Ursula Stephen on Acing Zendaya’s ‘Challengers’ Press Tour Hair


Celebrity hairstylist Ursula Stephen and her buzziest client, Zendaya, turned out HAIRSTYLES for the “Challengers” global press tour. With blonde as a base, Stephen experimented with length, texture and accessories in service of creating as much interest around the spicy, Guadagnino-helmed sports film as possible. No surprise, Stephen aced the assignment with the internet obsessing over each and every stop.

The Tease connected with Stephen before the movie opened in theaters and she generously shared details about the creative process and her styling essentials. Scroll for more!

Zendaya’s frequent collaborator Law Roach always talks about “the story” that they’re telling with fashion. For the “Challengers” press tour, hair is a major part of that story with Zendaya going newly blonde. We’re seeing experimentation with shapes, texture and length, plus daytime and nighttime events. Talk to us about hair design for the tour, beyond color. What was the plan for these looks? Is there collaboration?

Ursula Stephen: Law [Roach] wanted to keep the looks for this press run very young and sporty but also chic beautiful and soft. He has so many beautiful and intentional looks. Once he decides her look for the day he tells what he envisions and I execute.

With Zendaya going blonde for this tour, how were you maintaining her hair’s integrity? Are there specific blonde maintenance products that you leaned on? Please share!

Stephen: Although we are trying our best to stay away from excessive heat with the blonde transformation,  we are heavily leaning on SexyHair Prep Me Heat Protection Blow Dry Primer and SexyHair Protect Me Hot Tool Protection Spray to keep the hair as safe as possible.

How about care and styling products for all of these looks? What are your must-haves for hairstyling on the go?

Stephen: In addition to the heat protection, we’ve been playing with extensions from The Hair Shop to give a range of looks throughout the tour. We’ve been able to from short to long, bangs to no bangs, all with some clip ins. 

Which look has been your favorite so far and how did it come together?

Stephen: The London look with the braided ponytail was my favorite! It was such a hair moment, but the hair complimented the outfit so well. 

For more from Stephen, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

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