Lupita Nyong’o Reveals The History Of Her Short Hair In Behind-The-Scenes Video For ‘Essence’

Lupita Nyong’o talks to ’Essence.’
Photo: Essence

You know how sometimes you just get so sick of your hair that you threaten to chop it all off? (Personally, I feel that way every summer. Subway neck sweat is NOT cute.) Well, Lupita Nyong’o, whose close-cut ’do has been the envy of everyone, waited almost two decades before indulging that urge. In a behind-the-scenes video from her forthcoming photo shoot with Essence, Nyong’o admits that the motivation behind her now-famous look was, in short (heh), laziness.

“I didn’t always wear my hair short,” she says. “In my adolescence, I always had long hair and it was relaxed. As of the age of 19, I just got really fed up with always going to the salon and it taking so much effort to look presentable before you leave the house. So, I just one day decided to cut it off, and I cut it all off! I was a skinhead and my mother was unamused,” she says with a smirk and a giggle befit for her teenage self.

Lupita Nyong’o talks to ’Essence.’
Photo: Essence

Hey girl, we feel you. But THAT short, while managing to look THAT good, takes serious commitment. “I’ve tried to grow it ever since,” Nyong’o admits, “but I don’t have the patience, it’s just so much easier.” Ponytails be damned! I’m going bald! JK. That’s terrifying. But taking on terrifying roles, be it in fashion or on film (like, for example, in 12 Years a Slave, which has earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role), is what makes Nyong’o one of the most fearless, interesting and, duh, beautiful stars of the year.

Making her even more beautiful (which we didn’t think was possible), is her day-to-day makeup routine, or lack thereof. “I don’t wear makeup when I’m not working on the red carpet,” she says, “Except for when, you know, a night out here and there. But I try to give myself a break, my skin a break, just to breathe.” Speaking of breathing, we’ll be anxiously holding our breath to see what she decides wears to the Oscars on Sunday—but in the meantime, you can peep the rest of her BTS video, where she recalls her favorite beauty memory at the age of 16, below!

+ WATCH LUPITA NYONG’O’S PHOTOSHOOT WITH ESSENCE

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