When Cardi B decides she wants snakes in her hair at the last minute, it’s up to hairstylist Tokyo Stylez to make it happen.
The artist had to make a wig on the spot for the “I Like It” rapper’s Medusa Halloween costume last month, scrambling to get the materials at Target and Home Depot after already arriving on set.
“If I told you this, you probably would not believe me,” Tokyo, whose real name is Mia Love, told Page Six Style of the whirlwind creation.
Cardi’s stylist, Kollin Carter, had a headpiece made for the shoot, with the plan of adding in the snakes afterward using CGI. But everything changed when Cardi arrived.
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“I get to set and I’m like, ‘Oh, I got an easy day today, all I have to do is put a skull cap on,’” Tokyo recalled.
But it wasn’t that easy. “We get there and [Cardi’s] like, ‘I don’t want CGI, I don’t want a headpiece, I want my hair to be made into snakes.’ Mind you, I didn’t bring nothing,” she continued. “I’m like, ‘Cardi, we have to start shooting in two hours,’ and she’s like, ‘I don’t care, the party doesn’t start until I’m ready.’”
So the stylist went to Target to purchase fake snakes and to Home Depot for wire and hot glue guns in order to craft the custom Medusa look, delaying the photoshoot six or eight hours, with the team finishing around 6 a.m. the next day.
Clearly, working with the rapper is an adventure. “Cardi keeps me on my toes with the hair and fashion,” the Nebraska native said.
And in her new Snap Original show, “Queen of Stylez,” the hairstylist is giving fans a glimpse at what it’s like working with her superstar client list, which also includes Kylie Jenner, Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton and Karrueche Tran.
The eight-episode docuseries tackles not only Tokyo’s creative process, but also spills the tea of her life, including untold personal stories about her recent transition and her journey from Omaha to Atlanta to DC to Los Angeles as she chased her dream of becoming a celebrity hairstylist.
Get an exclusive sneak peek at the first episode of “Queen of Stylez,” featuring Cardi B, below:
Tokyo names Jenner as one of her most discerning clients. “She knows what she likes and what works for her and what doesn’t work for her,” she said of the 23-year-old makeup mogul. “There’s been times when I’ve brought things to her and she’s like, ‘No, this just doesn’t look good on me.’ She knows her face. She’s a beauty guru.”
However, Tokyo says her most detail-oriented former client may have been Naomi Campbell. “She’s very particular about her middle-part, bone-straight, sleek look. She’d be like, ‘My part is crooked!,’” the hairstylist said. “It has to be perfect, that’s her look.”
But when it comes to “extreme” hair creations, Tokyo added, “Cardi’s the one who can really rock it. Sometimes you can put something on somebody and it wears them; it’s not that with her. She wears it, and wears it very well.”
Case in point? The pink heart-shaped pigtails Cardi debuted in August — a project that took “four or five hours,” Tokyo recalled, and that was filmed for “Queen of Stylez” — and the chain-link ponytail the rapper wears in her “WAP” music video.
“The chains in ‘WAP’ will forever go down in history,” she joked. “People are still tagging me on Instagram every day with their recreations.”
“Queen of Stylez” premieres on Snapchat on Saturday, November 21, with new episodes launching daily. Expect to see plenty of famous faces, including Cardi, Hilton and Tran along with Mulatto, Flo Milli, De’Arra, Kash Doll and Nikita Dragun.
Tokyo Stylez created an intricate chain-link ponytail for Cardi B’s “WAP” music video.