Behind every glamorous hairstyle worn by a celebrity, is a great hairstylist who styled those tresses to perfection. Adrianne Michelle Knight is one such celebrity hairstylist, with an impressive and still growing portfolio. She has worked with celebrity clients such as: Saweetie (her most recent work being on the cover of April’s Cosmopolitan magazine), J. Rey from The Black Eyed Peas, actress China McClain, and English singer Marsha Ambrosius.
She has styled designer Jerry Lorenzo’s braids for all of his features, along with his models for fashion campaigns, such as the Fear of God x Nike collaboration. Her work can also be found in notable magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan, People Magazine, and Teen Vogue. Knight’s creativity knows no bounds; it is clear that she is the artist, and hair is her canvas.
Originally from Philadelphia, Knight first moved to Los Angeles in 2004, at the age of 22. After the birth of her son Paris, she decided to pursue cosmetology school, despite not having support from others. With her go-getter attitude, she completed her course while juggling the responsibilities of being a single mother within 14 months. Knight’s next hurdle after graduating from cosmetology school was to figure out the competitive landscape of the entertainment and styling game by herself.
In 2009, Knight started scoring her first few celebrity clients she was allowed to style through her creative direction. For one particular photoshoot, being the innovative person that she is, Knight embellished a model’s hair with a golden chain piece, a look that soon took off.
She was encouraged to start her hair accessory brand called HAUTE HEADZ, through which she strategically turned a $100 investment into $40,000 in revenue within one year. After falling pregnant with her second son, Knight stopped selling the head chains and shifted her focus back to being a hairstylist. Even so, her priority was always being a mother first and a hairstylist second.
Once her youngest son turned two years old, Knight recalls how everything started to fall in place in terms of her career, even as she juggled being a single mom to two kids. She had the opportunity to go on tour with Cardi B as a stylist for her dancers, something that is rarely done because backup dancers are not given a stylist and are usually expected to do their own hair and makeup.
She created all the hairstyles, ensuring each show had a different and unique look by adding her personal touch of glamour through glitter and color. With no assistant, Knight styled all ten dancers within a four-hour window. It was a “blossoming” experience for her as a hairstylist, not only because she was in complete control over her creative direction but also because this experience was humbling and an opportunity to see the world. Besides touring through the typical cities through the United States and Canada, Knight visited different African countries, including Ghana and Nigeria.
For Knight, art and hair intertwine. Her specialty is styling baby hairs, with her paintbrush being the edge control brush she uses. She considers herself “ahead of her time” and likes to add that extra oomph to everything she creates. From styling braids either from a ponytail or even intertwining bandana cloth into a style, Knight creates fresh and inventive looks. Take for example, using money hair rollers to style Afropunk artist Tiana Major 9.
Another example is Saweetie and her notable baby hairs, usually styled by Knight. “She’s got style, she’s smart,” describes Knight when talking about Saweetie, but most importantly, when they work together, they set trends.
When asked about her creative process, Knight had to say, “Once it’s in my hand, you don’t know what you’re going to get because I don’t know what I’m going to get. I’m going to give you something, and you’re probably going to like it. I don’t know. That’s the beauty of my mind. I couldn’t sit here and tell you, ‘Oh I do this, this, and I’m going to do it this way. I might have an idea, but once I start going, it might shift. And you might get something better.”
Knight’s journey as a hairstylist is no doubt unpredictable. Having been in the game for 11 years, she admits that she has only recently reached that point where she feels comfortable enough to offer her own criticisms and suggestions when on set.
Although she feels that it may have taken too long to feel fearless, Knight hopes to encourage other women, especially black women, who may be in the same position that she once was. She hopes that from her story, she can inspire others to believe in themselves when it comes to reaching points they deemed impossible. Most importantly, as a single mom, she hopes that her two sons witness a strong woman who is constantly innovating and is unstoppable, no matter what life throws her way.
The next step on Knight’s journey is letting the world know who she is after feeling like she’s “been so quiet.” She sees herself becoming a hairstylist for the runway, styling the models for both Paris and New York fashion week and leading a team. She wants to put herself on a bigger platform, but she says, “I don’t know what that platform is. I take things day by day. Tomorrow I might wake up and get this job that’s insane, and I would have never expected it, but it’s leading me closer and closer to my goal.”
There is a certain beauty behind what Knight does because of her understanding of hair and the variety of textures all hair comes in. To further her passion for hair, Knight dropped her line of vegan and paraben-free hair products, All Thingz Haute, in April 2020. Through this venture, Knight hopes to establish her brand as a household name, and to eventually achieve financial freedom.
Adrianne Michelle Knight has a positive and enthusiastic energy to her spirit that shines through her achievements and each project that she has completed. Her ambition to ensure that she is a present maternal figure with a strong work ethic in her sons’ lives is inspirational.
One of the most important things she’s learned in her story is to “dive into your spiritual realm because that’s where you will find yourself. When you can sit still with yourself and figure it out, that’s where you want to go.”
Keep up with her work on Instagram (@haute_headz), and check out her website for her products.
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