "The Little Mermaid." While the announcement sparked excitement and conversation, it also put a spotlight on the hairstyling choices for the iconic character. Camille Friend, the film's head hairstylist, made a bold decision to incorporate hair extensions and locs into Bailey's transformation. In this article, we delve into the significance of this creative choice, the artistry behind the hairstyling, and the impact it has on redefining beauty standards in the entertainment industry.

A Celebration of Diversity

By embracing hair extensions and locs for Halle Bailey's portrayal of Ariel, the production team behind "The Little Mermaid" celebrates diversity and challenges traditional beauty standards. The decision to incorporate these hairstyles not only pays homage to the character's original design but also highlights the beauty and versatility of natural hair. It sends a powerful message that beauty comes in all forms and encourages viewers, especially young girls, to embrace their unique hair textures and styles.

The Artistry of Hair Styling

Camille Friend, renowned for her exceptional hairstyling work in films, has skillfully crafted Halle Bailey's look for "The Little Mermaid." The use of hair extensions and locs adds depth and texture to the character's appearance, enhancing the overall visual storytelling. Friend's expertise showcases the intricate artistry involved in hairstyling for film, where hair becomes a powerful tool to breathe life into characters and contribute to their development.

Breaking Stereotypes and Challenging Norms

Bailey's portrayal of Ariel with hair extensions and locs challenges the stereotypical portrayal of mermaids and the notion that certain hairstyles are exclusively associated with fantasy or mythical creatures. It opens up conversations about representation, allowing for a wider range of interpretations and expanding the understanding of what it means to be beautiful. By presenting a more inclusive and diverse image of Ariel, the film inspires audiences to embrace and celebrate their unique features.

Empowering Authenticity and Self-Expression

The decision to incorporate locs in Bailey's portrayal of Ariel also empowers authenticity and self-expression. Locs are a natural and distinct hairstyle that holds deep cultural significance for many communities. By featuring locs on a beloved Disney character, the film sends a message of acceptance and encourages individuals to express themselves freely without conforming to mainstream beauty standards. It provides a platform for representation and allows for underrepresented voices to be heard.

Inspiring Future Generations

The impact of Halle Bailey's hair journey in "The Little Mermaid" extends beyond the screen. It serves as an inspiration for future generations, especially young people of color who may have felt underrepresented or excluded. Seeing a character like Ariel with hair extensions and locs can empower young individuals to embrace their heritage, celebrate their natural hair, and pursue their dreams without compromising their identity. It instills a sense of pride and reinforces the idea that their stories and experiences are valid and deserving of representation.


Halle Bailey's transformative journey as Ariel in "The Little Mermaid," with the incorporation of hair extensions and locs, marks a significant step toward inclusivity and representation in the entertainment industry. Through this creative choice, the film challenges beauty norms, celebrates diversity, and empowers individuals to embrace their natural hair and unique features. By amplifying underrepresented voices and redefining beauty standards, "The Little Mermaid" not only tells a beloved tale but also paves the way for a more inclusive and accepting future in Hollywood.


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