Celebrity hairdressers, for me, are ubiquitous strand geniuses that I have come to rely on for the ongoing evolution of my HairBoutique.com writing career. They have transformed the way that I think about celebrities and the truth about their hair.
Some psychologists have supported the theory that the more humans merge their lives with other people, animals or even machines, the more those humans start to think and act like their associations. In other words, we adapt to the new people or animals in our lives. Sometimes we start to look like our new spouses, significant others or pets. You know what I mean. You've seen the husband and wife proudly posing with their beloved family pets where they all sort of look alike?
In a bizarre way I feel like I have experienced a similar behavior shift based on my years of close professional association with Robert Hallowell. I have gotten to know his brilliant hairstyling techniques so intimately that when I cover his latest work on a new celeb, I instinctively know what products he will probably use, the size of the hot irons he will select and even whether he will brush, tousle, backcomb or smooth to perfect the final style.
It occurred to me recently that I am turning into a Robert Hallowell mini-me, complete with the long flowing blonde tresses.
Robert, a native California boy and former Elite model, is much taller, thinner and better looking than I am. Even more importantly, he is a brilliant hairdresser whose technical hair expertise could never ever be remotely duplicated, even by a highly motivated people watcher like me.
I have had the great fortune to be welcomed into the inner hair sanctums of several different celebrity hairdressers over the past five years. I have discovered that this unique species of artists share one common trait. They are all spectacularly brilliant at what they do. They are also all completely different at how they approach their craft.
To ascend to the very top of the celebrity hairdresser pyramid requires absolute brilliance mixed in with a lot of blood, sweat, tears and vigilance. While a driven hairdresser might blow dry, curl and back comb their way to the top, if they don't possess inspiring creativity, intense passion for their work, stellar technical expertise and hard core commitment, they will quickly topple from the top and crash to the bottom.
Robert Hallowell is deservedly at the very pinnacle of the celebrity hairdresser pyramid. Not only does he possess all those award winning traits, he is a workaholic maniac, fiercely loyal to his clients, completely dedicated and willing to do whatever it takes to achieve hair dressing excellence.
Meeting Robert For The First Time
There are certain times in life when you have an experience or event that burns a permanent mark in your brain cells. The first time I ever talked to Robert Hallowell in late 2003 was one of those memory banking moments. Since that time we have communicated hundreds of times. I have an email folder with so many Robert Hallowell celebrity hairstyling tips, tidbits and notes that I have backed it up to the permanent HairBoutique.com data base archives.
I met Robert through his press agent. I was stunned when she listed all the celebrities that this celebrity hairdresser had coiffed over the years. I had no idea that he'd worked magic on the heads of Geena Davis, Brendan Fraser, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Mary Louise Parker, Elizabeth Perkins, Sarah Rue (Less Than Perfect) Gary Shandling, Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer (2 1/2 Men), Sarah Jessica Parker and Caitlin Wachs - to name just a very few.
The list of celebrities and stars that have been touched by Robert's magical hairstyling fingers goes on and on. His list of credits on IMDB.com stretches longer than those of many actors listed there. In fact, I was amazed to discover that several of his TV credits were not even included.
When I was recently asked by an editor to describe the difference between Robert as one type of celebrity hairdresser compared to the other top stylists that I regularly work with, I struggled to come up with a short description.
There are literally thousands of adjectives I could apply to Robert Hallowell. Fear of uncontrolled gushing prevented me from letting lose with a long list of empty words.
On a professional level, I have found that Robert is a serious strand scholar who constantly strives to ascend to new levels of perfection with his creations. Unlike many celebrity hairdressers who will no longer work behind the camera because of the long grueling schedules, uninspired compensation levels and barriers to sudden celebrity fueled hair opportunities, Robert continues to willingly support his stable of devoted celebrity clients with his presence. Not only will he commit to the impossibly exhausting shooting schedules of one and two camera television series, he will pick up and fly off to some god-forsaken shoot location for a film.
Robert understands, better than anyone else, that his long time clientele needs him to look their very best. They also need the security of knowing that he is there for them through their own high stressful shooting experience.
While it might sound like Robert has a life full of glamour, parties, pampering, Red Carpet runs and celebrity perks, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason he is one of Hollywood's best kept secrets is because he is no-nonsense, unpretentious, humble, unassuming, low key and a team player. It's never about Robert, it's always about his stars.
Not only is he fiercely loyal to his clients, he is their biggest fan. When I talk to him after he has coiffed a major star he is always willing to give me the details. Robert never fails to get back to me in a timely manner.
I am always so amazed, impressed and honored that even after a completely exhausting day dealing with demanding directors, pressured producers and cranky stars, he takes time to IM me from the set or leave me voice mail answering my latest celeb hair question of the moment.
Yes, I do cell stalk him a little, but he is so great about getting me answers that I have learned over the years to just trust that he will get back with me and will do everything he can to help me.