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  • Lacrystal Parker

Halle Bailey's Hair in The Little Mermaid Cost $150,000

Creating Halle Bailey's iconic hair for the live-action remake of The Little Mermaid turned out to be a six-figure endeavor.

In an interview with Variety, the film's hair stylist and Oscar-nominee Camille Friend explained the process of achieving the final hair look for Bailey, who plays Ariel in the Disney film. The original character was known for her signature long, red hair, and trying to honor that in the re-make while also showcasing Bailey's natural hair and locs was important to the production.

“I started to understand who [Halle] was and why the natural hair element was important to keep,” Friend said about creating the hair. “I knew a wig just wasn’t going to work.”

Bailey is the first Black woman to play a Disney princess in a live-action film, and maintaining her natural hair was important to the actor.

“Halle’s locs are down to her waist, over 24 inches. And putting her in a wig was going to look crazy,” Friend continued. “If we take hair and wrap it around her locs, we don’t have to cut them and we don’t have to color them. We can change her color without changing her internal hair structure. Her structure and her hair are her.”

Achieving the red color in Bailey's natural hair was a long process. At one point, Friend said Bailey sat for 12 to 14 hours during the wrapping process. The hair that was added was Keratin-infused, three different shades of red, and 30 inches long — which meant the price tag was high.

“I’m not guesstimating, but we probably spent at least $150,000 because we had to redo it and take it out," Friend said. "You couldn’t use it and we’d have to start again. It was a process.”

As for achieving a mermaid underwater look, with hair floating around Bailey, Friend had to improvise.

“Locs don’t float,” Friend said, which meant she would add loose pieces of hair to add to that signature bouncy look that Ariel is known for underwater.

The Little Mermaid is now playing in theaters.

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