BellaSugar Interview: Carlos Rodriguez, Celebrity Colorist at Privé Salon


You know those amazing cuts and colors that make you stop and go, "Oh my gosh, I have to know—who does her hair?!"? Well, take a look at Kristin Chenoweth, who's starring in the fall show Pushing Daisies. I love this modern cut, and the depth of the color is beautiful. The man behind Kristin's new hue is Carlos Rodriguez of Privé Salon in Los Angeles. With 23 years in the business, he knows how to create contemporary, beautiful color. Along with coloring Kristin's hair, he's worked with Paulina Rubio, Kim Raver (you know, Audrey from 24), Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster.

I spoke with Carlos this week, and he was nice enough to share the details of Kristin's hair color—along with his thoughts on hair trends for fall. There's a wealth of expert information, so read on!

I love Kristin’s color—it looks really fresh and contemporary. Did you come up with the idea for the color, or did she?
It was a co-collaboration. We wanted to create a current, modern feel and look to the hair, while keeping in mind her new role. We started with a blonde base. I wanted to warm it up by using caramel and honey tones to create dimension. Then I went back in and painted some face-framing highlights in baby blonde tones. They draw out Kristin’s beautiful blue eyes. It shows off the shape of the cut, too.

For more about Kristin's color, along with Carlos' advice on avoiding the biggest mistake you can make with your colorist, read more

Short of going to see you at Privé, of course, if people want to get Kristin’s hair at their own salon, what should they tell their stylist?
I recommend warming your base all over. Create a nice, light, caramelly honey-ish tone. Go back and do some face-framing highlights.

What’s the best way to find a colorist?
I think the best thing is to not be fearful. Go in and interview hair colorists. Show them the images and tones you like, and moreso, what you don’t like. The number-one mistake a client can make is not communicating. Of course, it takes two parties—but being able to communicate about what clients like and don’t like is essential to create synergy.

What are some of the color trends this fall?
As we’re approaching fall, for brunettes, I like rich chocolate hair that shines and has that magazine-cover polish to it. I think for someone who’s more daring, why not play with auburn tones? I’m creating nice auburn tones and adding moments of cinnamon to create dimension.

And how do you get that kind of shiny hair?
I do a tone-on-tone color. I recommend having hair color professionally done and following up with a rich gloss. But honestly, for the individual who wants to play at home, there are some great gloss products on the market. I think for someone who wants to experiment without any serious damage, use a type of product very close to what your natural color is. If you’re going to experiment at home, make sure you stay within the range of your natural color.

What about fall shades for redheads and blondes?
Fiery copper with honey added to it to break it up is definitely “now” for fall. For a dark blonde who wants to brighten up her hair, try a couple tones in hand-painted highlights. They draw out the tones in the hair.

You work in Los Angeles. Do most of your clients want to go blonde?
I think we get a nice mix. More than anything, the client I have wants her hair to look beautiful. It’s about shine and maintaining the integrity of the hair. I’d rather have clients hear, “Gosh, you look great!” rather than, “Oh, you colored your hair.”

Is there any hair color that is terribly dated, that definitely needs to change?
Absolutely. Eggplant—that purple tone. It went out in the early ‘80s. The other one is having white-ish streaks on brown hair. Those are the hair color jobs you know were done at the mall. That gets me even more than eggplant.

You’ve been in the business for 23 years. How did you get your start?
I took a cosmetology course in high school on the advice of a friend because I needed electives. It worked out very well!

  • Privé Salon is at 7373 Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles (323-931-5559).

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