Beyoncé’s Colorist on Creating — and Maintaining — Vibrant Blonde Hair

<p>Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood</p>

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Parkwood

If Beyoncé is going to do anything when she performs, it's flip and whip her hair around like nobody's business. (Maybe that’s in part why she’s likely working on her own hair-care line.)  Sure, it's partly the superstar having fun after hours of rehearsing choreography. It's also Rita Hazan, the colorist who has worked with the music icon for more than a decade. Ahead of the Renaissance World Tour, Hazan and Beyoncé went for a new hair color, which Hazan calls “sun-washed blonde.” What else could be more fitting for her summertime tour?

"When you sit on the beach all summer... not that I have ever done that before," Hazan says, laughing, "you see these kids that are on the beach every day, and their hair! They have some dark pieces and some really white pieces and some golden pieces. You always look at them and you're like, that's the perfect color. That's so beautiful. That was my inspiration for the sun-washed hair."

At first glance, Beyoncé's hair on tour appears as fabulous and luscious as any other time she has worn her long, blonde tresses. But the sun-washed look is more carefully layered and highlighted. "When somebody like Beyoncé's on tour, all eyes on her, right? You have to create something that is going to look spectacular and also be functional to her as well," Hazan says of their collaborative process.

Plus, when it comes to Queen Bey's on-stage mane, it's an even more intricate process. Hazan thoughtfully takes every aspect of the tour performance into consideration. "We spoke, and I went and saw the lights and the stage and the costumes and the dancers, and there's a lot going on on that stage. So, I wanted to make sure that whatever she had, like whatever color I was going to execute on her would be, would pop and look beyond gorgeous under every light that is going to hit her."

Hazan also balances the the fact that Beyoncé is "the ultimate hair flipper," as she puts it. "She uses her hair as a prop sometimes. For me, I want her to move her hair and then all the colors that pop through will look gorgeous, too. I have to make sure that every inch of that hair works together in harmony."

Past the aesthetic of Beyoncé's style for the Renaissance World Tour, Hazan puts a huge (albeit somewhat unseen) focus on hair health. Bleach is, after all, notoriously damaging, and while many performers rely on wigs for on-stage appearances, Hazan notes that Beyoncé’s wearing her real hair (along with some extensions) for the tour. Without healthy hair, the color or style won't look good — especially for someone performing in 4K under bright lights.

"You want it to look beautiful. You don't want to abuse the heck out of [the hair]. And, you want it to look good every night,” she says. “It's not like it could look good the first three nights and the more she washes it, then it starts looking dull or the color starts fading or it doesn't work together anymore. For me, I have to get it to a place where I know that even in three weeks from now, it's still gonna look gorgeous."

Hazan may be behind the brilliant color, but she's not there every step of the tour to help maintain it as it grows out. "When she's ready and she has time, she'll call me and we'll do it again," Hazan says. But in between appointments, Beyoncé's hair keeps its luster thanks to gloss.

Maintaining blonde hair is infamously challenging (hello, purple shampoo), especially during the summer when increased exposure to UV light can alter color. While Hazan jokes that she keeps Beyoncé's blonde hair vibrant with "the help of God," she also uses her own line of glosses, namely Breaking Brass and Sun-Kissed.

How to Get Beyoncé's Sun-Washed Blonde Look

Hazan explicitly recommends not trying to get the look at home. She implores anyone to go to the salon with photos for inspiration. For anyone with dark tresses, Hazan notes that it's important to find somebody who is specifically an expert on making dark hair blonde.

"Then, I would take pictures to them that would serve as inspiration because everybody's different. And the average person's not going to be under this extreme lighting and on stage for like 70,000 people. So you need something that's going to work for your everyday life," she says.

Breaking it down step-by-step, Hazan instructs, "Lighten your base color one-to-three shades depending on how dark the hair is. Let the colorist customize where they're gonna put these beautiful highlights in your hair depending on your haircut. A certain placement won't work for everybody... if you have long hair, if you have short hair, if you have layers... Let them customize the look for you using the coloration that you want for your skin tone."

The same shade of blonde won't look good on everyone. It's important to find a version of blonde that complements the skin tone rather than making it appear ashy, washed out or dull. Hazan says anybody can rock a color like sun-washed blonde, but she adds: "The darker the skin, I think the warmer the highlight should be. The lighter the skin, you can go a little bit cooler."

Hazan emphasizes that maintenance is extremely important for the look on anyone, not just Beyoncé. To maintain the color and avoid those aforementioned issues with blonde hair, Hazan prefers to use gloss, especially those from her own product line.

"I created them. I formulated them, so they do what I want them to do on not only Beyoncé, but on everybody," Hazan says, who is a brunette herself. "I built my whole career of making brunettes blonde without brassy colors... and even keeping brunettes brunette without it turning that horrible rusty color."

Colored hair might not be for everyone, Hazan admits, but for those who want it, proper care is mandatory. "Use good products. Use the right products for color treated hair. Find your flow. Find the products that work for you," she says. "People think that's a lot of steps in the shower, but really, it's a quick shampoo, condition, then gloss and rinse it off right away. You don't have to sit for like five minutes with the gloss in your hair."

While there are plenty of ways we may never compare to Beyoncé, at least it's possible to get a hairstyle similar to hers. (Also, there's a rumor that the music icon might be debuting her own line of products.)

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