Celebrity Hair Guru Riawna Capri Spills Her Platinum Secrets

Rachel Adler
Courtesy Clear Hair

Courtesy Clear Hair

Celebrity hairstylist Riawna Capri has one of the coolest looks in the business. Her chin-grazing chop is constantly being tossed from side to side (she prefers not to choose a part, ever), and the color is that elusive shade of platinum most of us wish we had.

In case you’re unfamiliar, Capri is currently the go-to hair guru for—and BFF of—half of Hollywood’s PYTs (Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev are regular vacation buddies). She co-owns Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood, is the current spokesperson for Clear Hair Care, and recently launched the beauty blog BeautyCoach.com. So, yeah, she’s one busy lady.

Capri found time to talk with us about her on-the-go lifestyle, keeping that blond hair blond, and the best beauty trick in her arsenal.

First of all, how do you keep your hair so blond?
As a hairstylist, I can never have my hair yellow—it always has to be on point—so I have to make sure I take care of the color. Step one starts with a filter in the shower; that’s so key. Especially for blondes—and especially for New Yorkers because the pipes are so old. Sometimes you’ll notice four weeks after your color appointment that your hair isn’t nearly as pretty as it was when you first got it done. Since our hair is blond, it’s like a sponge, and it’s super coarse, so it sucks up whatever is in the water. Raindrops is actually a shower filter that I created with my partner Nikki, and it’s basically Brita for the shower. Not only is it good for the hair, but it’s good for the skin too. So that is first and foremost: collecting all the shit in the water.

And then on the daily, shampoo- and conditioner-wise, it’s Clear. I use the Intense Hydration line for as much moisture as possible. Again, taking care of the color, shampoo-wise, my new favorite purple shampoo that I found is DPHUE. Justin Anderson created it; I love him. He came out with this vinegar clarifying stuff that you clean your hair with first, then you put on the purple shampoo and purple conditioner. Most times I wouldn’t tell my blondes to use purple shampoo and purple conditioner, but if you want to be platinum—super white and icy—it’s OK if it goes a little on the silver side.

Are you always shampooing and conditioning?
Good question. For us blondes, it’s good to not shampoo all the time. Sometimes I just get it wet; especially with the moisture of the hair, I’m able to reactivate whatever product was in before. I’ll just get it wet and condition.

How do you style your signature cool-girl cut?
I like to “cocktail” an oil and a smoothing cream at the same time—mix those two together. The kind I use right now is Nu Luxury Oil; I do one pump of that. And Unite has a smoothing cream; I do a dime-size amount of that, and I mix them together. Work it through so it’s all on the ends and not on the roots. Again with the blond being so blond, the ends really need to be polished and smooth to look good. There’s nothing worse than fried blond hair. Oh! Unite’s 7Seconds Leave-In Detangler: Have you ever used that? It’s the best! I have yet to find another leave-in conditioner that won’t weight my hair down. I use the oil cocktail, and then I blow-dry my hair back and forth [without a part]. What I’ll do when I’m done blow-drying my hair is take the whole front section and bring it forward and set it in a roller; then I’ll do my makeup. Then I take the roller out and have a natural little front wave.

If you could give me only one good hair trick, what would it be?
It’s my favorite one ever: After I take the roller out, I brush my hair back with my glasses to let it set. It’s a really good way to set it. Sunglasses or reading glasses will totally work. I leave them there when I’m finishing makeup or driving to work. The thing is, when your hair is warm or wet, you can mold it to do what you want it to do. Wherever it cools or dries, that’s where it’s going to stay—hair is like wax.

You’re constantly on the go. Do you have any packing tricks?
My favorite thing is to put each outfit on a hanger and then put the whole outfit in my suitcase. Underwear is on there, bra for the day—whatever I’m doing. Utilizing hangers as much as possible, I think, is super healthy for me. I also like to take all my underwear and wrap a hair tie around it so it’s all together.

Career-wise, what do you think has been the biggest thing you’ve learned so far?
Literally to be yourself. If you try to mold yourself to be someone that you think that person might like, then you always have to be that someone that person might like. I want to surround myself with people who are like me: I’m silly; I’m stupid; I’m funny; I curse. That’s me. I want to surround myself with other people who are like that. I want to attract clients with similarities. People who are inspirational, who think outside the box. I think that’s why I have such a great relationship with my girls, Julianne [Hough] and Nina [Dobrev]; we are best friends. We are the same. We’re silly, we’re fun, we just have a really good time. I think that’s what they appreciate, too: just being you, having someone they can spend eight hours a day with.

MORE: 8 Tips to Achieving Ultimate Blond-Hair Success