EXCLUSIVE: How Doja Cat's Hairstylist Created Not One, But Two Ornate Braid Looks For The 2021 Billboard Music Awards

Celebrity hairstylist Jared Henderson on how Joico's products brought the looks to life.
Getty Images/Rich Fury
By Blake Newby · May 24, 2021

There was certainly no shortage of Black girl beauty magic at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards last night. With more energetic looks than we’ve seen in awhile in both the beauty and fashion categories, we witnessed bold makeup, bold outfits and even bolder hair. Especially, when it came to Doja Cat. Rocking not one but two intricate braid styles for the festivities, hair magician Jared Henderson was behind the standout looks that made Doja a clear hair victor for the night.

For the red carpet, Henderson styled the entertainer’s hair in a triple-braided ponytail look that was secured at the ends to create a buoyant effect. For her baby hair, he ornately laid two small but statement strands of hair draping the forehead with a subtle hint of sideburn decoration alongside the temples.

Courtesy of Jared Henderson

When it came to the “Planet Her Afro Futurism Vibes” for her onstage performance of ‘Kiss Me More’ with Sza, the ultra-laid wig, according to Henderson, was a product of all Joico products. “Once flat-ironed, I parted the hair straight down the middle into two equal sections and sprayed the hair with Joico JoiMist Firm Finishing Spray,” he tells ESSENCE. “Then I brushed each section into a low ponytail and blowdried with a concentrator on low heat setting and secure the ponytails with hair bands.” Once applying a dime-size amount of Joico K-PAK Color Therapy Luster Lock Glossing Oil in the palms of his hands, and running it through the ponytail sections to add shine and moisture, he braided each section and then wrap the braids with silver hair wire. “I then added two long side-burn braids with silver sings on the ends,” he says. “Once the hairstyle was completely finished, he sealed the style with Joico Power Spray to hold the look in place for “Doja to do all the hair whips and tosses on stage!”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – MAY 23: In this image released on May 23, Doja Cat performs onstage for the 2021 Billboard Music Awards, broadcast on May 23, 2021 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for dcp)

To complement Henderson’s masterpieces was the artistry of makeup expert Ernesto Casillas who too, created two different looks. One, a dramatic cut-crease with accents of blue to play off of Doja’s red carpet top, and a smokier contoured lid with stark-white dotted adornments. It’s safe to say that we can always count on the star to give us something out-of-the-box, and her glam team last night clearly, understood the assignment.