Beauty,  Hair

The Scandal Look: Olivia Pope Hair

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Blaq Vixen Beauty tackles how to get Olivia Pope hair seasons 1-6.

Updated: 7 July 2016

She may not be a saint, but Olivia Pope’s hair looks as if Jesus and his disciples descended from above to whip her tresses into waves of glory. Her feathered flip is as cool as her shade of pinkish nude lipstick. Linda Villalobos, hairstylist for Kerry Washington on Scandal, recently joined Twitter. Tweeting from @layersofbeauty, here is what the hair pro shared with us about Olivia’s hair evolution on the show:

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 1

Olivia Pope Hair in Season 1

Please note that if the following narrative sounds discombobulated, it’s because I pieced this story together from Ms. Villalobos’s tweets.

Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) wears her natural hair on Scandal
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) wears her natural hair on Scandal

The whole process takes 40 minutes to an hour. Villalobos preps Kerry’s natural hair with a heat protectant. Since Olivia’s natural hair pattern is wavy and curly instead of kinky, her strands are easy to straighten with low heat. Sometimes, Kerry wears clip-ins for depth and more bounce. If you look closely, some of the clip-ins vary in tone and color to make the hair more interesting.

Villalobos broke down Olivia’s hair looks to The Cut through the seasons. She summarized:

When Olivia first started working with the president, her hair was curlier, fuller, and longer with bangs. She had a younger, fresher look. After all that’s happened with the president, her hair became straighter, reflecting that she was ready to start a new life. It was a freer look that’s still conservative, but more approachable.

Olivia Pope Hair by Celebrity Hairstylist Nadia Vassell

Here, celebrity hairstylist Nadia Vassell shared a YouTube video in which she details what she uses to give her clients Olivia Pope’s scandalous hair. She prefers to use the Mizani ThermaSmooth Thermal Smoothing System, which is an “in-salon service that is designed to repair, smooth and protect your hair from the shampooing stage to the finish.”

Olivia Pope Hair in Five Steps

Here’s the magic behind the blowout in five steps (all products can be found on

  1. Linda curls Washington’s hair. Depending on the style, she uses a BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Marcel Curling Iron. Other times, a plain flat iron (possibly a BaByliss PRO Nano Titanium Straightening Iron) does the job.
  2. For the edges, Villalobos depends on a Cortex Professional Steamliner Vapor Iron Hair Straightener.
  3. Next, to create Pope’s distinct style, she pin-curls Washington’s hair.
  4. Finally, she brushes the curls for bounce and volume.
  5. Paul Mitchell Super Clean Spray sets the style.

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 2

olivia pope hair in season 2

For glossy strands, the lead hairstylist uses Sebastian Cellophane In-Glossing Treatment in Espresso Brown. This treatment is, according to Aspiring Socialite, “only available in salons and has protein-rich infusers that illuminate every strand. This heat-activated formula enhances color without damaging hair and is both peroxide and ammonia-free.” However, you can buy it from

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 2 (cont.)

Villalobos adds, “I try not to put too much product in her hair because I love for her hair to move. I like for her hair to bounce, be free and look shiny.” In addition, she uses the Rene Furterer Fioravanti line. She did not name the exact product, but I think Linda uses the Clarify and Shine Rinse. In season two, Olivia wears sleeker hair with a “slight bump for body and fullness.” When Kerry’s hair is straight, the hair vet uses Rene Furtherer Myrrh Anti-Frizz No Rinse Silkening Fluid to keep it smooth.

Olivia Pope hair in season 2

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 3

As for season three, Villalobos says, “We kept it straight, but she’s a little bit more active. And we don’t get too fancy with hair color because that’s not her character.” To protect her hair while swimming, Olivia opts for a Speedo Bubble Silicone Swim Cap.

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 4

Olivia Pope Pink Mauve Nude

I have noticed since season 4 premiered, this post is my most popular for the multifaceted heroine. Unfortunately, Villalobos has not shared any new information about Olivia’s hair. However, based on the numerous tweets I’ve read, you all are still enamored with her espresso brown-tinted tresses. Me too! However, I did do a mini post about Olivia’s vacation tresses in #Scandal 4 x 1: Back to Life (From the Beach), Back to Reality (Hair).

Olivia Pope Hair Regimen: Season 6

I’m skipping season 4-5 so I can share my thoughts on Olivia Pope’s hair for season 6.

Olivia Pope Hair: Her Bridal Bun Inspired by Janelle Monae

For Scandal‘s 100th episode, we saw Olivia’s natural hair take center stage in an alternate reality. As a treat, she dazzled us with her fabulous, pearl-adorned, bridal high bun she wore for her wedding to Fitz. Incidentally, Washington tweeted to Janelle Monae that our favorite fixer was inspired by the singer’s chic Golden Globes cropped ‘do:


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