Ever since her “WAP” music video premiered online on Aug. 7, Cardi B’s extremely long, chain link high ponytail has been causing a lot of buzz.
Kim Kardashian and La La Anthony, for example, both praised Tokyo Stylez – the celeb hair stylist behind the look – on her Instagram page.
Perhaps more impressive than the animal print sheer teddy that Cardi wore in the video, is the way that she whipped the body-length ponytail around while doing splits, rapping and looking sexy all at the same.
“Hands down it was the best look from the video,” Tokyo, 30, says about the hairstyle. “That made the video come together. That one look alone.”
Tokyo – who has worked with everyone from Kylie Jenner and Beyoncé to Naomi Campbell and Nicki Minaj – is the wig specialist that celebs go to when they want to switch up their looks without damaging their real hair. Those cotton candy tresses that Cardi and Kylie’s Instagram followers salivate over are usually her handiwork.
So too were all the looks that Cardi rocked in the “WAP” video. From the structured ponytail with pin curls that both she and Megan Thee Stallion wore, to the purple and green lob. But, it was the chain link ponytail – inspired by a look first crafted by celeb hair stylist Greg Bazemore – that quickly became iconic. “We originally were doing something similar, but it was going to be more of a looser feel,” Tokyo tells HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “It was still a chain link inspired look but it was more hair connected with chains and not so structured.”
It was after Cardi saw Bazemore’s style in a photo that she spotted online that the pair decided to go in that direction. “She was like, ‘I want this. We have to recreate this and we’ve got to make it different and more unique,’” Tokyo says.
Different and more unique meant taking a style that had four big rings, making them smaller and the ponytail “extremely long” and “really high.” “I wasn’t too sure that it was going to work at first, because the ponytail was kind of heavy,” Tokyo says. “But it ended up being a success after trial and error. We tried it a few times and tested it out to make sure she could move with it and perform on camera without stuff falling apart.”
For those who want to recreate the look at home, Tokyo breaks down the two main steps she took. “I ordered Styrofoam little circles off of Amazon,” she says about creating the ponytail. She then “wrapped each ring with hair [extensions], using hot glue guns” and “lots of hair spray” to secure it in place. “And I cut a slit in each link so that way I was able to slide each one together so it would close and lock back in,” she says.
Because Cardi wanted bangs but didn’t want to cut her own hair, the base of that style was a full lace wig, pulled up into a ponytail. “Then we connected the chain link ponytail to the actual wig once it was installed,” Tokyo says, adding, “We had to wrap a lot of elastic around the base of the ponytail to get it to stand up and have that height and stay strong enough for it to sit up without it leaning back, because [it] was really heavy.”
“It literally felt like I was a construction worker. I felt like an architect [working on a] building or something,” says Tokyo who is pictured below.
In between working with celebrities, Tokyo – who recently got liposuction on her tummy, back and arms by New York plastic surgeon, Dr. David Shokrian – is getting herself ready to star in a new Snapchat TV series. After years of making Cardi B look fabulous on camera, she wants to make sure that she looks her “absolute best” too. She jokes, “I can’t be on the show looking crazy!”