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Behind the Look: Celebrity Stylists Give New Meaning to "Going Platinum"

We’re taking a look at three stylists minting the new platinum standard in hair

If you’ve been scrolling IG reels lately, you know that icy locks are having a moment. No longer relegated to the high fantasy genre, platinum blonde hair has been spotted on a number of style icons of late, establishing itself as one of the first big beauty trends of 2023.

There’s no denying the effortless cool of the icy blonde look, but maintaining the style is anything but breezy. So how do stars like Machine Gun Kelly, Miley Cyrus, and Billie Eilish pull it off (without bleaching their hair into oblivion)? We’re taking a look at how three celebrity stylists (and Boulevard clients!) helped these in-the-spotlight trendsetters go platinum.

Meet the team behind MGK’s glacial locks

mgk team

Machine Gun Kelly gave new meaning to looking sharp at the AMAs, but the now-iconic purple suit aside, MGK’s icy blonde updated shag is its own fashion statement. The team behind the hairstyle is the dynamic duo Aaron King and Cassondra Kaeding, co-owners of the Los Angeles hair salon Crâne.

Aaron, a SoCal native with a background in arts, was responsible for shaping MGK’s distinct cut. He finds his inspiration in fashion, beauty, and art, but his approach to haircuts is practical and down-to-earth, which has earned him a roster of celebrity clients like Taron Egerton, Zach Braff, and John Krasinski. When COVID-19 closed down barbershops, Aaron took to YouTube to teach people how to trim short hair at home. He is known for his precision cutting technique and runway-ready styling, which came in handy when Kelly accepted the award for Best Rock Artist sporting the distinctive (but very on-brand) ‘do. 

And let’s not forget that color! The effortless platinum is courtesy of Cassondra Kaeding, who received her colorist training from Paul Mitchell. Like Aaron, she’s amassed an impressive list of celebrity clients, including Natalie Portman, Kylie Jenner, and Rooney Mara. 

Cassondra is also the artist behind Miley Cyrus’ latest platinum transformation. The headline-making pop star has changed her look numerous times since leaving her Disney teen icon days in the past, and she rang in the new year with a gorgeous platinum look that throws it back to Old Hollywood glamour.

How Benjamin Mohapi made Billie Eilish “reel blonde”

billie eilish blonde

Remember when Billie Eilish went blonde and the world went wild? Eilish’s stunning makeover inspired a wave of “reel blonde” looks that soon took over TikTok. The “hyper modern, beautifully toned, raw blonde” color is the masterwork of UK-born, Los Angeles-based stylist Benjamin Mohapi, who transformed Billie’s signature green and black hair to classic platinum blonde over the course of four bleach sessions. Like Miley’s platinum ‘do, Billie’s blonde look echoes back to Old Hollywood, but Benjamin said he also wanted Billie’s hair to remain true to who she is — and if the resulting Vogue cover is any indication, he succeeded. Billie’s hair looks glamorous but modern, still very much undone and unrestricted. 

Trained in storied London hair salons under legends like John Frieda, Nicky Clarke, and Daniel Galvin, Benjamin eventually made his way stateside, launching his own brand BENJAMIN with a flagship salon in West Hollywood and a second location in NYC. Before that, Benjamin worked as a session stylist and has editorial credits in GQ, Marie Claire, and Vogue. He developed a reputation for his impeccable craft and desire to make hair salons approachable and inclusive, especially for clients that may be intimidated by the road to platinum hair. 

Blonde is luxurious, but it’s certainly not an extravagance reserved for celebrities. And as bright platinum hair continues to dominate heads and hearts, more clients may be asking you to take their hair to icy tones. Whether you’re influenced by Old Hollywood glamor or want to push platinum into the future, take inspiration from these three hair stylists next time you’re mixing up a batch of lightener.

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