The Secret to Ariel’s Hairstyle in “The Little Mermaid” Is Genius

Disney / Photo Credit: Giles Keyte

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” live-action film starring Halle Bailey as Ariel premieres on May 26, and it’s already left its mark in more ways than one on pop culture. Since the animated movie was released in 1989, 39 years ago, it’s the first time we’ve seen this underwater world brought to life with real people – and, as such, the hair and makeup needed to rise to the occasion.

Oscar-nominated celebrity hairstylist Camille Friend was responsible for creating Bailey’s hairstyle to play Ariel while Peter Swords King was the lead hair and makeup designer for the rest of the cast. Having previously worked on film projects such as “Black Panther,” “Captain Marvel,” and many, many more, it’s safe to say Friend was up for the challenge of reimagining cartoon Ariel’s look for the 2023 movie.

In short: it takes a lot of inventiveness. “There are things you have to make concessions for because it’s just a different medium,” Friend tells POPSUGAR. To create a cohesive theme among the cast, they started with Ariel’s look and built the rest of the looks around it.

Ahead, Friend gives us a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Bailey’s hairstyle for Ariel.

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