There’s a lot about the Vogue images featuring White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that may stop a reader in their tracks. There’s the striking red suit she’s wearing. The unwavering expression on her face. And the hair. Oh, that hair. It is full of body, the most perfect auburn-blonde shade to compliment her skin and frames her face in just the right way. If you are a woman, who like Jean-Pierre, wears natural hair, you most certainly will also notice that her natural curls are on full display in what many call “The Fashion Bible.”
The importance of Jean-Pierre’s natural look being featured inVogue is not lost on the man behind her hairstyling for the shoot. Dior Sovoa has been styling the White House press secretary for almost years and says he is her go-to hairstylist whenever she visits New York. He was tapped for the Vogue feature, he says, likely because of his attention to both aesthetics and hair health.
“I think I am the only hairstylist who actually has taken the time out to take care of her hair as well as doing it. I think that’s what’s made me stand out,” Sovoa told 21Ninety. “I’m going to take care of your hair before we do any type of styling. I want you to be 60, 70, 80 years old, hopefully you make it to 150 if you can and still be able to rock your natural tresses. She’s always calling me about hair care advice.”
Sovoa traveled to the White House, where the shoot took place, to style Jean-Pierre’s hair. The look was a half rod set that included some clip-ins that were colored and curled a few days before the cameras started clicking.
“I colored a couple of pieces beforehand before we came to set. I preset those, curled them. Her hair was kind of curled in sets the day before. All I had to do was fluff her hair out, put the other pieces in and literally tease it and give it, its own look.” Sovoa said.
On the day of the shoot, Sovoa says he wished he had more time to get the job done but overall he’s thrilled with how Jean-Pierre’s hair turned out. He says for women like the White House press secretary, whose natural tresses are also color treated, hair maintenance in key.
“Treatments, treatments, treatments. Put a treatment in your hair once a week if not twice a week. I always say get a moisturizer that will penetrate deep into your follicles and get a hair steamer,” Sovoa advised.
When reflecting on the Vogue feature, the hairstylist, says its a full circle moment for him. Sovoa was born and raised in D.C. and watched his mother work as a hairstylist growing up.
“Not only am I living my dream but I’m living her dream as well,” Sovoa said.
It’s a dream that has included working with a variety of celebrities such as Patti Labelle, Mariah Carey and Whoopi Goldberg. And for Sovoa, Jean-Pierre’s appearance in Vogue is a message he feels Black women, especially younger ones, need to see.
“That’s something that every young girl needs to see. We don’t need to see all rappers or actresses all the time,” Sovoa explained. “Sometimes we need to see a doctor, lawyer or the madame press secretary inside these magazines looking beautiful and showing their natural beauty.”