Oscars Big Week: Andra Day, Amanda Seyfriend and Other Nominees Embrace Natural Hairstyles on the Virtual Red Carpet

When awards shows made virtual returns, Andra Day’s hairstylist Tony Medina didn’t let the Zoom format put a damper on his craft.

“With the virtual shows, we were like, ‘Why not just go for it?’ Since we can’t be there physically, let’s be there visually. Whatever we want to do, let’s do it! Let’s have some fun with it.”

Which, for Medina, doesn’t mean anything overly styled or “heavy glam.” “We’ve been keeping it kind of natural, just really sleek, away from her face, youthful, playful, but very simple,” he says of their looks for Day’s “The United States vs. Billie Holiday” events. “Because of the movie, she was so glamorous and dressed up as Billie Holiday, that I think she was trying to strip it down for press and be more present as Andra Day.”

The moment Day tried on the ’20s-style tulle Chanel halter dress she wore to the Globes, she knew she wanted an updo.

“She does like some volume so we weren’t sure if we wanted to do a bun or something with a lot of texture and curly, and she decided she wanted something in the middle — a tight curl with some texture and not necessarily neat, but still styled,” he says. “She loved the appeal of the little tendrils falling out. It keeps it very sexy and effervescent.”

As Day likes to be versatile, Medina has recently played with styles featuring embellishments and braids — both of which proved popular at the Globes. Angela Bassett and Laverne Cox chose braided looks, and “Judas and the Black Messiah’s” Dominique Fishback rocked crystals in her tresses. “When we have braids in [Day’s] hair, she always likes to put like a gold bead in it, or maybe we’ll have pearls that day depending on what she feels like or is wearing,” Medina says. “She also is an artist and a creative, so she has a vision too.”

Regina King’s stylist Larry Sims has also been having fun with hair this awards season. “The dress always determines the direction,” says Sims, who for the Critics’ Choice Awards, took inspiration from the “One Night in Miami” helmer’s navy sequined Atelier Versace number. “Regina’s Versace gown had a lot of different straps and intricate lines. I wanted to create a clean line in the front to offset the straps in the front of the dress. I then wanted to create a surprise party in the back with double roped ponytails.”

To achieve this, Sims gathered King’s hair into a low bun, then added a 24-inch wavy braid to the ponytail. “Next, I split the ponytails into equal parts and wrapped hair downwards to each section starting at the base, while leaving 25% of the hair free on the ends.”

Like Medina, Sims has noticed textural looks this year. “I’ve been seeing a lot of natural texture being embraced,” Sims says. “Bangs have been trending. Glam is definitely back. This awards season has shown that people are wanting to get dressed up again after the world was shut down for a year.”

“Mank” star Amanda Seyfried brought some classic glamour to the Globes with 1940s-style waves. “Because the movie is based in Hollywood in the 1920s, I did look to Old Hollywood and thought about how to bring those looks up to date,” says her hairstylist Renato Campora. Campora took cues from the peach Oscar de la Renta dress, jewelry, makeup and Seyfried herself — who’s “like a muse.” “There’s never just one inspiration, but I love Old Hollywood and seeing what beautiful hair can do for an actor. I wanted Amanda to feel glamorous.”

After blow-drying Seyfried’s hair, Campora parted it on the side and curled it using a 1.5-inch curling iron, starting at the top. He pinned the curls while they cooled, then brushed them open and spritzed Fekkai Full Blown Volume Dry Texturizing Spray.
“I’ve noticed feminine, defined and beautiful hair,” says Campora of this awards season. For the Oscars, he wants Seyfried’s hairstyle to complement the rest of her look and remain classic. “I love to make women look and feel beautiful — it’s about creating a special moment. It’s important to me that these looks are timeless and can live on.”

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