Yesterday I got to interview mega celebrity hairstylist Denis De Souza from Andy LeCompte Salon in West Hollywood and Prive Salon in New York. Denis is best known for being the coloring genius behind Rachel Bilson‘s to-die-for hair, which is one of my all-time favorites! Denis was so much fun to interview and answered all my Rachel Bilson hair color questions. Plus, he dished on how he keeps his clients’ hair looking so healthy and gorgeous while coloring, and of course, which celebs he wants to get into his chair. Check it out!
Hair On The Brain: How did you get started doing hair?
Denis De Souza: I was always playing with my friends’ hair, and one day one of them asked me why didn’t I become a hair dresser? That was like a light bulb going off. Two weeks later I was enrolled in beauty school.
HOTB: You’re known for beautiful beach inspired highlights. Can you talk about how you achieve that look?
De Souza: Every time I’m back in Brazil, where I’m from, I and really inspired by the Brazilian women’s hair. A lot of the time, their hair is just highlighted by the sun and seawater. I’ve always loved that look and wanted to achieve it with my clients. I’ve been doing it for years now, and I can honestly say that I’ve mastered the look. My clients absolutely love it because it’s so low maintenance. The color grows out really nicely and blends in well with the natural hair color, which means you can go without seeing me for up to three months.
HOTB: You do Rachel Bilson’s amazing hair color. Can you talk a bit about that process?
De Souza: Yes, I do! I love Rachel and her hair color was just nominated by Nylon magazine “Hair Color Icon” which is major and is so flattering. I’ve been getting a lot of exposure because of Rachel’s hair color, and I really appreciate all the press. Rachel is the perfect example of the “Ipanema beach blonde”. The color is more rooty, with natural highlights that enhance her hair color without changing it too drastically. People still see her as a brunette, but with color that just naturally fades brighter toward the ends.
HOTB: How do you keep your clients’ hair in good condition while coloring it?
De Souza: I prefer using top-notch products. These days they come with all sorts of oils and ingredients that preserve the health of the hair while coloring. Afterward, I recommend the necessary products to prevent the hair color from fading and to preserve the hair’s health.
HOTB: What are your thoughts on the current hair straightening craze, like Brazilian Blowouts and other Keratin Straightening Treatments?
De Souza: I think it’s amazing for certain types of hair, but not to be used on everyone. I know clients that swear by it and absolutely love it and other ones that hated it, so it really depends on what you are looking for. I also do a Rejuvenation Keratin + Collagen Treatment that’s perfect for over-processed, frizzy hair because rebuilds the hair from the inside out and makes your hair feel brand new. It doesn’t have any relaxing chemicals, so it doesn’t change the texture of your hair. If your hair is curly, it actually enhance and softens the brittle curls. The process only takes up to 45 minutes and only costs $150 compared to $350 or more people charge for Brazilian Blowouts.
HOTB: What celebs have amazing hair color, in your opinion? (Beside Rachel Bilson, of course!)
HOTB: I love all of their hair too! And what celebrities would you kill to get in your chair and give them a makeover?
De Souza: Ha-ha! Well, there are a few that have so much potential, but lately have just messed up with their hair color, like Mischa Barton. She would be my first choice. She is so pretty, but what’s up with her hair? And obviously Britney Spears. Have you seen all the catastrophic photos of her hair lately?
HOTB: Everyone always picks Britney! What are you favorite hair products?
De Souza: Good question. I’ve actually been in LA for 10 years and about spent six of those years working as a colorist. I was just recently invited to work atPrive in New York by the owner of the salon that heard about me and personally invited me to join his team there. I absolutely love New York, but I don’t think I could live there after living in LA for so long, but the idea of being there for a week every five weeks sounded very appealing. My first time working at Prive in NYC will be August 24-28. Then it’s back to LA where I’m based. That means I’ll have to tell you later about the hair color requests I get while I’m there!
HOTB: Anything else you would like the Hair On The Brain readers to know about?
De Souza: I believe in enhancing the natural hair color, making it look better without changing it too drastically. Most of the time when people do that, the color goes brassy, you loose the shine, and end up damaging the hair so much. I like to combine beautiful hair color with good healthy hair. That’s my philosophy! And unlike most colorists, I give my clients more of a low-maintenance and low up-keep hair color. That way they don’t become slaves to my chair with horrible lines of demarcation every four weeks. That not only helps with the hair’s health, but also helps their pockets too!
Thanks so much for this great interview, Denis! To find out more about Denis De Souza, his work as a stylist, and to check his schedule both in Los Angeles and New York, please visit his website at denisdesouza.com.