Halle Bailey’s hair in The Little Mermaid cost $150,000: Here’s why

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid.
Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid. Pic credit: Giles Keyte/Walt Disney Pictures

Halle Bailey’s voice is not the only enchanting aspect of The Little Mermaid remake. The singer and actress wore dazzling locs for the duration of the film as well.

And we have it on good authority that The Little Mermaid is not a short film.

The natural locs were a characteristic Bailey wanted for Ariel, and keeping the natural locs would bring her lineage to the role of the Black Mermaid. Oscar-nominated hair department head Camille Friend rose to the aquatic challenge. However, it was not cheap.

According to an interview with Variety, Friend met with Bailey’s family to get a sense of the cultural significance of the hair. Friend explains to the outlet, “I went to meet with Halle’s family. Her mother is spiritual, and they’re a kind family.”

The Wakanda Forever hair department alumnus added, “I started to understand who she was and why the natural hair element was important to keep.”

But how much did it cost to maintain the Disney performer’s natural locs? Here is what the award-winning hair designer says.

Halle Bailey’s locs budgeted around $150,000

Friend states that she understood that cutting the hair would not be an option. Furthermore, adding a wig with Bailey’s locs would look ludicrous in execution.

Commenting on the length of Bailey’s hair, Friend says, “Halle’s locs are down to her waist, over 24 inches. And putting her in a wig was going to look crazy.”

Once they narrowed down a process, the method would take 12-14 hours to get correct. And according to the hair designer, The Little Mermaid actress was not phased by it.

Discussing the wrap approach to Bailey’s locs, Friend explains, “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.” She concludes her thoughts, adding, “We can change her color without changing her internal hair structure. Her structure and her hair are her.”

Why did Halle Bailey’s hair cost $150,000?

According to Friend, the cost was high due to the number of times it had to be redone.

The hair wrap was customized into three shades of Ariel-inspired colors and was 30 inches long.

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

Whatever it took, it paid off. Halle Bailey’s assistance on the natural locs for the underwater princess is an inspired choice.

And from what it seems, audiences are turning out big for the opening weekend box office.

The Little Mermaid is heading for a $120 million opening weekend

According to Deadline, The Little Mermaid is doing well at the box office.

The Friday total came in at around $38 million, and with the film having an A grade Cinemascore from audience polling, the movie is shaping up to have serious sea legs.

For a film that began with casting controversy over nonsensical notions such as the race of a fictional character, moviegoers are flocking to the movie.

It appears the $150,000 dollar investment paid off.

The Little Mermaid is now in theaters everywhere.

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