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Hairstylist Dhairius Thomas reveals how he keeps our fave celebs looking STUNNING

Hairstylist Dhairius Thomas reveals how he keeps our fave celebs looking STUNNING

Dhairius Thomas with Victoria Monét; Dhairius Thomas in photoshoot
Courtesy of Dhairius Thomas; Hoshi Joel

“Victoria Monét is a true star. She is committed to the stage,” Dhairius Thomas tells Out. “She’s involved with everything, from her hair to her makeup and down to her wardrobe and visuals. We should protect her at all costs.”

The rollout and post-release for Victoria Monét’s latest project, 2023’s Jaguar II, has been one to watch. Over the years, Grammy Award winner Monét has been taking it back to traditional promotional tactics for an album’s release — from college tours to appearing on talk shows to amplifying her songs with fun TikTok trends.

Outside of her gorgeous looks, Monét’s hair has been on point, and we have one person to thank for it: Dhairius Thomas! In an interview with Out, Thomas discusses his elevation as a hairstylist, reminisces about slaying Monét’s hair, and reveals the dream heads that he’d love to slay in the future.

Out: You’re the hair connoisseur to the stars. Victoria Monét, Rihanna, Serena Williams, Ziwe, and the list goes on. You also put so much love into your work. Where did your love for hair come from?

Dhairius Thomas: Thank you so much for all of those accolades. I’m humble and there’s more to come. It stemmed from watching my older siblings with different hairstyles during those late nights in the early 2000s. One of my cousins in particular specialized in the Spritz styles — the hair that stood up — and French rolls, as well as hard bangs. I would watch women go in and out, seeing how powerful they were walking out with their nails.

That’s when I noticed they had a certain essence about them and a power in doing hair. When she would drop her extensions on the floor, I would gather and put them away. Or when I would play with Barbie dolls and use them with the same extensions on the Barbie dolls. Essentially, that’s where my love came in for hair. It went from Barbies to my sisters to holidays, picture days, and proms. I became locally known for doing hair at a young age and I knew there was a power in my hands.

What were your family’s initial thoughts when you discovered and tapped into this passion at such a young age. Also, what do they say now?

It wasn’t always the easiest, but the women would be excited for me to do their hair, and that served as great practice. As far as my uncles understood, it wasn’t something that you could have as a career. People had local salons, or they were musicians.

During that time, people weren’t able to make it big in this type of industry, so people didn’t take it seriously until they saw where I am now. Before, the women just took advantage of it. When I started charging, people questioned the prices. They didn’t begin to be proud of [my work] until I went to New York to work in salons and fashion shows.

Dhairius Thomas

Courtesy of Hoshi Joel

Black women’s hair is like their crown — rooted in love, magic, and culture. As you take on the task of giving us these looks, how important is it for you to be a part of these experiences when it comes to Black women and their appearances, while adding your magic touch to it?

I would say that it’s a power, so you need to make sure to treat it with care. I have larger hands, being that I’m a man, so new clients expect me to be rough with their heads and are surprised on how gentle I am with them. One of my clients was shocked that it didn’t hurt while I was doing her hair [laughs].

Hairstyling [doesn’t have to be] painful. I like to massage them and let them know they’re in safe hands. You see them in their raw state, speaking about raw issues, and you’re in a room full of vulnerable people. You need to handle the process with care so they can trust you while they’re in your chair and your hands. I won’t stop touching your hair, unless you tell me to, until the very end… because I want it to look good 360, all around. It’s about me acing the job and having [the client] feel her best.

Dhairius, do you use clippers? I want the Dhairius experience [laughs].

Now, Ty, if you come with your hair cut, we can still do something, baby. Like some makeup or something. But don’t trust me with no fade [laughs].

Dhairius Thomas and Victoria Mon\u00e9t

Courtesy of Dhairius Thomas

We need to protect Victoria Monét at all costs. She’s such a gem and a light. What were some of the conversations, affirmations, and all in-between y’all had that you can share while doing her hair?

I would say that Victoria Monét is a true star. She is committed to the stage. She’s involved with everything, from her hair to her makeup and down to her wardrobe and visuals. We should protect her at all costs. She reminds me of Old Hollywood and how stars used to behave. When I was coming up, there was a mystique about them and how you couldn’t even get too close to them.

Similar to how Beyoncé is.

Amen. There are very few artists that respect the stage live, and you can tell she respects her mic. How she even gets ready — she takes it seriously, even down to motherhood, and you wonder how she does it all while also being so sweet. It’s beautiful to be aligned with a spirit like that while having a client and friend like that. I’m so happy for her. She’s magic, and I’m so excited to see what’s to come.

Dhairius Thomas

Courtesy of Hoshi Joel

Can you describe the Dhairius experience when you have a client in your chair using a Victoria Monét song off of the Jaguar II album?

Oh, this is a good question. I will go to what my heart mentioned first. I would say her record, “How Does It Make You Feel.” Of course, all the girls are wearing wigs, but I care about the integrity underneath the wig. When it comes to that braid down or something breaking off, I care about that more than putting some oil on your braids, massaging, or laying a wig down.

Can you share your process when it came to achieving Victoria Monét’s look for her rollout?

For Victoria’s Dark and Lovely hairstyle, I wanted to create a style and color that would be great for fall and could also easily transition into the winter months. This hair has caramel hues, but since she’s in her blonde era, I had to brighten things up a bit. I used Dark and Lovely’s Uplift Bleach Kit to get those bright “money pieces” seen in the front, which frames her face. Victoria loved it, and the blonde highlights worked perfectly with her skin tone.

It’s so important to include Black women on set so that someone can style their hair, which was something non-existent back in the day on studio sets. However, social media has been giving Black artists doing hair and makeup more opportunities to exist in those spaces. How has social media been able to help build your brand and presence?

Social media has been helping me in my career. I started as a dancer when I came to New York, so the bulk of my following came from dancing and fitness. After I transitioned to hair, the pandemic flipped it and helped me to catch those flights, flipped those heads, and even made my living room into a studio. I used the check to buy lights, makeup, and an entire hair kit.

I then DM’d a model and told her I’d do her wig. She came to me the following week and she had Raven B. Varona, Beyoncé’s photographer, in my living room. They did a few photoshoot sessions there. When the pandemic took off, I would post content with models, so testing social media allowed me to flex my versatility.

I’m certain that you book celebrity clients off of social media with your massive presence. Who was one celebrity that had you feeling the most shocked when you booked them off of social media?

I wish I could tell you, but I can’t even say it because it’s not out yet [laughs]. But I will say that the power of manifestation works wonders.

I can share one of them: being a Pisces and being tapped into the law of manifestation, one of my biggest clients thus far has been Serena Williams. I told her she was one of my biggest clients and I told her she would be one of my clients one day… and then it happened. Social media got me a huge gig for 2024. I’m grateful for it.

What are your goals for elevating and expanding your brand?

I would say education and working with more brands. I want to take up space in fashion and change the way it’s always been. When I have a team or an assistant, they don’t know how to assist people who have been in the game longer than me. 20-30 years in, and I look up to them, but there’s a way to use and engage while not making them feel less than.

You can follow Dhairius Thomas on Instagram (@dhairiusnyc) to stay up-to-date with his work — and make sure to stream Victoria Monét’s Jaguar II on all music streaming platforms.

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