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Gracie Dyer | graciedyer

Star Wars: Chewbacca's Hair Routine in The Force Awakens Is Actually Pretty Glam

Nov 13th 2015 at 12:12 AM

I've had the pleasure of interviewing many top hairstylists in my years at Allure. I've learned all about their favorite products, tools, and how they get their clients' hair red-carpet ready. But I can honestly say that I have never, ever had as much fun discussing hair as I did when I talked to Maria Cork, the supervisor of the hair department in creature effects on the new Star Wars film, The Force Awakens. Her job? To be Chewbacca's go-to hairstylist, as well as care for all the other hairy creatures on set. I spoke with her about Chewy's hair routine—and the results were equal parts hilarious and glamorous. It turns out, our favorite Wookiee is a bit of a beauty snob. You might even use a few of the same products.

Chewbacca is known as a “big walking carpet” for good reason: Each Wookiee costume stands seven and a half feet tall. It took nearly six months to build the four and a half suits needed for The Force Awakens (the half suit was for actor Peter Mayhew to wear in close-ups). They were made mostly from yak hair, with a bit of mohair on the face for softness, and the fur was hand-knotted on durable Lycra, much like a high-end wig. With that kind of craftsmanship, it’s no surprise Chewy’s hair routine was high-maintenance. Here are all the products he uses (OK, Cork uses. But let's just suspend disbelief for a second).

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He prefers a curling wand. “We used Fantasia Instant Oil Moisturizer on tangles at night,” says Cork. "Then we’d touch it up with GHD heat protectant and a tapered Wahl styling wand to give the fur a natural-looking curl.

He uses two kinds of hair spray. "On his head, we’d use Fudge Cement spray to keep the hair neat, and on his body, a little bit of Schwarzkopf Silhouette Super Hold hair spray to control it while still having the hair flow around.”

He doesn't shampoo every day, either. To clean the suits in between deep washes, Cork and her team used a combination of tea-tree oil and vodka; it sanitizes without extra drying time. They washed the suits about two or three times during filming ("it's a day job to wash it and another day to restyle it," says Cork). During the wash, they used Aussie Miracle Conditioner to give the hair "a really good condition."

He's a fan of the Best of Beauty–winning Tangle Teezer. To combat a unique problem called “Wookiee butt” (the snarls caused by repeated rubbing of Chewy’s pouch on his hip), Cook and her team used a Tangle Teezer hairbrush (“The bright-pink one!” she says) to carefully brush out each knot.

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