Dancing With The Stars’ season 23 marks Lindsay Arnold’s eighth season on the show and fourth season as a pro dancer. This year, the blonde bombshell is paired with retired NFL player Calvin Johnson. Sophisticate’s Hairstyle Guide caught up with the Utah native on her predictions for this season and a run-through on how she’s styled for the show. Enjoy!
How are rehearsals going for Season 23 of Dancing With The Stars?
Really good! I’m extremely impressed with Calvin. I was a bit worried when I first met him because of his height—he’s so tall! He wears a size 15 shoe and I was like, oh no this is going to be tough because when you have long limbs and big feet it’s very easy to look clunky. But he’s actually given me the ability to make his lines look great because his limbs are so long. That’s what I’ve been working on a lot, just controlling his body because it’s a long, tall thing he’s got going on over there.
So he’s getting the hang of it now?
Oh yeah, definitely! Having an athlete is such an advantage, he knows what it takes to work really hard; he’s had to work hard his entire life. It’s not like the hard work is too much to him, so he’s willing to put in the hours and do everything he can to make sure he looks good.
What do you think your odds are this season? Do you think you two have a good shot of winning that mirrored-ball trophy?
I really do! He’s really surprising people. His teammates, and all of his family has been calling him out, throwing shade, saying he can’t dance and saying he has no rhythm. He’s doing a lot better than everybody though he was going to do!
What is your favorite part about being on DWTS?
That’s tough, it’s an incredible show. The best thing is getting to work with a new person each season. Each season is different, no day is the same, every single week is a challenge, and I love that because it’s making me learn every single week. I’m becoming a better teacher and better dancer because I have to adjust to each celebrity I’m given.
What initially drew you to DWTS?
I watched from season one, I think I was ten when the season started. As a young dancer I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I would come home from dance rehearsals and plop on the couch and watch the show. I would vote, and my mom and I even waited in line at ABC for tickets to get into the show–you have to line up at 7 a.m. and wait all day just to get in to see the show! So from a very young age I had my eye out for DWTS and always wanted to do it. After I was on So You Think You Can Dance, right out of high school, the show reached out to me and, of course, I was all in. Ever since, I’ve been hooked!
What are you most excited about this season?
I am excited to see the reaction from Calvin’s fans and how they rally behind him. Last season I had an entertainer so I knew people were expecting him to be good. But Calvin is a challenge; I have to teach him how to perform, listen to the music, express emotions and get through dances. That’s really fun, and I think that’s what’s going to make America fall in love with him.
How does your hair on the show differ from your real-life look?
Very different! I’m on the show every single week and they’re doing crazy things to my hair. We start curling my hair at 7 a.m., then they have to do it multiple times over again because I’m dancing all day, so it slowly falls. The amount of hairspray and teasing that goes into it, you would be shocked. In my everyday schedule I try to give my hair a break. I very rarely curl my hair. I sometimes will do it if I have something going on, but I’m very lucky that my hair dries stick straight so I don’t ever have to straighten it. On the off days, I just try to let it do its natural thing.
Can you walk us through a typical preparation for each episode?
I usually have my call time at 6:30 a.m. I show up to ABC studios and go straight into makeup. I sit in makeup for about an hour and a half and get a full face of makeup. Then I go right to hair for about an hour, and usually they’ll curl it and pin it up and put my hair in a hair net so I look like an awesome lunch lady for a few hours. Then I get pulled on stage and I rehearse our routine a few times with Calvin. Then after lunch we do a full dress rehearsal, which is in costume and everything. That’s why we get our makeup done because they want to see the full look. The rehearsal ends around 3:30 p.m. and the show tapes live at 5 p.m. so I have about an hour to relax a little bit and get ready for the live show.
How does your hair stay so beautiful and intact throughout rehearsals and the live show?
They will pin it up and put a hair net on it and that will kind of contain it for a little bit. They do hairspray and teasing, and they’ll also re-curl. I’ll do one rehearsal and I’ll go back in the hair trailer and they’ll re-curl a few pieces that might have died down. The hair team is great; they know how to make it work. If I want loose curls, they’ll curl them tight and by the end of the day they know it will fall more into a loose curl.
What is your natural hair color and texture?
I have not had my natural haircolor in a very long time. I believe it would be dirty blonde, but I get my hair colored so it is true blonde. I have a lot of hair, but it’s pretty thin, which is unfortunate because I have three younger sisters and they all seriously have horse hair—so much hair, so thick. I kind of got the raw end of the stick there, but it’s OK.
Do you typically dry it when you get out of the shower?
I’ll dry it occasionally. When I’m trying to give it a break, I’ll let it air-dry.
How long have you had it at this length?
Since I can remember. The last time I cut my hair I was in ninth grade. I cut it to my shoulders and it was a terrible idea; I hated it. Ever since then I’ve just grown it out.
Do you go into the salon regularly?
I try to get my hair done at least every two months, if not every month and a half. I’ll get a cut and color at the same time.
Do you have a hairdresser you regularly use?
Yes I do! My hairdresser has done my hair since I was eight years old. She’s back home in Utah, her name is Sue Bandley, and she does it out of her home. I always go to her. She’s great because during the season when I can’t get back to Utah, she’ll actually fly out and come see a show and do my hair.
What is your daily haircare regimen?
I use Pureology for my shampoo and conditioner and then I have two products that I use: a leave-in conditioner by It’s a 10 and Marrakesh Oil.
How often do you wash your hair?
I try to only wash it every other day, because I feel like when I wash it every day it just gets flat and loses its volume a little bit. With rehearsals it’s tough, though, because some days I’ll come home and my hair is totally wet because of sweat. If I have a pretty intense rehearsal day, I’ll wash it every single day.
Because your hair is so fine, do you get a lot of product build-up?
Yeah, that’s usually what happens. Because my hair is so fine and because I’m blonde, it will start to look dark at the roots if the products sit in there too long.
Are there any other products you love?
I have a dry shampoo that’s my favorite, the Moroccanoil Dry Shampoo; they have a light tone, which gives off this purple-y tone so it blends in with the blonde and makes it lighter. If you haven’t washed your hair in a couple days, you put that in and it makes it look totally fresh.
Are there any other ways you keep your hair healthy?
Most of it is just trying to keep the heat off; I found that really works for me. Also, really good shampoo. I used to not have just one shampoo that I would use, but now that I’ve stuck with Pureology and use it every time I shampoo, I feel like that really helps my hair.
Is there a favorite feature you like to play up with regards to makeup?
I love contouring. I have an Anastasia Beverly Hills contouring palette that has both crèmes and powders. Contouring is probably my favorite makeup necessity. You can just put on a little bit of foundation, contour the face, give yourself some highlighting and you’ll be good to go.
Any other makeup products you love?
I use Stila foundation, and I use MAC mascara. On a typical day I’m just putting on a little bit of foundation and mascara.