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Solange’s Hairstylist on How the Pop Star Achieved a “Coral Reef” Effect For Her Latest Hair Transformation

Plus, tips on how to go blonde with or without natural hair.


Andrew Toth

Never one to shy away from artistic expression and evolution, Solange Knowles is continuously debuting new hair transformations that make us all take note. The singer has rocked everything from voluminous curls to long braids to buzz cuts, and her hairstyles never seem to fail or inspire her millions of fans. This time the songstress debuted not only a new style, but a strikingly new hair color as well. Swapping out her signature brunette color for platinum blonde has only upped the ante on the musician’s new short natural curly afro—just after she debuted her beach blonde braided look during New York Fashion Week. With the sudden back-to-back hair metamorphosis, we had the opportunity to catch up with Knowles’s hairstylist, Chuck Amos, and find out what inspired the drastic switch-up and what hairstyle does she plan to pull off next.

How did you begin working with Solange?

I started working with Solange just after we met at a photo shoot in 2009. I did one of the hairstyles on her for that shoot and the rest is history.

What inspired Solange to go blonde?

She wanted to do something that was totally left of what she’s been doing lately. Something with natural hair, but that still pops!

Solange’s hair is always next level and she’s known for her voluminous curly afro. Why did she decide to go for the big chop?

She’s a true artist and change is a part of Life. She understands that and changing her hair is the statement, like her songs. And as we know, she is not a stranger to cutting her hair off, as we have seen in the past with her. Going short doesn’t bother Solange.

Solange Knowles, Newly Blonde, Presided Over Fashion Week’s Most Refreshing Show

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

Maryam Nassir Zadeh presents its Spring/Summer 2018 collection in New York City during New York Fashion Week.

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How do you maintain the color with her natural curls?

Since it’s more of a hair lightening process and not a direct color application, there is no need to worry about fading or having to use color safe products. With lightened hair, you have to maintain the brassiness of the color with toners and silver rinses to keep the color at a nice appealing light blonde color.

What products are you using on her hair?

I used Pantene Gold Series Moistures Boost Shampoo and Conditioner, the hydrating butter creme and the intense hydrating oil. I wanted to use products that were going to moisturizer her hair from the core, because when natural hair is lightened so much, it is compromised of its inner strength.

What natural hair techniques do you use for Solange’s new short afro?

While her hair was still damp, I used the butter cream and hydrating oil to moisten her hair from the core, then I wrapped small sections of her natural curls around a pencil to distort her natural curl to create an artistic shape to them. After that, I used a diffuser, switching from medium to hot, and then cool when fully dried. I’ve then separated her curls and with a cold blow dryer blew her hair in a circular motion around her head to lift her curls from the root to create a “coral reef” effect to her hair.

What advice would you give to those who want to go blonde with or without natural hair?

Going blonde is a hard process on your hair, whether it’s natural or not. It compromises your hair’s moisture the properties of what your hair is originally about. So you must always have moisture in your hair, especially to the core, and make sure that you do a strand test somewhere in the back of your head to make sure that your hair can withstand the strength of the bleaching process. Once you achieve your bleaching color, make sure you keep hair moisturized to withstand any post bleaching breakage that could occur.

In Marfa, Texas, Art Lovers and Music Festival Devotees Can Both Get Their Fix

Solange Knowles, who has recently reinvented herself as a powerful performance artist, has been playing in unexpected art venues across the country. Her most recent? Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas.

The musician Annie Clark, who records as St. Vincent, regularly makes a surprise guest appearance at the Trans-Pecos festival. This year, she stepped onto the stage with Fiona Apple: “Fiona. I have no words. You saved my life,” she wrote. “Thank you. I will love you forever.”

St. Vincent / Instagram

Actress Connie Britton attended the Trans-Pecos festival in Marfa with a few friends: “Capturing the beauty and spirit of West Texas for one epic weekend with some spectacular humans…magic!” she wrote.

@conniebritton

Stylist Solange Franklin made sure to get a shot in front of the iconic Marfa Prada, a faux-storefront-slash-art installation commissioned by Ballroom Marfa.

@solangefranklin

… As did blogger Carlos Lang.

@carecito

Jill Soloway’s television adaptation of Chris Kraus’s I Love Dick, with Kathryn Hahn and Kevin Bacon, also films in (and is based in) Marfa, Texas.

@jillsoloway

Model RJ Rogenski in Marfa, Texas during the Chinati Foundation’s “Chinati Weekend.”

@rjrogenski

Fashion advertising executive Trey Laird with model RJ Rogenski at Chinati Weekend 2017 in Marfa, Texas.

@trey.laird

Interior designer Ruthie Lindsey and actress Sophia Bush coordinated their Trans-Pecos festival looks. “Because we spend so much time together, we now dress alike and say the exact same statements at the exact same time CONSTANTLY,” Lindsey wrote on Instagram. “Feel great about it.”

@ruthielindsey

Blogger Carlos Lang in Marfa, Texas, during the Trans-Pecos music festival.

Carlos Lang / Instagram

Chef Cortney Burns, formerly of Bar Tartine with Nick Balla, in Marfa, Texas.

Balla and Burns / Instagram

A view of a Judd Foundation home in Marfa, Texas.

@juddfoundation

Blogger Andrea Maria in Marfa, Texas, during the Chinati Foundation’s “Chinati Weekend.”

@dearmilano

A view of the Trans-Pecos campground in Marfa, Texas.

@elcosmicomarfa

Hotelier Liz Lambert was among the cadre of friends Connie Britton accompanied to the Trans-Pecos festival this year.

@thelizlambert
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