Hayley Williams No Longer Resents Her Signature Red Hair

The Paramore lead singer and founder of Good Dye Young talks to InStyle about the power of dyeing your hair and launching her brand at Ulta.

Hayley Williams Good Dye Young

Ash Hurst

When a certain physical feature becomes synonymous with who you are, it's only natural that you may try to find other ways to define yourself. Take Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams's signature red hair, which launched 1,000 dye jobs. What once was the major signifier for Williams, now a co-founder of hair-color brand Good Dye Young, became something she had to learn to fall in love with all over again with the help of Brian O'Connor, her longtime colorist and brand co-founder.

"Brian was very adamant that I learned to own that — because for a while, it just started to feel like it belonged to the world," Williams tells InStyle over Zoom. "It was just another note or a line in an article about Paramore. Like, 'Oh, the flame-headed Hayley' or 'fire-headed Hayley Williams.' I think I started to resent that."

Now, the singer is going back to her roots — literally, with that classic, red-hot shade — and using her brand to encourage others to also embrace bold hair color. As of May, fans can now find its offerings at Ulta, both online and in stores nationwide.

The partnership with Ulta is a longtime dream for Williams, who started the brand with O'Connor in 2016 as a way to challenge the stigma of coloring hair in loud, bright hues. Since then, she's seen vivid hair colors become a bigger part of people's lives — including her mom's, who wears hot-pink hair even in her current post as a professor at Belmont University — and hopes that this expansion will help others overcome their fear of dyeing their hair.

"It's so accessible, and that's our biggest thing," she says. "We want people to access us. We want anyone to be able to come to this party and sit at this table. We couldn't be more stoked about this."

"It's also encouraging that people who work at Ulta and their team are going to be able to speak to [the brand] more, which is only going to help us," says O'Connor. This marks the fourth major retailer for the brand and cements its place as the first semi-permanent hair-color company sold at Ulta. Fans can now find hero products, like the DYEPosit conditioning mask and the Semi-Perm hair dye, which comes in vibrant colors like purple and fuchsia, at the major beauty shopping mecca. Also up for grabs is Starter Kit, an Ulta-exclusive that includes everything you need to dye your hair if you're a hair-coloring newbie.

Hayley Williams Good Dye Young

Courtesy Good Dye Young

Beyond the beauty front, it's been quite a year for Williams and her bandmates, too. Paramore recently opened for Taylor Swift's Eras Tour, during which Williams' says she likes to keep her backstage room filled with incense and herbal tea.

The band is also experiencing a renaissance, thanks to (what else?) TikTok. While die-hard fans have had Paramore songs in regular rotation on their playlists for years, they're now reaching a brand-new audience through the app. FYP pages are flooded with TikTok challenges set to "Still Into You" and — most surprisingly to Williams — "All I Wanted," a song she says almost didn't make it onto their third album. The band is loving the renewed attention, she says.

"We've been in the business for almost 20 years, but we're still making new fans; we're so honored," she says. "It makes what we do feel like there's just new life injected into it in a way that we weren't expecting."

While you can never really plot what the next TikTok sound will take off next, if she had her pick of which songs she'd like to see go viral, it would be "Running Out of Time." "When I think about that song, I think about people showing their morning routines and speeding up the video," she says. And maybe, just maybe, those routines would include a few Good Dye Young products — bringing together the best of both of Hayley Williams's worlds.

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