Although Ken and I always stay in touch, sometimes it's hard to catch up with him because he is so busy that even his staff has a hard time tracking him. Now that's not a bad thing, especially for all the lucky celebrities and regular hair clients that get to sit in his chair.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
Somehow the Gods of Fortune smiled on me recently. Ken was going to be in one location for more than a few hours, a rare event, and invited me to come and hang out with him at his Beverly Hills location.
Of course hanging out with Ken Paves means doing hair. Lots and lots of of non-stop hair. It is an amazing journey that I would crawl over broken glass to experience.
The last time I was able to witness Ken actually doing live hair on a model or celebrity was at a HairUWear photo shoot a few years ago with Jessica Simpson.
Not only did Ken, with Jessica's help, design the initial HairDo line of clip-in extensions from HairUWear, he actually did all the hairstyles for Jessica and the models for the very first HairDo shoot.
I could not believe how much energy Ken could exert doing non-stop hair for literally over 10 hours on multiple models with literally mounds of hair.
When I got the word from Ken's people that Ken was inviting me to one of his hair classes in LA I made a mad dash for the airport and within a matter of days was on my way. Not only did it give me the opportunity to see Ken in person, cutting out emails and text messaging, it allowed me to do a HairBoutique.com Road Trip of sorts.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie to create Lady GaGa style for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
I was instructed to report to the Ken Paves Salon on Robertson in Beverly Hills at 1:00 pm on Monday, April 27th. I had no idea what to expect except Ken was scheduled to appear and do hair. That was good enough for me. Ken Paves + Hair and I was good to go.
Arriving a little early, I set up my notebook, my Flip recorder (which sadly only has 1 hour of recording time) and my digital voice recorder. Of course I had reams of paper for note taking.
Ken Paves Salon In Beverly Hills
When I arrived at the beautiful and charming Paves Salon I was greeted by a room full of gorgeous young women who are hairdressers from the Ken Paves Beverly Hills salon and the newly opened eleven salon in Las Vegas.
Ken wanted to provide a personalized training class to all his regionally located hairdressers and the class focused on his own personalized principles of cutting hair as well as creating a vast number of hair looks utilizing the HairDo line which has continued to evolve due to Ken and Jessica's ongoing innovations.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie to create updo style for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
A beautiful blonde model with hair below her shoulders was sitting patiently waiting for Ken to arrive. The 25+ Paves hairdressers were all arranged in a large semi-circle around one station which had an adjacent table piled high with every imaginable type of HairDo hair. There was long hair, short hair and even clip-in bangs. The hair was every texture and was highlighted to add depth and movement.
While waiting for Ken to arrive all of the hairdressers introduced themselves and provided a short bio about their love of hair and why they wanted to work with hair. Also they shared how they found Ken and the Paves or eleven salons. It was truly fascinating.
I was impressed with the talent and dedication expressed by these beautiful young women. Many could be models due to their gorgeous faces and stunning bodies.
Importance Of Individual Head Shape
At 1:30 Ken came zipping into the salon and after hugging everyone personally, started his class. The first thing he did was cut a beautiful layered shag cut which took the model's hair from below her shoulders to barely touching her shoulders.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie to create Jennifer Lopez style updo for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
Ken explained in great detail as he snipped away the importance of head shape and hair growth patterns and angles. He also explained how when a good hair cut has flow, it can be a great base for creating just about any type of hairstyle, especially when combined with clip-in extensions.
Although Ken also advocates the use of Great Length extensions which can be bonded in, tied in or glued in, when he works with his celebrity clients like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Paulina Rubio and Eva Longoria (to name just a few) he utilizes his vast repertoire of HairDo hair pieces and clip-in extensions.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Pave at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie to create retro tucked under look for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
He wanted to demonstrate to his "girls" how to take a basic look and blow it out with every imaginable hairstyle in a matter of literally minutes.
From A Shag To Lady GaGa
As we all sat in awe Ken took the newly shagged out model and added what he called HairDo top hair pieces and a separate fringe in white blonde. When he was done attacheing the hair he took the scissors and customized the add-on pieces to the model's head shape. When he was finished the model was a dead ringer for Lady GaGa with stick straight platinum blonde tresses. It was a gorgeous transformation.
Jennifer Lopez Glam Updo
Then in the blink of an eye Ken had pulled the clip-ins off and pulled the model's hair up into a ultra tight top pony. He whipped out a different piece of HairDo hair and proceeded to create a crescent moon shaped top-of-the-head updo which was similar to one Jennifer Lopez wore and won raves over.
After he demonstrated how to achieve symetry so the updo was perfectly positioned and finished on all sides, he took time to let us all ooohhhh and ahhhhh before he whipped off the hair piece and was onto the next look which was soft undulating below the shoulder waves.
Below The Shoulders Undulating Waves
In the blink of a few eyes Ken had taken the model from naturally below the shoulders long to above the shoulders medium. He popped on a shoulder skimming Lady GaGa, took the model to a full blown Red Carpet updo and then unpopped the updo hair and snapped on a below the shoulder wavy hairstyle.
(Image of Celebrity Hairdresser Ken Paves at Ken Paves Salon in Beverly Hills demonstrating application of HairUWear HairDo clip in extensions on Model Katie to create long waves for Paves Salon hairdressers on Monday, April 27, 2009 - Photo by Karen Marie Shelton - All Rights Reserved - HairBoutique.com).
He then decided to create a retro look by doing hand rolled pin curls along the hairline. He demonstrated brushing them out into gorgeous wing style face framing waves.
Tucked Under Deconstructed Chignon
Ballerina Bun, Classic French Twist And More
No, he didn't stop there. He kept going taking the model up and down the length scale. He created a ballerina bun, he then created a boyish supershot look where from one side she looked like a young blonde boy. All she needed was the suit and tie. He then did a classic French Twist with a modern look and continued to snip and clip, brush, comb and design on the fly.
Mason Pearson Brush Is The Only Brush He Uses
I lost track of how many different hairstyles he did and will have to go through my photos to count but in the course of four hours he changed the model's look drastically using his hands, his trusty Mason Peason brush (the only kind he will use), HairDo hair pieces (human hair and synthetic) and his Ken Paves hair styling products.
Final Look - Chin Length Bob
His finishing look? A short chin length bob that he supplemented with a Hairdo clip-in to give the bob crazy volume and curves.
How did the model react? She was ecstatic. I talked to Katie after the class was over and asked her how she liked being the model. She said she loved it and cherished the opportunity to have Ken work on her hair for hours. Of course she got to keep the hair Ken put on her head and she learned several new hairstyles she could practice on her own hair. She was happy as a clam.
After Four Hours Of Non-Stop Hairdressering Ken Was Ready To Do More Hair
After four hours of non-stop haircutting, hairstyling, blow drying, curling and straightening you might think that Ken would be exhausted. Nope. Not at all. I was exhausted from just watching him but he was still full of energy.
In fact, Ken decided to treat the entire staff to a dinner at a nearby Italian restaurant. However, before he joined everyone he stopped and insisted upon cutting his mom's hair. He guided her into a salon chair and started cutting away. When he was finished she had a stunning asymmetrical bob which flattered her beautiful face.
Ken Paves Is A Hair Genius
How does he do it? He loves keeping his fingers in hair. He loves to play with different looks and to create and design on the fly. He told his class to push themselves to always do better for their clients. Which is what he does.
Yes, I am a huge fan of the man and consider him a very special human being. He is a hair genius, there is no doubt. However, he does continue to push himself to improve his techniques, learn new styles and practice, practice, practice. He even cuts his own hair to continue to learn new techniques.
Ken Paves only gets better with time and I have no doubt that a year from now he will be even better. That's pretty amazing considering I have never witnessed anyone do hair like I have witnessed with Ken Paves. No wonder he has a two year waiting list for new clients.
Even more importantly, even though Ken Paves is a hair wizard, he is a genuinely good human being. I got a chance to talk to many of his hairdressers and they told me amazing stories of how he has inspired them and helped them grow their careers. Whenever possible he takes his stylists with him to work on his celebrities so that they can learn.
Ken inspires everyone he meets to do the very best job that they can do and to push themselves to be better for their clients and for themselves. Besides being a great hairdresser, he is truly a great man. It is an honor to be able to say he is my friend.
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