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Quick Change: Jill Buck of Nine Zero One Styles Multiple Looks in Minutes on Julianne Hough at Miss USA

Jamie Newman | May 19, 2017 | 8:28 AM
Red-carpet ready in a knotted braid.
Photo By Jill Buck

Nine Zero One Salon stylist Jill Buck found out the true meaning of "quick change" during the Miss USA Pageant at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas this past weekend. 

As Julianne Hough's stylist, who hosted the live, nationally broadcast competition, Buck put her rapid-fire styling skills to the biggest test: live TV.

Buck arrived at midnight on the day of Miss USA to Las Vegas. After a few hours of sleep, she was downstairs by 7:30 am and in hair and makeup with Hough by 8 am. By dress rehearsal, Buck knew what Hough would be wearing during the show, but not the order of when she would be wearing them. That being said, she also didn't yet know the order of hair styles. 

“My goal really was to go from hair down to hair up, just because I knew the changes were so fast, but I literally did the opposite," Buck says. "It was a little ambitious but it worked out.”

If you watched on TV, you saw Hough rocked four different looks during the broadcast, four very different looks. 

Buck wanted to keep the hair modern and fresh. To set a sold styling base for the four looks, hair was prepped first with MarulaOil Rare Oil 3-in-1 Styling Cream, a frizz-fighting, multitasking styling cream, on damp hair before blowing out with a round brush. Then, to create enhanced texture, Buck used Neuro Unclipped Styling Rod & Cone in two sizes, 1” and 1.25", alternating between the irons to avoid creating identical waves in the hair.

The first look of the night was a knotted braid. Buck had the longest time to style this look because it was created pre-show. Buck parted hair down the middle and pulled it into a low ponytail, securing enough to the side that detail can be seen from the front. She then sewed black thread throughout the ponytail to created a knotted look Wrap around the top and bottom to cover rubber bands and lock in the look with a flexible hold hairspray. Ends were smoothed with MarulaOil Rare Oil Treatment Light serum. 

Each commercial break was about four minutes long. In this time crunch, Hough had to run offstage, change hair, clothes, earrings and lip, and make it back on stage before the live filming began again. I just got worn out reading that! Didn't you? Luckily, as a dancer, Hough is used to this sort of thing. 

For the first change, Buck cut the string out of Hough's hair as they ran down the walkway from the stage toward hair and makeup. 

"We were probably working on her hair for a minute and a half I’d say (for each look)," Buck says. "She had to get a lip change, she had to get different jewelry on, and she had to get a different dress. So I cut the elastic out with scissors and then went into a top knot from there. Julianne flipped her head over real quick, and I threw her hair in a ponytail, and then I separated the hair and twisted it different directions, criss-crossed it and pinned, and teased her hair down the walkway (back to the stage) as I sprayed it."

To recreate this textured top knot, first create smooth texture with a brush with boar or boar-like bristles, such as MarulaOil Classic Dressing Brush. Then, smooth hair into a high ponytail, and criss-cross hair to create a structured top knot. Pin hair in place and finish with flexible hold hairspray. 

"From the top knot, she was in a high-neck burgundy dress, which is why I knew I wanted the hair up," Buck explains. "This was the most difficult change, actually, because of the high neck. My hands and Anita’s (the stylist's) hands were both in the same exact spot. I lifted up the hair, waited for Anita to button, and then styled."

For this carefree chignon, Buck created a quick left side part and secured hair into a low ponytail, leaving some pieces out to create texture. She created a chignon by criss-crossing loose pieces and the ends of the ponytail. She finished the look with MarulaOil Rare Oil Perfecting Hairspray

On the final quick change, Hough was pulling bobby pins out of her own hair on the walkway (by Buck's instructions). As Buck tells us, bobby pins were flying! For these voluminous waves, Buck brushed through Hough's curled hair with the MarulaOil Classic Dressing Brush to redistribute product. Then, she flipped Hough's part to the right side, and added one clip-in extension that was already curled. She added MarulaOIl Rare Oil Style Extending Primer so the curls would hold their shape without heat and more hairspray.

The variety in the looks was purposeful to show an array of looks while the camera (and America) was staring at Hough dead-on. 

"My biggest goal with all the looks was to make sure her part, or whatever she looked like from the front, looked different each time," Buck says. "So the first time was a middle part, the second was no part, the third time was a left side part and the fourth time was a right side part."

Buck has been at Nine Zero One Salon for almost five years. She had attended beauty school with one of the salon's owners, Riawna Capri, who had been doing client and friend Hough's hair. After Capri said to Buck that she needed help with Hough's hair because Hough had so many events all the time (times definitely have not changed) Buck has been doing Hough's hair ever since for the past four years, either in conjunction with Capri or exclusively.

This was the first year Buck did Hough's hair for Miss USA, who has hosted the event before. Capri warned Buck that it would be one of the most stressful days of her career, but it certainly was a rewarding and beautiful one. 

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