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In The Chair With: Dior Sovoa


Photo: Courtesy of Dior Sovoa.

“In The Chair” spotlights the incredible hairstylists in our community who are giving us major inspiration. Each week, they discuss their personal hair and career journeys, what they’ve learned from their clients, and their top hair care tips. 

Celebrity hairstylist Dior Sovoa is fresh off of the Merry Christmas One and All! tour with the undisputed queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey. “The tour was amazing. I got to work with nothing but top tier people,” the Washington-native tells ESSENCE. “This was not just a once in a lifetime experience of me doing her hair, it was also a once in a lifetime experience to see how it all comes together, how great minds think alike, and to put on a good show for the people.” 

He’s been working with the “All I Want For Christmas”  songstress since 2017, in addition to people like Cicely Tyson, Patti Labelle, and more. “The main thing that makes me want to continue to pursue this career is that I love making people feel beautiful and confident about themselves,” he says. “As Black people, we’re always told that we’re not the beauty standard, but in actuality we are the beauty standard.”

Sovoa got his start from working in salons throughout highschool before he opened up his own salon in New York and worked on shows like Love & Hip-Hop, The View, and Good Morning America. Sovoa’s passion for hair came naturally to him,  in large part thanks to his mother being a hairstylist. “It was something that I saw her love. It put a smile on her face, even through her health conditions,” he says. “She just kept persevering until God called her home. I think I’m taking over her journey and finishing up what God had in store for her.”

In The Chair With: Dior Sovoa
Photo: Courtesy of Dior Sovoa.

His favorite product

“My favorite product right now is the Ya-Man Blow Dry + Scalp Massage. It was the main thing I used on Mariah during the tour. It’s one of the best blow-dryers that I have come across because it has red light therapy, which promotes hair growth. It was definitely something that was needed – in between me doing these treatments and hair masks on her hair. The red light therapy ensured her hair wouldn’t become too stressed out, and remain healthy.”

His favorite hairstyle

“I’m always with the Queen, so I would say the CurlyRiah. It’s become one of my favorite looks. I think I’m the only one who gets her CurlyRiah right. So for me, I think that would be my most iconic look. We love doing that look on each other.”

His healthy hair tips

My top healthy hair tips would be to always keep your hair hydrated, especially during the wintertime. You should do a hair mask at least once a week, if not once every two weeks when it’s time to get your hair done. You definitely want to stay hydrated, drink plenty of water of course. I also always tell people to rinse their hair in cool water when they’re rinsing out the conditioner so that the conditioner can be locked in. It’s also important to protect your hair. Always use a silk pillowcase or have a silk bonnet on your hair because you don’t want your hair to snag and break.”

The hair care myth he wants to debunk

“You don’t need to grease your scalp with a whole bunch of grease every other day. You can grease your scalp once a week. You do not need to put all this grease on your hair. Your hair is going to become weighed down in all of that. We were always told that you must grease your hair to keep it growing and all of that. But what you really need to do is keep your hair hydrated. It does not have to be greased so much. We don’t want anybody walking outside looking like fried chicken.”

What he’s learned from his clients

“The main thing that I’ve learned from Mariah is that the grind continues. No matter how big you are, you continue to work like you’re new to the industry. She’s one of the hardest working women that I’ve been around. I’m always around a bunch of strong-minded women and I love that for me. I always remind myself that they went for it, so why can’t I go for it? They’ve shown me we all have the capacity to do anything.”

How he uplifts his clients

“I always tell my client, you’re who God made you to be. So you’re the baddest in his eyes.”


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