Like everything in my life, there is always both good and bad aspects of doing the interviews. The good is getting to meet those amazing men and women who have risen to the top of the hairdressing profession and are in huge demand to do celebrity heads. Doing hair for celebrities might sound really glamorous and lots of fun but in reality it is very hard work and requires a special person who can survive all the politics, the intense travel, the fickleness of the fans and a variety of other challenges that I could never imagine was even a concern.
The bad? Trying to write down everything I hear and not make any translation mistakes.
Depending on the celeb hairdresser I am interviewing they are chatty and answer my questions with long answers. Others are more quiet and give shorter answers. I always do my homework before I interview the celeb hairdressers so I can try and get the best "scoops" out of them. No, I never ask them personal questions about their celebrities. That is a huge NO-NO and could get me blacklisted as an interviewer.
I guess if you're Perez Hilton you want to try and get "juicy stuff" but I only want to know the dirt on doing the hair. Some celeb hairdressers will tell me "this is off the record" but others will talk about almost anything.
For example, Celebrity Hairdresser Robert Hallowell who recently did Courteney Cox for her show - Dirt - will tell me about Courteney's hair. Pretty much anything about the color, the products he uses and he will replay the craziness of his schedule. Which makes my schedule look boring. However, Robert will not tell me anything personal about Court - not that I would ask - but even if I was stupid enough to ask, he would not tell me. Which I actually respect. How cool to know you can trust your hairdresser with your personal stuff.
Over the past ten years I have interviewed a lot of celebrity hairdressers (close to 100) and some I absolutely adored talking to. Others were difficult. Some so difficult I did not publish the interviews. In fact, one of the first interviews I did with Rosanne's hairdresser was a great interview but their PR person tried to bully me in such a way, I refused to publish the final interview.
I live by the philosophy - if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.
Maybe part of celeb hairdressers being difficult to interview is me. I always want to try and get to the creamy filling - so to speak - of each celeb hairdresser. I don't just want to know who they have worked with or how they got into the biz (a lot of the stories are surprisingly similar). I want to know, where they get their inspiration, whether they have a sense of humor, their fears, philosophies and who they want to work with someday. Not just the same old tried info. I want new stuff or I feel it is boring.
My favorite interviews? Ken Paves (Jessica Simpson, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lopez, Ashlee Simpson, Carmen Electra) when I had the priviledge of spending face time with him in Dallas during a photo shoot with Jessica. In between camera set-ups we had to wait, wait, wait...for long periods. During that time I was able to find out so much about Ken that I could really appreciate his talent, philosophies and personality.
Unfortunately Ken is very hard to reach when he is working, which is always, so unless I literally stalk him by phone, I have a harder time catching up with him. In person, he is a true delight and a fantastic hairdresser.
I also enjoyed Robert Hallowell because he is a Gemini and incredibly funny. Compared to Ken, Robert is easier to catch by phone because he tends to have seasons where he is less busy and I can usually catch him via email. On the flip side, Robert is a Gemini and sometimes when he is stressed, it's probably better not to be able to get him on the phone.
Laurent D (he has done so many celebrities it is hard to list them all) is an absolute doll on the phone. He is always very charming, very calming (he always calls me "darling") and has the very best stories about his celebrity clients (nothing personal - all hair related). Even when incredibly stressed he is calm and thoughtful. He is also very modest and humble.
Ursula Stephen (Rihanna) is an absolute brilliant interview. She is smart, sassy, funny and incredibly talented. Ursula is a no-nonsense gal with great ethics and she is incredibly loyal to her clients. My only confusion with Ursula is why she is not more well-known. She is a gem and wildly talented with hair (she created Rihanna's bob, pixie & all her looks).
Rita Hazan (Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Ashlee Simpson). Besides being a brilliant colorist, she is incredibly funny. She knows her business inside and out. Although she has invited me to visit her at her salon in NYC, I have never been able to get there. Rita is incredibly beautiful and no one knows color like Rita.
Having the privilege of chatting in real time with these incredibly talented and fascinating hairdressers actually humbles me everytime. When I think my life is too crazy or too busy, I listen to their madcap schedules where they hop on planes at all hours of the day and night to make sure they are there for their celebrity.
Who would I love to interview that I haven't been able to? Oribe, Frederic Fekkai and Vidal Sassoon. I researched all three over the years and am intriqued with all of them. The funny thing is that I was literally at Fekkai's office a few years ago but he was tied up and I was not able to meet him, although it had been planned.Maybe someday. Who knows. It could happen.
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