All the Hidden Messages in Symone’s ‘Drag Race’ Finale Hair


For the red look, the “wink” is the sculpted hands, sassily holding each ponytail. “We thought it was fun to showcase that moment right before you get your hair done and be like, ‘I want my pigtails…here!'” says Monroe. The shape of the hands references that iconic acrylic nails meme. Each holds a “snatched” ponytail, bundles that Symone has whisked off of her competitor’s heads. As Monroe explains, it’s “mixing the iconic nail meme with a little Paco Rabanne glamour.” When you see it, you can’t unsee it, and that’s how a wink works. It’s a kind of inside joke that those in the know might appreciate, but would be missed by anyone else. 

The Development

Courtesy Marko Monroe

Of course, the look began with a sketch. Symone is a visual learner and expressionist, so she brought images, glue, and a little bit of patience to figure out what she could and could not do with this hair. For this look, she imagined a tight finger wave but was also inspired by a photo of a bob with the bottoms flipped under, and another with high but very long ponytails. As you can see, it all worked out the way it was supposed to.  

Monroe, Goode, and Symone worked together to create a concept and a design. As Goode got started on the wigs, Monroe and Symone focused on the actual handiwork (pun intended.) “We spray painted all the nails that Michael Brambillia then used for the garment. I started on the hands by creating a wire armature,” Monroe explains. “I figured it would be hard to keep the shape with just hair, so I used knitting wool to build out the sculpture and created the larger nails out of dollar-store folders and spray paint.” 

For Goode, who is a master of wig-making, it was a great learning experience. This was a project that was going to require more than just a bottle of Got2b Glued hairspray, her trusty hot glue gun, and a handy-dandy notebook. “Through this process, I’ve been learning a lot about the history of Black hair and the different types of tools, products, and techniques it takes to create styles like these,” Goode says. “A mix of gel, mousse, and improvised materials from the hardware store, like wire, adjustable construction helmets, and zip ties, helped to bring the hair to life.”

The Reception 

When asked what the reaction to the look has been, Monroe has one word: “Correct. I feel as people really get the joy in this look, it makes you smile and feel good. It’s iconic,” he explains. For Goode, it’s a reminder that creating drag is a lot of trial and error, a lot of creativity, and guessing games. “If ya girl needs some hair, I’m gonna turn out some hair for ya girl.” 

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