When people think of Paramore, Hayley Williams’ bright orange hair is one of the first images that comes to mind. Now, in a new interview, Williams has revealed what inspired her to dye her hair orange in the first place, explaining that she wanted to create an “anime version” of her younger self.
“I saw a picture of myself as a baby, and I had bright orange hair,” Williams told W Magazine. “I didn’t realize that, for a short period of time, I was a little redheaded baby.” Inspired by this discovery, Williams began trying to recreate her redheaded past by employing pharmacy-bought dyes, but everything changed when Paramore went to Japan on tour in 2006.
“Japan was my heaven,” Williams said, citing Harajuku fashion and FRUiTS magazine as influences. “My standards were raised a little bit… I had already been box dyeing my hair for a while, but I really, really wanted to try things that were either bolder or just more fun.”
So, when she returned stateside, Williams teamed up with Nashville-based hairstylist Brian O’Connor, who augmented her ‘do with three different shades of bright orange, yellow, and red. Add in the “edgy, angular cut,” and voilà, the “anime version” of Williams’ younger self was born, and went on to become a cemented symbol of pop-punk history.
Since then, Williams and O’Connor have teamed up again for their own brand of hair dye, called Good Dye Young. “[My orange hair] became something that I was known for,” Williams said. “The hair was always a part of the interviews or the reviews. That was the beginning of our creative collaboration, which ultimately led to us starting a company together.”
If you want to see Williams’ iconic locks yourself, you can do so at one of Paramore’s upcoming dates on their ongoing tour. Check out the full list of dates, and grab your tickets here. This past week at Madison Square Garden, the band brought out Lil Uzi Vert to perform their hit “Misery Business,” one night after Williams broke up a fight in the audience from onstage.