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HomeFashionHow the Hairstylist Behind Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige's Iconic '90s...

How the Hairstylist Behind Lil Kim and Mary J. Blige's Iconic '90s Haircut Changed Fashion Forever

Styling the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul allowed Alexander to expand her repertoire. With her streetwear confidence and blonde bombshell hood, Blige is an artist’s dream. “Mary’s dive explosion in the ‘I’m Not Gonna Cry’ video is one of my all-time favorite looks,” says Alexander. “We’ve done a lot of videos together, but this one is special.” Likewise, during Blige’s public appearances, they pushed boundaries with towering buns and pops of color. “Everybody wanted to be Mary’s hairdresser, but she and I both hit it off,” she said. “We’ve been together for a long time, and it was a start for me.” Alexander credits her tenure at Blige with opening the door, precisely on ‘s “I Can Love You” music video,” she met what would become her performer’s keenest collaborator and muse, Lil Kim.

Working with stylist Misa Hylton, makeup artists NZINGHA and Kim, Alexander pushed the envelope. “The common goal is to make the artist look incredible, and our creativity can be unleashed,” she said. “Kim and Misa would come up with outfit ideas while chatting and hanging out; then we would figure out how to match the hair and makeup to the [overall] concept.” That meant experimenting with wigs and extensions in bright colors. While she’ll source from a variety of stores, Alexander doesn’t rely on off-the-shelf pieces. “One thing I would never do is take out the wig and put it on someone else,” she said. “I’m always shampooing, styling, cutting, coloring, adding tracks or removing them. Everything is somehow rebuilt and customized for each look.”

Kim at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. Photo: Getty Images




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