How I Made It

Beyonce's colorist: I learned my craft by using box dyes on my grandma's hair

Celebrity colorist Rita Hazan has crafted and shaped the looks of countless A-listers.

From Beyonce's "nude blonde" locks to Katy Perry's lavender hue, Hazan has been credited with helping superstars like Mariah Carey and Jennifer Lopez go through major hair color transformations.

Celebrity clients now fly her all around the world to touch up their dye job, but Hazan told CNBC she never explicitly set out to work with celebrities.

"My goal was just to have a good time, do what I love to do, learn as much as I can. ... I just always said, 'I'm going to do this until I stop loving it.' I want to do things that I only love and I never stopped loving it. It just all happened," the 41-year-old colorist said.

Hazan said she learned by working on her own look and coloring her grandmother's hair. Although she was only using hair color from the pharmacy, it helped her realize how much she loved it. After high school, Hazan went straight to beauty school and never turned back.

"When I was in high school, the last year, everybody was thinking about college. I knew college really wasn't for me," Hazan said. "I just wanted to do something more creative."

But Hazan's friends and family weren't immediately supportive of her choices.

"When I told my friends and family that I was going to beauty school, they thought I was crazy," she said.

Hazan has been told she's "crazy" at every step of her career. She heard it when she opened her own salon on Fifth Avenue in New York City. She heard it when she launched her own product line, now carried by Sephora.

Rita Hazan
Getty Images
Rita Hazan

"I was always laser-focused on learning my craft and my skill and trying to be super great at it," Hazan said, adding that she didn't mind paying her dues and working overtime. "This was never something that fell in my lap."

"But that's where I thrive the most, where things are chaotic and seem like you're doomed, that's where I think I shine. I work through it," Hazan said. "I'm a very determined woman and you can't say no to me. 'No' isn't really in my vocabulary."

"I think so many people say 'no' so fast, and if you take that for an answer, you'll never do anything in life," Hazan said.

"For me, I don't accept no as an answer. I say 'if you say no, somebody will say yes to me and I'll find that person.'... I can't contain myself. If I'm passionate about something, there's no stopping me."