Braid Tips Straight From Lady Gaga's ArtRave Hairstylist

To say Lady Gaga's got a thing for hair would be the greatest understatement this side of Tuesday. She probably has an entire wardrobe stacked with wigs on wigs on wigs. Heck, the girl's written an entire song dedicated to manes. So, when word finally got out about her ultra-secretive ArtRave, we a.) had a mini — okay, obnoxiously big — fangirl moment and b.) started pondering what in the world she's going to dress her team of models and performers in.
Lucky for us, we didn't have to ponder too long, as Wella invited us backstage to get the full rundown on the evening's hair. Twenty-seven models, three futuristic hairstyles, and a one styling mastermind later, and ArtRave was officially ready to roll.
We caught up Wella Professional stylist Kayla MiChele to talk all things from working with Gaga, the Haus, and braids — so many braids. Who'd a thought Lady Gaga could do Game of Thrones and Blade Runner so well? Oh, wait, that's not even a question. She would, she so would.
Where did the inspiration behind each of the three looks come from?
“The inspiration came from the Haus of Gaga. They developed this entire ArtRave party. Everything, including the people working the door to the bartender models, has looks planned out. It’s very theatrical. The inspiration came from the party itself.”
What contributions did Lady Gaga give?
“The Haus began the process with the clothes and went on to the hair after that. They found references and gave them to me to sift through. Working with the Haus was amazing. They were incredibly positive throughout the entire process.”
So, if they essentially planned it all out, how did you bring your own flair to the looks?
“I did! Absolutely. Some of the looks were a little dated or prom-y; the braided one, especially. The original reference for that was a little too frizzy with perfect curls at the end. I felt that was too much like a prom look. So, I put my own twist on it, made it more natural and modern.”
What’s the secret behind the braid?
“The real secret is we added extensions to bulk it up from the beginning. If you don’t use extensions, the braid becomes too fine and loses its impact.”
How about the loop ponytail?
“The was essentially a low pony looped under itself to create a variation on the chignon — a loopy chignon.”
What’s your favorite look?
“I really love the braid. Every girl has said it’s totally different and that they would never think of wearing their hair like that. It’s more fun! We’ve seen slicked back chignons million times, anyway.”

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