Celebrity Hairstylist Riawna Capri Helps You Create Your Signature Look

The woman behind Julianne Hough and Nina Dobrev's stellar strands reveals how to get the perfect 'do.

Celebrity Hairstylist Riawna Capri Helps You Create Your Signature Look
(Source: Art by Tanya Leigh Washington)

If you don't know Riawna Capri already, you should. Not only is the Clear Scalp & Hair celebrity stylist one of the most respected in the biz, but she's also the mastermind behind some of the most enviable locks of late—ahem, Julianne Hough's choppy bob. Just a peek at Capri's Instagram, and one thing is clear: This woman is passionate about her work. From getting her celebrity friends dolled up for a big red carpet event to transforming their strands for a magazine cover, Capri knows how to create a killer 'do.

So when we wanted to know more about creating a signature hairstyle, we knew just who to turn to. (The stylist has not only created a signature look for Hough and Jennifer Lawrence but has taken Nina Dobrev's strands to new heights.) Anyone on the hunt for a new 'do, listen up!

Creating a signature hair look can be difficult for many people. What are some tips you have for deciding upon a look—before even stepping into the salon?
"When it comes to wanting to create something unique, you have to think of what is trending now. For example, everyone is doing the lob, but you don’t want what everyone has! When we did the short cut on Julianne, no one else had it yet, so everyone was excited about it.

It’s also important to note, every 20 years, trends repeat themselves. So take a look at trends from 20 years ago, and think about how you can recycle them today. For instance, people were constantly comparing Julianne’s cut to Meg Ryan. It’s all about reinventing the wheel!"

(Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

What should a client tell her stylist when heading into the salon for a new look?
"You shouldn’t tell them anything—bring in pictures! Pictures are everything. Bring in pictures of what you like and what you don’t like. That’s the key to success when creating a big change. You have to remember, we all see the same, but we don’t all speak the same!"

Sometimes getting that signature look can mean a big change. How do you know if a change is right for you?
"Whenever you’re looking at pictures, you want to pay attention to eye color, hair color, skin color and face shape. If you have three out of the four of those things, it’s probably going to look good on you. If you don’t have any of those things, it probably won’t."

If you do decide to make that big change, what are some tips for getting used to your new 'do?
"Request that extra time from your stylist to teach you how to style your new ‘do—literally have them put the curling iron in your hand. I always make sure to teach my clients how to style their new cut, because if they don’t look good, I don’t look good!"

Many think having a signature look means you have to style it the same day in and day out. How do you recommend keeping your 'do fresh and lively yet still true to your look and style?
"Switching up your part from side to center. And then switch up the texture too—straight, wavy, curly. You’re just switching up textures and parts—it’s the same cut and color, but you’re getting different looks."

Celebrity Hairstylist Riawna Capri Helps You Create Your Signature Look
(Source: Riawna Capri/Instagram)

Ultimately, what if someone decides their new signature 'do really just isn't them after all. How do you recommend ditching the look without causing damage to the hair or being stuck with a look they're not comfortable with?
"It depends which style you’re trying to grow out, but the best way to do it without damaging your hair: create a deep side part and tuck it back. If you can, find a quality extensionist—that is your key! Most celebrities wear extensions to grow out their pixie haircuts. Growing out a pixie does not look good by itself unless you are slicking it back all the time. I do extensions on 90 percent of my clients, and people don’t know because you can’t tell!"

Be sure to follow along with Capri's work and star-studded life via Instagram.

Former Senior Associate Beauty Editor at StyleBistro. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @CaitlinSMiller Follow me: Google