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MANESPIRATION: Behind Lion Babe’s Iconic Hair by Chuck Amos


Just one look at Jillian Hervey’s hair and you’ll be just as obsessed with her as we are, but that’s only if her fresh take on neo-soul music didn’t already take you there! Jillian Hervey is half of the music duo Lion Babe with music producer Lucas Goodman. Together, they create a unique spin on female vocal driven pop soul reminiscent of Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu.

After the release of their debut album, ‘Extended Play’, we can’t get the hit single ‘Jump Hi’ out of our heads or Jillian’s mane off of our mind.


Thanks to her hairstylist Chuck Amos, Jillian is known for her over the top, wild curls and extreme volume. Chuck has been the man behind Jillian’s mother’s hair, actress Vanessa Williams, for the past 16 years, and has been styling Jillian since she was just 8 years old.

“Working with her so great,” he tells us. “She is so understanding about the creative process and is such an artist. We love experimenting with textures and shapes- AND she is a Gemini, like myself, so the conversations, while she is in the chair, are always exciting and super fun.”


“It was kind of just normal that I started doing her hair…during the beginning of the LionBabe process,” he says. “Jillian has always had great thick hair (just like her mom and sisters), so when she said she was going to be LionBabe, it was very easy to see the look and image in her already.”

Just like her name, the inspiration behind her signature look is “a Sexy Lioness,” says Chuck. “This image is very easy to create, because she is already so beautiful and sexy, and her thick huge hair just makes it easier for me to create such major looks on her.”

Lion Babe

So for an artist with such a defined image, we had to ask Chuck if this was something Jillian had a clear vision of, or if her overall look was the result of a collaboration between the two of them. “I get a lot of creative freedom to create when we’re together,” he explains. “She lets me just “go off” and play! It’s clear that she likes different textures and shapes, but that’s it! …As long as the hair has a cool texture and interesting shape, we’re good!”


To create her iconic look, Chuck uses “a series of textured hair pieces to create extra voluminous length to her already thick and long hair. I blowdry in styling creme before I curl it, to insure that her curls stay intact during her dancing and singing process on stage or for photoshoots.”

To create something long lasting and “ bulletproof for stage, I make sure that I use a great styling creme (Oribe Creme for style and Bumble and bumble Styling Lotion mixed together) creates great hold for curls and still keeps her great natural texture intact.” Then “pin pin pin! Pin the hair good! Whatever shape I create, whether it be a Mohawk or a huge mane, you must anchor the pieces to the 10th degree! Making sure that the fullness of her hair is architecturally secure for performance reasons. Lastly, I loosen the ends with a moisturizing creme and blow dry until a bit straighter for ‘hair movement’ purposes. So the base of her look is dense and secure, and the ends are looser with movement and ease.”


Thank you Chuck! We will *attempt* to recreate at home (wish us luck)!

2 minutes

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