Beyoncé’s Colorist Reveals the Secret to Beyoncé's Oscars Hair

Two words: Shadow highlights.

Beyonce performing at the 2022 Oscars
(Image credit: Future)

If you found yourself transfixed by Beyoncé’s performance at the 2022 Oscars, you weren't alone. Wearing a lime-green dress and accessories during her inimitable performance of "Be Alive," Beyoncé wore her straightened hair in a middle part, with coloring that started as brown at her scalp before growing gradually lighter as it cascaded past her shoulders. It created a halo-like effect that we're absolutely obsessed with—so we hit up celebrity colorist Rita Hazan, who was responsible for Beyoncé’s look, to discover how the rest of us can achieve this angelic look.

“This look is actually a little more natural because of the multilayered highlights,” says Hazan. “It looks like the sun naturally lightened her hair around the frame of her face and the crown of her head. Whether natural or pin straight hair, like at last night’s performance, this technique of shadow highlights looks so natural, no matter the texture.”

Wondering what you can do to look like this in the sun this summer? First, Hazan lightened Beyonce’s base to a toffee blonde color. Next, she placed ribbons of sun-kissed bright highlights throughout, focusing on framing the face and the ends. “I ended up weaving more highlights throughout the rest of her hair but I also added something really unique,” she says. “You didn’t see it in her performance, but as she wears her hair up in a ponytail, I placed ribbons of highlights underneath that to offer a more comprehensive and polished, yet edgy look.”

“The shadow highlights trend is going to be huge this spring and early summer," she adds. "It’s a shading technique that, if done correctly, anyone can wear and can evolve outside of just blondes—this can also be used on brunettes and redheads.”

If you’re thinking about trying the look at-home, think again. Hazan suggests leaving hair coloring to the pros. “Please do not lighten your hair at home,” she says. “If you are going to recreate this look, please do it with a professional who has a skill in working with blondes.”

Beyonce performing at the 2022 Oscars

(Image credit: Future)

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Gabrielle Ulubay
Beauty Writer

Gabrielle Ulubay is a Beauty Writer at Marie Claire. She has also written about sexual wellness, politics, culture, and fashion at Marie Claire and at publications including The New York Times, HuffPost Personal, Bustle, Alma, Muskrat Magazine, O'Bheal, and elsewhere. Her personal essay in The New York Times' Modern Love column kickstarted her professional writing career in 2018, and that piece has since been printed in the 2019 revised edition of the Modern Love book. Having studied history, international relations, and film, she has made films on politics and gender equity in addition to writing about cinema for Film Ireland, University College Cork, and on her personal blog, Before working with Marie Claire, Gabrielle worked in local government, higher education, and sales, and has resided in four countries and counting. She has worked extensively in the e-commerce and sales spaces since 2020, and spent two years at Drizly, where she developed an expertise in finding the best, highest quality goods and experiences money can buy.

Deeply political, she believes that skincare, haircare, and sexual wellness are central tenets to one's overall health and fights for them to be taken seriously, especially for people of color. She also loves studying makeup as a means of artistic expression, drawing on her experience as an artist in her analysis of beauty trends. She's based in New York City, where she can be found watching movies or running her art business when she isn't writing. Find her on Twitter at @GabrielleUlubay or on Instagram at @gabrielle.ulubay, or follow her art at