Colorist Jessica Jewel Spills on Saweetie’s “Back to the Streets” and “Best Friend” Hair

01/20/2021

When it comes to Saweetie and her music videos, we can always count on our favorite “Icy Girl” to serve us some seriously iconic hairstyles. And, true to form, the rapper did not disappoint with her latest music videos for her Jhene Aiko-assisted single “Back to the Streets” and girl power anthem, “Best Friend,” featuring Doja Cat.

Besides blessing our ears with catchy beats and lyrics, both videos are full of deliciously over-the-top hairstyles, from statement-making pink hair to pastel rainbow buzzcuts, giving viewers an overload of hair inspiration.

If you’ve ever wondered who is the creative color mastermind behind these major hair looks, we’ve got two words for you: Jessica Jewel. The L.A.-based hair colorist and Pulp Riot educator worked her hair magic alongside a talented team of stylists, including Jamal Carter and Jared “JStayReady” Henderson, to bring these incredible hairstyles to life.

The Tease spoke to Jewel to get all the details surrounding these incredible custom colored looks as well as her experience collaborating with Saweetie.

The Tease: How did your collaboration with Saweetie for her “Back to the Streets” and “Best Friend” music video come about?

Jessica Jewel: The collabs with Saweetie were actually a connection made by my friend and an amazing hair artist, Kimberly Ibbotson (@kimberlytayhair). She could not do the job because she wasn’t in L.A. at that time, so she referred me. I think it says a lot about her confidence as an artist that she would easily refer me for such a huge opportunity.

What was your inspiration for the custom-colored pastel rainbow buzzcut that you created for Saweetie’s “Back to the Streets” video? How about the vibrant pink custom color that you created for her “Best Friend” video?

Jewel: I was given creative freedom for the custom buzzcut for the “Back to the Streets” music video. I was told what colors they wanted. I wanted to create a blend of the pastel pink and blue while creating a yellow swirl going throughout it, so it would look different from every angle.

The vibrant pink wig for the “Best Friend” music video was specifically made to match her custom-made Gucci outfit by Dapper Dan and stylist Bryon Javar

Was there anything that Saweetie brought to the table in terms of how she wanted her hair to look like for each music video? How involved was she in the overall process?

Jewel: Saweetie is very involved in the creative process and is very hands-on with all the details of her looks as well as what she wants to focus on during filming. If you watch her “The Icy Life” Youtube series, it shows a lot of the behind-the-scenes of her music videos. She’s incredible and clearly such a hard worker as well as everyone on her team. 

You used all Pulp Riot products for both of these custom color looks. Can you walk us through the coloring process for each look?

Jewel: Pulp Riot is truly the only color line I reach for because it is truly unmatched in its quality. It is quinoa based (which adds moisture to the hair) and it’s basically a treatment with color so the hair comes out looking healthier after the color.

For the hand-painted buzzcut looks, we start by buzzing all one length but leaving the hair a little longer around the hairline to keep it looking realistic. The buzz cuts are done by Charli Boll (@shrunknheads). She is an incredible barber and someone I work alongside frequently. After the hair is buzzed, I hand paint designs into it creating intricate looks like the stained glass buzzcut in the “Best Friend” music video.

For the longer wigs, I apply the color with a comb around the hairline to keep it off of the lace and bring everything back away from the face, to keep everything clean. Then, I rinse with cool water and blow dry using Amika Blockade Heat Defense Serum and Plus Size Perfect Body Mousse when I want hella volume. Heat protectant is very important because heat can fade the color you just took time to apply!

Before working with Saweetie, had you previously colored hair for an artist’s music video?

Jewel: Sort of! I recently did a psychedelic hand-painted buzzcut color for Ruby Rose (cut by Charli Boll) for Bad Bunny’s “Yo Visto Así” music video.

To see more of Jessica’s incredible hair designs, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.

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