The Hairstylist Behind Marvel's Best Looks
Camille Friend says she was born a hairdresser. “I come from three generations of hairdressers,” said Friend. “It’s in my genes.” The Primetime Emmy-nominated hairstylist is fresh off a four-month stay in Europe where she was the department head, managing a team of hairstylists, for the latest installment of Charlie’s Angels. She’s settling back into life in Southern California, which included taking in a Fleetwood Mac show within days of getting off the plane.
“This year has been one of the best years for me professionally,” says the Hollywood hair veteran.
As a kid growing up in Arizona, Friend would sweep up the hair in her godfather’s salon. She became a professional stylist at 17. Eventually, her love for the craft — and a gentleman she was dating at the time — led her to Los Angeles, where her first gig was working for Sebastian International.
Friend’s first foray into film came in the late ‘90s.
“I kind of fell into my first movie. I went to help a friend on a film,” she said. “It was A Thin Line Between Love and Hate.” Over the next 20-plus years, Friend worked her way from a styling assistant to a department head, leading teams of hairstylists for film and television shows. Her credits include 3rd Rock From the Sun, Malcolm & Eddie, 8 Mile, Dr. Doolittle 2 and Coach Carter.
“As a department head, there’s a lot of managing people,” said Friend. “Depending on the size of the film, I could have a team of 30 stylists working with me.”
But Friend says she continues to style hair on sets despite the administrative and management aspects of her work. “Doing hair, that’s my joy.”
In 2019, we’ll get to see her work on Jordan Peele’s Us (where she reconnected with Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke from the movie Black Panther), Charlie’s Angels and Captain Marvel. But Friend emphasizes that styling is a team effort.
“I’m only as good as the people I work with,” said Friend, listing the names of designers, stylists and wigmakers she’s met on film and television sets. “This [work] is collaborative.”
Training the next generation of stylists is also important to Friend. She’s working on a mentoring program and founded Hair Scholars, which teaches master classes in styling specifically for people who want to be involved in film and television.
“I want people to know that a career in Hollywood in makeup and in hairstyling is possible,” said Friend. “Yes, it’s a lot of hard work, but it is possible.”
— Niema Jordan
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