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Q&A with Acclaimed Hair Guru Orlando Pita

Jill Freeman

Posted on May 18 2018


Let’s back up- You are a celebrity and runway hair artist! What made you decide to create a line of products?

I created my line of products because I wanted to develop and share formulas that create healthy, shiny and beautiful hair.

Why did you name your brand Orlando Pita Play?
I chose the name Play because it’s what I like to do with hair. I like to create different looks and change it up all the time. My body of work ranges from natural, undone to more theatrical – I don’t have a signature style. I wanted my brand to reflect this playful aspect.  
What product do you use most often on your own hair?
The products I use most frequently from Orlando Pita Play are my Big Revival Bodifying Hair Mask® and Atmos-Shield® Hair Protectant Spray.
How to do you “play”?
Taking time off and going to my country home is how I like to Play.
You have set the standard for countless hairstylists in the industry... Is it true you are self-taught?
I am self-taught. I did my first haircut at 14, and I had my first agent at 21. During that time, I made a lot of mistakes to get to a place where I could get an agent. Working freelance was a whole other game - I had to learn on the job.
In my first year, I also enrolled in school but I had to take a lot of time off because of working on set. Fortunately, my teacher let me make up the lost time by giving a demonstration of the hairstyles I had done at work. I learned how to pass the state board test to get licensed.
 Who has been your favorite celebrity client to work with? It is Madonna isn’t it?!
My favorite celebrity client to work with is undoubtedly Madonna. I was able to really Play with her hair. We have created so many different, iconic looks.
You are so well known for your sculptural and stunning creations on runways and editorials- How do you translate your styles from catwalk to sidewalk?
While I’m creating some hard to-do hairstyles or more sculptural looks, I always try to think of a way to translate them into real life. I take the most important aspects of the hairstyle and try to make it wearable. I like creating hairstyles that I get to then see on everyday people.
    What was your most memorable runway?
My most memorable runway show would have to be Yves Saint Laurent’s last show. It was a three-hour live TV broadcast - 40 years of his haute couture creations with 135 models in the show. All the great models that modeled for him throughout his career came for one last walk down the runway, it was very special. It was an honor for me to be part of it.
When I am at home using your products, I am thinking, “What would Orlando do?” What is a recommended regime we can actually do at home to live out our fabulous hair hopes and dreams?
Beautiful hair starts in the shower – First, I like to cleanse with my Hair Purifier Cleansing Mask to remove any build up and I follow with Satin Pillow hair mask. I recommend using a hair mask at least once or twice a week. And lastly, I always prep hair with Atmos-Shield® before styling.
 Can you give us a play by play (pun intended) of a typical day for you.
A typical day for me follows no routine. I do try to work out in the morning and take my dog Gigi to daycare while I go to work. I enjoy what I do immensely and part of what I like is that it follows no routine - it changes all the time.