Q&A With Expert Hair Colorist Katie Da Silva On Her Top Haircare Tips

Photo Credit: Katie Da Silva

An expert in all things haircare with an emphasis on color and highlights, Katie Da Silva has become one of Miami's top pros in the industry. She treats each client with the utmost care, utilizing cutting-edge methods to color and highlight hair, resulting in a fresh and natural look. From long hair to short, curly to straight, men's to women's—Da Silva will undoubtedly show her impeccable skill in whatever it is she's doing.

Here, we sit down with the color goddess to discuss her top tips for keeping your locks looking their best even in the Miami heat, her hair inspiration, products she can't live without, hair color tricks, celebrity stories and so much more.

HB: What is the craziest request you've ever had? 

KD: I had a client ask to get his hair colored to match his Savannah cat, which was awesome and challenging. I had to think outside the box to obtain the coloring by using celery sticks as stamps and hand-painted the middle of the spots. It came out great! 

HB: Summer and fall in Miami mean extreme heat and humidity. What is your top tip on how to tackle this?

KD: You have to keep the cuticles of your hair closed during the summer/fall to avoid the nightmare of frizz! I suggest my fellow Floridians get a treatment such as "hair Botox" or a formaldehyde-free Keratin that will help keep the humidity out to avoid unmanageable hair. Hair masks and moisturizing conditioners are also great for any time throughout the year. 

Photo Credit: Katie Da Silva

HB: Who is your ultimate hair icon and why?

KD: I have a couple of hair icons. I love the fact Marilyn Monroe was actually a brunette but was most famously pictured for being a blonde. She had a timeless blonde that is still asked for today. I also admire Madonna for being able to change up her color and style throughout time and look great doing so. Jennifer Lopez is another color icon I love because whether she has extensions, a few highlights or darker color, her hair always looks great and brings out her natural beauty. And Kylie Jenner for her bold color selections such as blues, greens, pastels, and pinks, or even her natural dark colors. They're fun and super pretty. Color is expressive and artistic—it should showcase your personal vibe. 

HB: Debunk the biggest hair myth you've ever heard.

KD: The biggest hair myth is that color ruins your hair. If done properly and with care, it can actually make your hair more manageable and even a little bit thicker. There are products out now that can treat your hair as it's coloring and as a stylist, that's a really beneficial thing to be able to offer clients. 

Photo Credit: Katie Da Silva

HB: What's one hair product you can't live without?

KD: Rossano Ferretti Brillante Protective and Shining Oil. I use it on the majority of my clients both before and after styling. It adds the perfect amount of moisture, and it smooths + enhances shine. It helps protect from heat and UV rays, which ultimately helps the color last longer. It's an oil that's not oily but leaves hair silky, which is amazing to me. My clients and I also love the light and luxurious scent of it. It's cruelty-free and has no harsh chemicals, which is important to me when picking out products. 

HB: How do you recommend people upkeep with their hair color?

KD: You have to build a hair color plan with your colorist. Each color requires a different maintenance program plan depending on your hair goals, lifestyle and look you desire. Stylists should keep in mind the best interest for their client's hair. But regardless of how often you need to visit your stylist, the at-home care is super important regarding products you should be using and styling suggestions that can help keep your color as long as possible so you can continue to look and feel your best. 

HB: Walk us through your haircare regimen.

KD: Like Marilyn Monroe, I am a natural light-brown haired girl, but I am a heavily-highlighted platinum blonde and I love being blonde! Keeping a healthy blonde is not the easiest thing to do, but for myself, every time I highlight my hair, I always either use a light Keratin treatment or the "hair botox" to reclose my cuticles and to keep my hair strong. I also use moisturizing shampoos and conditioners to balance out the proteins and keep my hair hydrated. I use a blow dryer that helps prevent heat damage and if I flat iron my hair, I make sure to use a heat protectant and I never put it on the highest temperature. Coconut oil is also a friend of my hair on beach days or when I feel like it's looking a little mad at me. I'm not typically a fan of toners on myself, but I recently fell in love with a professional conditioning toner that gets any brassy hues off me! I'm not a fan of brassy-ness at all, so this was a great find. And I make sure my ends get "dusted" (lightly trimmed) quite often. 

Photo Credit: Katie Da Silva

HB: Who are some celebrities that you've worked with, and who have been your favorite so far?

KD: I've worked on several celebrities, artists, producers, DJ's and models—all of which have uniquely awesome because each of them presents an opportunity to provide professional, fashion-forward hair coloring trends. Recently, I was given a fun hair opportunity to work on DJ Luian to do a hot pink mohawk before an award ceremony. It's an amazing feeling to be able to artistically create a hair color look for someone as creative and talented as he is. That was a special day not only because his hair was one of my favorite looks I've ever done, but he ended up winning! I was so happy for him and was honored and grateful to be a part of that day. My personal goal is that every single person who trusts me with their hair leaves my presence feeling like a rockstar, a beautiful model or simply the very best version of themselves. I believe when you look your best, it helps make you feel your best. With positive energy like that, great things can happen!

HB: Why did you get into hairstyling?

KD: I got into hairstyling at a very early age. I used to love coloring my Barbie's hair and styling them, but I knew this was going to be something I wanted to do seriously when I was a young girl. My grandmother was an oncology social worker at a hospital in South Florida. She was very involved with an organization that would throw fashion shows for women who have undergone cancer treatments. I went with her one year to help her out. I understand why she loved what she did for a living. When the women I witnessed told their stories and then underwent makeovers with wigs, hair styling, and makeup techniques, I saw these women transform from not feeling so great into something so inexplicably beautiful. I remember crying because their insides were so spectacular and strong from what they had to go through and then observing the moment they saw themselves for the first time after being made over in the mirror made them literally glow on the outside. However, I know the glow truly came from within. Being a stylist is not only about opportunities to fix just outward appearance, but it's a gift to be able to spend time with people, get to know them, hear their stories and be there for them. Being able to help people look better on the outside is a gift, but the time you get to share while you're in that process is what I fell in love with, and why I love being a stylist so much. It's the people. 

Photo Credit: Katie Da Silva

HB: What advice would you give new stylists getting into the industry?

KD: I would tell them that hard work and a passion for people is essential. Our industry is so special because we get to be creative and help others in such a rewarding way and it is a gift.  I would encourage them to seek out education always. It's important to understand the classic techniques of our work, so you can then learn to think outside the box as an artist. I don't believe in overnight success in any field, but I trust that if you keep your heart in the right place, be professional, stay humble and maintain your integrity, you'll succeed. Good things can manifest because of that.  

You can find Katie Da Silva in Miami Beach or Boca Raton - reach out via Instagram @itskatiek_ or her website www.itskatiek.com.