Amandla Stenberg
photo: Splash News

Amandla Stenberg never shies away from a bold hair change and has rocked plenty of colorful looks before, but her latest gives her ultimate mermaid status. 

In an essay for InStyle, the actor and activist was outspoken about her natural hair and how some stylists have deemed it too challenging. Rude comments haven't stopped her from wearing her hair in whatever style she feels best in, though. From shaving her head to wearing natural curls to bright blue braids, Stenberg looks flawless in all of them. 

At the InStyle Awards, Stenberg showed off her brand-new aquamarine look, and wore a cute Gucci minidress to finish off her fierce look.

The 20-year-old hasn't always had a confident relationship with her hair, but now she is proud of her look, no matter what form it takes. 

In a personal essay for InStyle, Stenberg revealed that she didn't always have the confidence she has now about her style. Plus, growing up in the entertainment industry didn't make it easier. On the set of The Hunger Games, in which she played Rue, the stylists had never worked with black hair before and expressed frustration at its difference. 

At 12 years old, Stenberg began to feel ashamed of her look. But then she reclaimed it by thinking of the important history that something as simple as hair carries. 

She wrote, "Almost all black women grow up sitting with their moms, whether it’s once a day or once a week, having their hair combed through and then getting it twisted or braided or whatever it may be." 

"There’s something so beautiful about that act. It carries all the love, tenderness, strength, and uniqueness about where we’re from. It’s something most black women share, even if every person’s curl pattern is different."

Now she'll frequently wear her hair in its natural form and has even shaved her head. 

In the essay, Stenberg described the best part of her hair is the ability to change it depending on how she feels. Its malleability reflects her own changing identity. "My hair is still short, but I let it grow out a bit to give myself more options. Sometimes it’ll be a more masculine look with little-boy curls, or I’ll part it in the middle and slick it down to look more feminine. The best part: It’s totally up to me," she wrote. 

Of course, she also loves to experiment with vibrant colors and extensions. 

Stenberg teased a before shot of the hair she planned to braid into her own. The teal and aquamarine shades look youthful and fun. She captioned the post, "Vibe check."

Then, four days later, she shared the look on Instagram only a day before she'd debut it on the red carpet. 

While Stenberg got tons of compliments on the post, the majority of them were for the poignant T-shirt she was sporting. So, the celebrity tagged designer Name Date, a Los Angeles artist. 

The blue lighting in the room made her new braids difficult to make out, but it's clear she had a whole new style. Plus, bold eyeliner completed the vibe.

The blue hair worked perfectly with the fall 2019 Gucci minidress. 

Amandla Stenberg at the 5th annual InStyle awards
photo: Splash News

All of that teasing was worth the wait, because Stenberg was among the most stylish celebrities at the awards show. She paired the '70s-style frock with nude-and-red-accented pumps and simple jewelry. The youthful, feminine look needed these blue braids to totally complete it, and Stenberg had the perfect look on the carpet. Now it's only a matter of time before she changes it up again.