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Shelby Swain's big "I made it" moment wasn't one defining opportunity, but the culmination of a lot of hustling. Before becoming Lizzo's designated hairstylist and the self-proclaimed "Beyoncé of Baby Hair," she was a psychology major. After a swift career change, she opened her own shop in California.
"I never wanted to be an everyday hairstylist," Swain tells POPSUGAR. "I wanted to be a hairstylist that created art — I like hair sculptures." It was by word of mouth that she broke into the entertainment side of the hair industry: someone who'd stumbled into her shop took her on set so she could assist. "I knew I wanted to get to set, but I didn't know how to get to set," she says.
Then, in 2016, a friend and music-video director asked her to do hair for a couple of backup dancers for a project he was working on. It just so happened to be Lizzo's "Good as Hell" music video.
Swain didn't do Lizzo's hair for the video — she was responsible for the backup dancers' looks. "I didn't know who Lizzo was," she says. It was only six months later that Swain got the opportunity to work directly with the artist. "I was like, 'Everything was meant for this moment right here,' and I've been with Lizzo ever since."
Ahead, Swain reveals some of her greatest memories working with the singer, including her favorite good-as-hell beauty products.