Brian O’ Connor is a staple in the styling scene in the South’s entertainment capital, Nashville. His expertise in color and style guides and inspires GDY’s products.

Always focused on quality ingredients and product performance, Brian is the first stylist to test the brand’s formulas, and sets the highest standard for new offerings.

“Hair! The accessory you wear everyday and the first thing people notice. Your hair says a lot about who you are and exactly what you want to say to the world. I say the brighter the better and don’t ever let someone dull that shine.”– Brian O’ Connor, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Good Dye Young


How did you get your start in the hair business?

I have known since I was 12 years old that hair was definitely something I wanted to do. Makeup too, but hair was something I always had a passion for. I spent so much time with my best friend Melissa growing up, and her mom Coco always did her whole family’s hair. I would watch Coco work for hours, to the point that Melissa would say “Hey, I thought you came here to hang out with me!” Once I got that inspiration, I would be glued to a TV any time there was an awards show on, literally a foot away just studying the looks, the styling, the makeup. I loved it all, and as soon as I had my highschool diploma I ran to the first cosmetology school I could to get my license. 

Where do you draw creative inspiration from?

Creativity can come from anything, from a flower to a hairstyle I see and want to try to recreate with my own techniques. Something as ordinary as a brick color could later inspire a lowlight in a look I am developing, or  a new color for Good Dye Young.

Growing up in a house full of women was a formative part of my upbringing that I continue to draw from. So much of what I do is because I think women are creative and beautiful — and I want to add to that.

For instance, I love Nicki Minaj’s work. Her music is so incredible, and the looks that she and her stylists create are no different. I think she, and so many other black women, don’t get the full recognition for just how elevated and trailblazing their creativity is. Everyone should be aware of how much the hair space has been innovated by black women.

What else? Well, in the beauty world, I have always been inspired by Vidal Sassoon and Kevyn Aucoin. Their books have been almost like professional bibles, in a metaphorical way.


What is your favorite look on Hayley?

My gosh, there's so many… but it will forever and always be the Riot hair for Misery Business. Without that look,. there would be none of this — and I don’t mean just what it's done for my career, but also the closest-thing-to-siblings kind of friendship that it brought me. For me, Riot will always mean so much more than just the iconic look that the world knows it as. On a personal level, it changed my entire life for the better. I can get emotional just talking about it.

Can you describe your creative process?

Being a hairstylist or makeup artist is so personal. Whether you call them your client or your muse or however you think about their partnership, you are helping that person express how they feel internally.

It’s all about building the relationship. A new client may say they want to go from this to that, and it’s important to be honest with them from the jump. What they want is not my choice, but I can use my best expertise and years of experience to  guide them to something I think they’re well-suited for. Providing reference for their style, face shape, and skin tone, I can help them interpret their vision in a way they’ll be happy with. 

For me and Hayley, it’s always been a creative collaboration between the two of us. For instance, when Hayley is creating music with Paramore, I listen to their new songs as they’re being created in order to get insight into Hayley’s perspective and the band’s current POV. Her look helps paint that picture, adding details that bring her vision to life. Hayley is a storyteller! When we work together with makeup and hair, it’s an element of that story that we create together. 

When was the first time you dyed your hair a vivid color?  What color?

The first time I tried to color my hair was junior high. I bleached it and went full Justin Timberlake style: bright yellow ramen noodle caesar cut.

The next time, I was a freshman in high school. I literally pulled my hair through a frosting cap, and bleached the tips. Then I put a red over the bleached bits of it and so it was like these bright fire engine red pieces in my natural light brown hair. It was total 2000s skater punk hair.

When you’re not busy on tour with Hayley Williams,  working on Good Dye Young, or running your salon Fruits Lab, what are some of your favorite things to do?

My favorite thing to do is be at home with my husband Kolten. It’s the most precious time I have! Yes, our home is another business, but it makes me feel calm and very human. I am so grateful for my life, but a lot of it doesn’t feel normal, so it’s really important to have time to feel human and just be in my home. I need to spend time with family and turn off the creativity and high energy that I enjoy the rest of the time. It’s important to have a way to recharge.

What’s in the works for Good Dye Young?  What’s next for the brand?

You’re looking at it! Our support for professionals and stylists has always been a focus for me, so we really want to keep nurturing our community. We’re excited to keep growing and figuring out what works for our fellow pros. 

For this year, I just want to keep reaching further corners of the world. Opening in more countries is exciting, and it means more people get a chance to try us out. More people creating and inspiring others is always a good thing. 

It doesn't matter who you are — hair is a big part of everybody's life. I think at the end of the day, we all want to have “good hair,” even if that means something different for each person. So bringing tools and formulas to give more people the chance to enjoy their hair at the best it’s ever been — that’s what I want to keep doing.