There are plenty of days I wake up after a ‘night off’ from wearing my headscarf to find my hair mushed and molded to the side. Those are my carefree hair days when I use limited products and work with second (okay, fourth day) hair. These are the perfect times to try the prison ‘dos made famous by the cast of the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black. If you’ll recall, on the show, the women might be incarcerated, but they keep their hair in check with the help of the prison stylist, Sophia (played by Laverne Cox). These ladies also know how to glam it up when it’s time to hit the red carpet for an event. Check out how to recreate their signature Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde looks, and don’t forget to check out season two of the show when it premieres on Netflix on June 6 (and if you can’t wait until then, catch up on season 1 at Netflix.com/Orange).
Keep your enemies close and your hair cropped closer. Brush your hair with a natural bristled brush after it’s dry to fluff your hair and gain fullness. (Plus, using a natural bristled brush is more gentle on the scalp.)
Closely cropped hair doesn’t have to be boring. Even varying the length by 1/8″ gives you additional versatility. When your hair is this short, enjoy its simplicity.
This is the epitome of letting your hair do what it wants. For this carefree look, lightly mist second-day hair with water or leave-in conditioner and stretch into shape. Cornrows and Afro puffs optional. Now go steal the show!
Adrienne C. Moore
Braids are a great option for a break from everyday styling. That’s not to say that you can’t create an elegant style with your braids. Rolling braids into a french roll or updo takes time, but will last until the hairpins are removed. To get this red carpet look, start at the nape of the neck and simulate a flat twist using your braids. Grab more braids and use wide hair pins as you go along, forming a french roll. For a low bun, follow a similar technique, but wrap hair around itself, pinning as you go.
Tasha “Taystee” Jefferson
Taystee doesn’t play games with her hair and stays in the prison salon getting fresh. Let her innovative hairstyle be inspiration for us all. For this style, start with wet hair. You can leave it as a wash n’ go and add your favorite styling products. Or, you can create more definition by finger-rolling your hair. Twist small sections of hair around your index finger, smoothing it as you release it to create coils. (A few swipes with a denman brush on the ends of your hair will do the trick also.)
Start by sectioning the hair into 8-10 sections. Apply your favorite holding product and two-strand twist each section. Let the twists air dry or spend time relaxing under a hooded dryer making sure your hair is completely dry before taking down the twists. Fluff your hair to blend and finish it off by adding a clip-in piece of an unexpected color to give the style more spunk.
Janae kept her attitude and her curls popping in prison–effortlessly. Create this wash n’ go look on your TWA in minutes. Simply lather, rinse, condition and apply your favorite curl enhancing cream. If you’re relaxed and have patience, a tiny curling iron or a straw set will give you a similar look.
Short, sleek pixies are always in style. Whether relaxed, or natural, you can recreate this look with a mini flat iron. Once your hair is straightened, use the flat iron to bend hair up and away from the face to give lift and volume. A light mist of an aerosol hair spray keeps edges in place without the crunchiness.
Small Bantu knots are Crazy Eyes’ signature look. The hardest part about this bold look is placing the bobby pins just right so the knots don’t unravel. Two bobby pins in an ‘X’ shape underneath each knot will help keep them secure for a couple of days, or you can try black rubberbands. Geometric partings give the look more interest. But you can grab random sections for an authentic recreation.
Work a shoulder-length bob by adding loose waves. To recreate this sultry style, wrap thin, one inch sections of hair around a medium-sized curling wand. Hold for five seconds. To preserve the look without additional styling aids, pin up each curl while it’s still warm. Tousle your hair to finish the look. For a no-heat alternative, Bantu knots are the way to go.
The resident beautician, Sophia keeps her hair and makeup on point at all times. For a similar look such as this one, a curling wand is your friend. Wrap medium size piece of hair around the barrel of your curling want, twist and hold for a few seconds (not until your hair burns). Afterwards, loosen the curl and primp for a nice wave with body.
Looking for a bone-straight style? You can of course press your hair (or go to your local *fill in the _* for a good flat iron). If you do it on your own, use a good heat protectant on your hair, and don’t go over strands more than two good times. Anything else will have your head smelling like burnt coconut oil…
A new face on the show, Vee enters the women’s prison as a convicted drug dealer who recruited kids to be drug runners. Whoa. But as big as her presence on the show will be, so will her hair. To get a look similar to this (minus the crown of wires from a prison fence), a tight braid out will go the distance. Remember when you used to take down cornrows back in the day? That will work too. Take out, moisturize, fluff, and go.
Once that braid out has run its course, a paddle prush can get you a straighter look with body like Touissant’s. You can always use a flat iron instead, but the less heat the better.