During my many years with HairBoutique.com I have had the amazing good fortune to chat with a long list of some of the biggest Celebrity Hairdressers still working in the business. Some of these big names such as Ken Paves, Rita Hazan, Kim Kimble and Laurent D have shared some of their inside scoops on what it takes to work with a celebrity.
Yes, it may sound outrageous, as many news outlets are reporting, that Jennifer Aniston spent $56K to have her celeb hairdresser Chris McMillan travel to Europe with her for the premieres of Marley & Me but in reality $56K is not all that much considering a number of factors the media overlooks.
(Image of Jennifer Anison - DailyCeleb.com - All Rights Reserved)
Chris McMillan is a world class A list Celebrity Hairdresser. Jennifer Aniston is not his only client. If she was, he would be in trouble. No, not only does Chris work with Jen, he works with Courteney Cox and Cameron Diaz and a whole slew of A listers. He creates fabulous celebrity hairstyles for Red Carpet events, movie premieres, fashion runways and other equally high pressure events.
Although the media is freaking out over Chris' daily rate of $2,000. He is a bargain compared to other celebrity hairdressers who charge anywhere from $4,500 (Ken Paves) to Sally Hershberger ($800/haircut & rumored to be $8 - $10K per day). When Chris is booked for a week with Jennifer he loses all his other time slots for other customers. Which equals tens of thousands of dollars from his pocket. Chris also has a salon to manage in Hollywood. Yes, he has help but the salon says Chris McMillan not Chris's Manager.
Is Chris supposed to take a major loss in revenues for his time because he is off with Jennifer Aniston to help promote a film for the studios? Hmmm. Good question. Right?
The movie premiere jaunts are extremely stressful. Celeb hairdresser Robert Hallowell traveled as Lucy Liu's celeb hairdresser for Charlie's Angels and other films and explained some of the finer points. He told me that when an actress is on a film promotion jaunt, she is on call 24/7. Opportunities pop up to have tea with the royals or do an improptu press conference. Yep, you guessed it, the celebrity hairdresser is also on call. While the tours can be fun, exciting and interesting Robert told me they can be incredibly exhausting.
When you look at it that way, $56K is a small price to pay for Jennifer Aniston to have her favorite celeb hairdresser with her on a 7 day tour.
Yes, her hair may look simple because it is a center parted long layered look but trust me, I went to cosmetology school and the hairstyles that look the simplest and most finished can take a lot of time. It's not true that you just slap on some shampoo, whip out a round brush and a blow dryer and you're off. No, it takes a lot of products to create the picture perfect blonde highlights and lowlights that Jennifer has interwoven precisely through her super shiny tresses.
Jen has "challenging" natural hair. Her hair is naturally wavy, pouffy and frizzy. No, you would never know that from seeing her or the beating she and Chris are taking in the media for her recent hair budget but Chris McMillan has done an exceptional job with Jen's hair.
As far as flying Chris first or business class. Another thing the media is not considering. A lot of A listers fly to Europe or on film junkets in private jets which are outrageously expensive. When they do fly overseas on their private jets their hairdressers are on the plane as Ken Paves was when Jennifer Lopez flew to the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes nuptials.
Again, compare the price of flying a hairdresser first class versus putting them on a private plane and you will see iit's a bargain.
While many could argue that Jen doesn't need a hairdresser on a film junket with her, how can she present her best image if she doesn't take her hair and beauty people with her? If she showed up au natural, the media would probably attack her for not looking like a movie star which would detract from the film she is promoting.
Afterall, Marley & Me has been a big money maker and the studios are simply trying to guarantee the same results in Europe and abroad. $56K for Jennifer Aniston's celeb hairdresser is peanuts in the grand scheme or promoting a film. Packaging of the celebrity is everything. If you don't believe me, just watch American Idol and listen to Simon rant about image, image, image.
Finally, how can anyone expect a celebrity hairdresser to put himself through a grueling 24/7 workweek when he arrives with major jet lag after being stuffed into Coach from LA to Europe?
Now many of you may not agree with me but from my conversations with celebrity hairdressers over the years I think a movie studio flying them First Class or Business to prepare for a very grueling and high pressure publicity junket is a very small price to pay. Confidentially, I doubt I would want to do it, even flying First Class and billing $2K a day. Life is too short for those type of projects.
Remember, until you have walked in someone's shoes, how can you judge how hard it is to create a gorgeous shiny hairstyle or deal with an overseas press junket that can eat your shorts?
What do you think? I would love to hear your opinions.
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