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Anyone who hasn’t fallen in love with Lupita Nyong’o has either been without TV or Internet for the last few months or has just flat out refused to acknowledge her awesomeness. The actress’ innocently beautiful face and runway-ready styling has us all stanning for her red carpet looks. This woman is the style icon of the moment, and will be for a while. To compliment her bold color choices, Lupita always dons a high-fashion hairstyle, adding a dash of whimsy and pop to complete the package.

All women, especially those proudly–or otherwise–rocking the teeny weeny afro, or TWA, can gain inspiration from Lupita’s red carpet looks. Adding a dash of Lupita is an easy way to jazz up your weekly hairstyle lineup if you’ve been feeling stuck.

Play your part.

Instead of letting your TWA sway where it may, try creating some structure with a deep part to the side or middle (if you’re feeling really bold). Using a little holding cream near the part to keep it clean and the hair separated will give your hair some extra character. Best of all, parting your hair takes all of two minutes.

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Go for height.

Don’t be afraid to bring back that modified Gumby haircut that ruled the early ’90s, or the hi-top fade. You can go all out with a faux-hawk too. If you’re into more subtle looks, keep a close crop on the sides and push the back of your hair up for a barely-there height change. It may be only a few millimeters, or even an inch, but shaping up your fro will give a great style update that transforms a TWA into a hairstyle, and not just the remnants of a big chop.

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Bedazzle it!

Light your hair up like a Christmas tree, or better, like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Lupita makes jeweled headbands, crystal hairpins and brooch-like barettes her signatures, and you can too. The best places to find rhinestone hair accessories are at the teen and tween shops like Claire’s (Bonus: you’ll also get a chance to relive those angsty teen years). You DIY-ers out there can go vintage shopping for costume jewelry perfect for re-imagining as hair accessories with a little vision, and a trip to the craft store (and a dab of hot glue). Oh, and if you weren’t already pairing your fierce TWA with an equally fierce pair of earrings, now would be the time to do that too.

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Experiment with length.

Donning a TWA doesn’t mean that’s the only look that is available. Get creative with adding hair pieces in unique ways, aside from topping a not-so-stellar hair day off with a mermaid wig and hoping for the best. Think about cinnamon twists, pomps and puffs as hair add-ons using bulk hair or track hair in a texture similar to your own while leaving the sides closely cropped.

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Have fun. Lots of it.

Short hair is spunky with lots of attitude. It takes a certain kind of woman to take it and really work it (and be confident while doing so). Lupita makes a whimsical fashion statement with her hair with unique styles. With her as your hair guide, don’t be afraid to try new things: a hairstyle that makes you laugh, or a style traditionally worn on straightened hair like bangs or highlights. Enjoy short hair while you have it, even if you do plan to grow out your ‘do. Don’t take your hair too seriously. Let it reflect your mood (or match your dress).

We can all take something from our awe over Lupita. She’s an example of how forgetting about traditional fashion ‘rules’ makes for an interesting, and lively statement on the red carpet, walking into work, or just for fun in the bathroom mirror.

 

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