NYLON/ photo courtesy of Schwarzkopf


Dove Cameron Has Been Dyeing Her Hair Since She Was 8 Years Old — Exclusive

The new Schwarzkopf ambassador on hair transformations, LED masks, and the most Capricorn thing she does with her boyfriend.

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Dove Cameron has been obsessed with the idea of transformation since she was eight years old. While her peers were just starting to dabble in lip glosses and nail polish, Cameron was dyeing her own hair at home — with henna at first, and then eventually graduating to boxed dye. “Once I realized I could put colored streaks in my hair, it was all f*cking over for everybody,” she says. “I became a box-dye girlie from the time that I was in the single digits.”

Twenty years later, Cameron is just as much of a hair color chameleon. Over the past six months, she’s debuted burgundy red, espresso brown, and honey-blonde hair colors with the help of her longtime colorist, Jacob Rozenberg, and hair color brand Schwarzkopf. “Jacob and I have used the brand quite a lot in the past,” she says. “He makes a special sauce with Schwarzkopf formulas that do magic to my hair.” It feels like kismet that today, Schwarzkopf announces Dove Cameron as an official brand ambassador, where she’ll join the ranks of Sofia Vergara, Chris Appleton and Troye Sivan to help promote the brand’s in-salon and at-home color products. Though Cameron considers her many hair transformations a “huge part” of her identity as a musician and actor, she’s content to stay her current mid-toned blond (a shade that most closely mimics her natural color), using Schwarzkopf’s Keratin Blonde when she’s on tour to keep her color bright — at least, until the next transformation comes calling.

Ahead, Cameron speaks with NYLON exclusively about her all-time favorite hair colors, how being a Capricorn affects her beauty habits, and the perks of sharing her skin care with her boyfriend.

Courtesy of Schwarzkopf

Do you remember what made you first become interested in beauty?

It started when I was really young — which was funny because I grew up with a mother who didn’t wear a stitch of makeup and maybe ran a brush through her hair once in the morning. She wore clear nail polish and jeans every day, but she was always very effortlessly glamorous. She wore rings on every finger, and she colored her hair bright, fire-engine red. So I always knew that there was an art to how you presented yourself to the world.

But I think I started my beauty journey out of necessity because my skin was really dry as a kid. So my mom ended up putting her very nice, grown-up moisturizer on my skin, and I was like, “Wow, this is so cool.” And then, I was also in the theater, so I was wearing a lot of makeup and wigs.

How has your relationship with beauty evolved as you’ve grown up?

I think I always used beauty to express myself. I went to India a lot as a little kid — because my parents’ business was out of India — and it was very popular to dye your hair with henna, so I was dyeing my hair by the time I was eight. I was obsessed with the idea of different characters and transformation, and that definitely seeps into my music. It’s a huge part of my acting identity.

What is your favorite hair color that you’ve ever had?

It’s really hard. I love my platinum blond; one day when my hair has had a little bit of a break, I’m going back to it. It’s just so much maintenance. I’m doing my hair all the time and using so much heat that I would have to really commit to that for a while. But also I really love the espresso — that was such an important time in my life, that I’ll also probably go back to that again one day.

The hair color I have now is pretty close to my natural blond. Jacob [Rozenberg] and Schwarzkopf were able to get me back to nearly my natural color with some honey highlights and some low tones — there was so much brown dye beneath it that it was quite the experiment to get us here. But I feel very myself in all three of those hair colors — it’s just which self I’m feeling like in that era.

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What goes into the decision when you decide to dye your hair?

I get bored with everything except for my natural color, because it works best with my skin tone and my eyebrows and my eye color. It’s really not cerebral as much as it is a feeling.

I very impulsively dyed my hair brown. I think there was this huge collective feeling that I had done it in tandem with coming out of the closet and releasing “Boyfriend” and stepping into a new, more masculine, darker era, when I really hadn’t. I had dyed my hair months before that song ever came out. It was like I needed to shed everything that I was before and try something new. [Hair color] is always highly emotional for me. This [blonde] color was instinctive, too; it felt like time to return to an equilibrium that felt closer to home.

What are some of your best hair maintenance tips?

I try to stick by the general rules of keeping heat off of it. If I want to create a natural wave, I twist my hair into a low bun and let it air dry. I’ve been using a lot of castor oil — it works kind of as a gel, because I love to slick my hair into a very simple ballerina low bun or low braid or low pony. It feels practical and also classic and beautiful and expensive.

At home, I would use Schwarzkopf Keratin Blonde Pearl Blonde, as it lifts and tones the hair and includes a purple conditioner to keep the brassiness out. I’m a big fan of that these days.

What else is a part of your everyday beauty routine?

I have very dry skin, so I can’t use anything that strips my skin of any oils. But I’m lucky; my skin care is extremely low maintenance. I use three products. I use an oil cleanser — I have used the Shu Uemura Oil Cleanser for seven years now, and it really has changed my skin. I use the Clarins Double Serum, and then I use a very thick Weleda Skin Food cream. It’s super simple.

Anytime I’ve tried to introduce something fancy or new, my skin absolutely hates it. All of these $400 creams, my skin says, “Absolutely f*cking not.” It’s funny because I think people think I’m really excessive. The part where I am excessive is I have this Déesse LED face mask. My boyfriend simply calls it “the face.” The first time he walked into my room and he saw it plugged in on the floor he was like, “What the f*ck is that?” And I was like, “Don’t worry; you’re fine. You’ll live through the night.” Now he uses it.

Do you use it every day?

It’s more like every third day, because I don’t normally have the time. I put the mask on, lay down on a yoga mat, and do the thing where you put your legs up the wall for lymphatic drainage. I’ll do it at the end of the night to wind down and make sure my skin care is really seeping in before I go to bed. That’s one of the weirdest beauty things I do, because if you came into my house and you saw me lying at a 90-degree angle reading my book with this American Psycho face mask on, I think you’d panic. But I’m a Capricorn — I’m so practical, I can’t justify sitting still for 20 minutes.

Is there anything else in your beauty routine that you share with your boyfriend, [Måneskin’s Damiano David]?

He’s a pretty good self-care guy. He’s got his own skin care routine. The first time he showed me his skin care, I thought, “I’m so in love with you.” He loves perfumes and colognes and puts products in his hair — which I find very attractive. I love a well-maintained partner. He’s also a Capricorn, so it’s funny; it’s something that we do together at the end of the night.

Before the Met Gala, he was saying, “Show me all your witchcraft. Let’s dive in.” I wish I had more to do, I was trying to rack my brain for weirder sh*t. One night when we were very short on sleep, I think he recommended we do an ice bowl — which was incredible. Then, I love the Kora turmeric mask for double whammy for pigmentation and exfoliation. We’ll do a cheap sheet mask together, which is always funny because it doesn’t fit his face. And then we’ll do the LED mask together, but that’s rare. He’s got his own thing. He’s such a good natured, sweet human being, I’m very lucky. If I said “I want to paint your nails and put crazy sh*t on your face,” he would be like, “Let’s do it.”