April 26, 2016 01:00 PM

Ever since Lupita Nyong’o burst on the Hollywood scene in 2013, she actress has established herself as a red-carpet risk taker. But it’s not just her bold fashion and makeup choices that have watching her every red carpet move. The actress is also a hair chameleon, rocking everything from a buzz cut, to buns and braids — and has inspired many women of color to embrace and experiment with their natural hair in the process. So we dialed up her hairstylist Vernon François to come to our studio and help Beauty Editor Jackie Fields get creative with her natural mane.

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François demonstrated three different ways to create Lupita Nyongo’s simple swept-up style, worn during her Star Wars: The Force Awakens press tour in December. The first method, which only required “warm hands” to mold hair into place and a handful of hair bands, took about one minute — and zero effort. The second version was a more polished take on the same style. (The pro used a combo of gel and coconut oil to smooth out her edges.) Then François pulled our editor’s hair into a bun and, adding synthetic hair, showed how women with shorter strands could achieve the same look.

The pro, who has also created looks for Uzo Aduba, Naomie Harris and Kerry Washington, also revealed a few genius hacks along the way, such as using an eyeliner pencil to fill in a hairline.

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The pro’s hair motto: have fun! “You don’t have to be uniform with it, that’s the beauty of this hairstyle,” he says.

Tell us: Will you try out Lupita’s look?

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