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Boot Camp
To prepare for the film, the actresses had to learn their way around a salon from a pro – technical advisor Randy White spent several days with the actresses teaching them how to look like they were cutting hair. How did White get the job? He does director Woodruff's hair.

"We went to beauty boot camp,” laughs Latifah. "We went to Golden Touch salon in Inglewood, California, and our homeboy Randy showed us what to do – how to cut, how to color, how to perm, how to style, how to exactly hold scissors. There's a technique to everything, and you have to learn because it needs to look authentic. There are a whole lot of hairstylists out there; there are about 90,000 beauty shops in this country. We knew people would know when we weren't cutting right, so we wanted to make it look as realistic as possible.”

There were varying degrees of "hair familiarity” among the cast. "Keshia Knight Pulliam was the only person there who really knew how to do hair, being that her mom owned a salon at one point,” says White. "Everyone else had to start from scratch.” Learning by doing, they all had to pick up scissors and get to work.

The cast quickly found that cutting hair is much harder than they thought. "I'm so glad I'm not a hairdresser,” says Silverstone. "I had attention deficit disorder in boot camp. I'd go numb and feel like I was in science class. I have much more respect for hairdressers now. It's a real skill and such an art.”

"You know what I realized from that whole boot camp experience?” says Sherri Shepherd. "It is NOT what I was called to do. The first 20 minutes I was like ‘My back is hurting, okay? I'm an actress, not a hairstylist.' They thought they had free labor, so they had me washing all these people's heads. I was like ‘Wait a minute! Nobody's paying me!' Nobody was tipping me! It was hard – but we learned.”

And did anyone mess up? "I cut somebody's hair too short, but I didn't tell her,” grins Shepherd. "I just combed it over, and hopefully she won't know. Maybe she'll think it was Queen Latifah, because we both worked on her hair. Sounds better to say Queen Latifah cut her hair wrong than me.”

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