California Dream Team: Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri Spill Hair Secrets

Riawna Capri and Nikki Lee

Nikki Lee and Riawna Capri are the mane mavens behind some of the coolest hair on Hollywood’s most popular starlets. The co-founders of L.A.’s Nine Zero One salon (@ninezeroone) are constantly crafting their magic on the likes of Emma Roberts, Julianne Hough, Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lawrence, Nina Dobrev and Vanessa Hudgens. And this year, they’ve taken to the road with their Beauty Coach Tour (@beautycoach_com) and are sharing the secrets behind their signature looks. Making a stop at the L’Oréal Professionnel Soho Academy, Lee broke down how to get their trademark 901 Highlight and Cayenne Spice looks.

A beautiful braided style of freshly highlighted hair

Q What is the secret of the 901 Highlight?
It’s a technique we use in our salon to create a consistent and beautiful lighter look. A blonde or brunette with a lighter pop in the front—aka the money piece—babylights through the top and tipped out ends. This all gets melted to perfection to create a #901Girl. It’s all in the placement and it’s about working smarter, not harder. We’re able to take our clients lighter using fewer foils but covering more ground. Using different size foils will be life changing for those who don’t already. We don’t buy fancy ones; just the large precut Reynolds foils that chefs use. It makes a big difference. One thing that will make a difference is keeping hair healthy. Try oiling the hair before coloring. We love L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil. And make sure to check on your foils periodically. 


Enjoying this story? Subscribe to the American Salon Newsletter

Get inspirational trends, techniques, tips, education and the latest beauty news delivered right to your inbox! To read on the go, sign up today to get weekly beauty news and updates.

A before and after of the 901 Highlight

Q What is Cayenne Spice?
It’s a beautiful copper red color that I created for Emma Roberts this past spring. The hair must be pre-lightened first, then the layering of color can begin. Start at the root with a deep copper red, move to the mid-shaft with a medium copper red and let it process. But leave the ends out blonde. Once hair has finished processing, gloss everything at the bowl so it melts to perfection. The color must be multidimensional, so the root should always be slightly darker and the ends should look a little highlighted. It’s such a beautiful, fun color, and definitely for the client who dares to go red. Slightly adjusting the color lighter or darker will ensure it will be flattering to your client’s skin tone. Lighter will always look warmer, darker will always look cooler. 

Photography: Courtesy of Nine Zero One

To view our digital edition, click here

About: Keep up with American Salon on Instagram by following @american_salon. Use #AmericanSalon and  #AmericanSalonSelfie on Instagram to show off your pics with us. Follow us on Facebook at Tune into the American Salon Stories podcast and subscribe to hear from a new inspiring industry guest each week. And be sure to sign up for Your Daily Beauty Fixe-newsletter at to get a daily dose of beauty news, inspiration and education.