For Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Hair Dye Is Rooted in Collaboration and Group

‘Facet Hustles’ is a brand new HYPEBEAST collection that delves into the companies and keenness initiatives musical artists run after they’re not busy hitting the recording studio, touring or selling their initiatives.


In 2007, Hayley Williams was readying for the rollout of Paramore’s Riot! LP when she visited a neighborhood salon in Nashville to dye her hair forward of a video shoot. The budding star – who moved from Mississippi to Tennessee as a youngster – was seated within the salon chair of Brian O’Connor, a newly-licensed cosmetologist in his sixth month of apprenticeship. Throughout that opportune session, O’Connor engineered the chemical concoction that produced Williams’ iconic shiny orange hair, which made its official debut within the “Distress Enterprise” music video.

It was additionally the start of a long-term collaboration and a real friendship. O’Connor started becoming a member of Williams as her hairstylist and make-up artist on tour, together with appearing because the pilot behind her ensuing hair shade journey – from the white blonde that succeeded her Riot! period to the half-pink half-orange look of 2013.

In 2014, the 12 months of the turquoise undercut, the duo took their ongoing partnership to the subsequent stage by ideating Good Dye Younger, their dye and hair care firm.

“Individuals form of began to acknowledge Paramore extra simply due to the best way that I seemed, which I believe at instances I’ve resented, however it all simply form of unfolded on this approach that felt actually pure,” Williams tells HYPEBEAST in a latest interview. “With Brian and I each being from a small city and already on this subculture, the collaboration got here actually organically.”

O’Connor recalled the second that she pitched the corporate to him by the use of a scribbled drawing of a dye bottle emblazoned with the model title. After ruminating on the idea for a few 12 months, the 2 started working on the labor-intensive technique of taking conferences, getting their chemical compounds excellent and sorting by means of samples from labs and producers. Good Dye Younger’s preliminary plan was to focus strictly on hair care merchandise, however their efforts had been ultimately expanded to incorporate dye, impressed by the orange shade O’Connor created throughout their first assembly.

“Good Dye Younger began on that well-known Hayley orange,” O’Connor says. “It grew to become about recreating the product that I had been utilizing on Hayley, which concerned taking three or 4 totally different manufacturers of dye that I might get my arms on and cocktailing them to make her signature “Distress Enterprise” hair.”

Williams was answerable for pitching the model, whereas O’Connor centered on quizzing chemists on the components going into every product. Throughout the technically-complex technique of vetting dyes, O’Connor always requested himself if he would use a given product on Williams, and the reply was greater than typically than not “no.”

This consideration to element was not misplaced on Williams. “Simply because I’ve dyed my hair a bunch of instances and I get on stage and other people know my title that doesn’t actually make me an knowledgeable on this sh*t,” Williams notes. “That’s the place our partnership actually began to take root, in a enterprise sense, as a result of I obtained to see Brian in his aspect.”

“He watches me on stage each night time. Watching him in a lab coat, speaking to folks about components that I’ve by no means even heard of earlier than, was actually particular for me.”

As animal advocates – O’Connor lives on a 17-acre horse ranch – they had been additionally dedicated to the whole model being cruelty-free and as sustainable as potential. It was determined early on that Good Dye Younger would solely work with producers that didn’t take a look at their merchandise on animals. On the identical time, Korean magnificence labels additionally started gaining traction within the U.S. Williams says that they had been impressed by a newfound consciousness of “clear” components that aren’t dangerous after they are available in contact with a shopper’s pores and skin, or on this case, their hair.

“It doesn’t imply that you just get away with out ever utilizing a chemical – clearly, it’s made in a lab for a cause — however there’s a stage of consciousness going into every part, from the packaging to every ingredient,” says Williams

Final 12 months, Williams and O’Connor took the subsequent step of their enterprise by opening a brick-and-mortar: Fruits Hair Lab in Nashville. The salon takes its title from the now-defunct Japanese trend journal FRUiTS, which Williams had introduced a replica of to attract inspiration from throughout her first session with O’Connor, telling him she wished to “appear to be a personality model of herself.”

Williams noticed the for-rent constructing over the pandemic and as soon as once more, approached O’Connor along with her thought. When it got here to opening a salon, nevertheless, the hairstylist says he initially tried to discourage Williams, as a result of his hands-on expertise with the trials and tribulations of a salon’s day-to-day enterprise. Nonetheless, true to the spirit of their can-do partnership, O’Connor shortly obtained on board with the concept and now operates his personal stylist chair at Fruits when he’s not on the highway or engaged on Good Dye Younger.

Each Williams and O’Connor observe that one of many highlights of operating the salon has been offering a cushty house for anybody – inclusive of all races, sexualities and gender orientations – to get their hair accomplished.

“Tennessee goes by means of an unprecedented political time, and that’s saying so much for a state that’s within the South,” says Williams “It’s a devastating time for lots of people who’re both progressive or within the queer group.” Doing nice work on folks’s hair and letting them stroll out feeling higher about themselves is one factor, however it’s additionally so necessary for us to face as a bodily secure and welcoming house.”

“You may get the colour of the rainbow put in your head, or you may get primary blonde highlights if you wish to,” O’Connor provides. “Moreso, Fruits is a spot of creativity and group the place folks know they’re welcome and so they know that they will come precisely as they’re.”

The 2 collaborators couldn’t anticipate simply how far their partnership would take them when Williams introduced O’Connor with the sketch of that first hair dye bottle. Now, seven years after beginning Good Dye Younger, and presently, wanting ahead to quickly celebrating one 12 months of Fruits Hair Lab, their companies – and the group they’ve created, in Nashville and past – solely continues to develop.


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