In “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” Queen Ramonda and Shuri both have shorter hairstyles than they did in the first. “In West African culture, when you’re in mourning, you cut your hair off,” Friend says. This change in length is also supposed to represent the passage of time.
“You’ll see Angela Bassett initially with her locs from the first one, and then you’ll see her in her new shorter style,” Friend says, describing the actor’s short, four-inch Afro hairstyle featuring colors of white, platinum, and silver in the new film.
The reasoning was the same for Shuri’s shorter hairstyle. “Her sides and her back are shaved, but we got rid of the braids, and now she’s in a short, curly ‘do,” Friend says. “It’s done with two-strand twists and flat twists to achieve the texture.”
As the story goes on, however, both Queen Ramonda and Shuri begin to grow out their hair again. “Them growing back their hair [is] almost like the renewal,” Friend says. “Wakanda now is a different nation.”