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Shear Genius - A Reality TV Which Challenges Hair Stylists

Shear Genius (SG) is an American reality television series originated on the Bravo network which focuses on hair styling.

The Shear Genius contestants engage in weekly elimination competitions until a winner is determined.

(Image of twelve contestants from Shear Genius Season 3 beginning in 2010 - Bravo/TV - All Rights Reserved)

The show was hosted by Jaclyn Smith in Seasons 1 and 2 and is currently hosted by Brazilian model Camila Alves for Season 3.

The first season of the show aired in April and May 2007, immediately after the low-rated Top Design wrapped up its run.

Unlike its predecessor, however, Shear Genius became a word-of-mouth fan favorite and a second season started airing in June 2008. Despite the comparative lack of success for Top Design, it was also renewed.

The first season's judges included Jaclyn Smith, Sally Hershberger and Michael Carl along with a fourth guest judge each week.

Second And Third Season Judges & Mentors

The second season judges were Kim Vo and Kelly Atterton with Jonathan Antin replacing Atterton in Season 3. The first and second season mentor was Rene Fris with Orlando Pita replacing Fris in Season 3.

Shear Genius uses a combination of the rules from Project Runway and Top Chef.

Two Hair Challenges Per Episode

There are two challenges in each episode. The first challenge, the Shortcut Challenge, is usually not for eliminating one of the contestants, although in Season 1 Episode 3 one competitor was "sent home" after the Shortcut Challenge.

The Shortcut Challenge ranks the contestants based on a judging factor, usually technical skills. The winning contestant(s) may receive some benefit in the second challenge.

The second challenge is the Elimination Challenge, which has each contestant style the hair on a real model or client given certain requirements or goals. After completing the hair, the model is dressed appropriately and a runway show, similar to Project Runway, is held for the four judges.

Judges Questioning Contestants

After the show, the judges may ask questions of the contestants about their styling choices. The judges then confer among themselves and decide on the top and bottom styles.

The top stylists are credited and a single winning stylist is selected, with the phrase "Your work is Shear Genius"; a picture of their style is displayed on the Allure Wall of Fame for the remainder of the competition. The bottom stylists are then identified, and the worst stylist is sent home with the show's tag line "This was your final cut."

Both challenges were timed, and if additional materials were necessary, the contestants are given a limited budget for those supplies.

The first three challenges of Season 1 used mannequin heads instead of real clients.  Season 2 and Season 3 have only used live models and did not use mannequin heads in any of the challenges.

Season One - The first season first aired in April and May 2007. 12 stylists competed in various challenges to win the title of Sheer Genius. Anthony Morrison defeated Ben Mollin and Daisy Duchens to become the winner of Season 1.

Tabatha's Salon Takeover was spun off from the series, featuring contestant Tabatha Coffey, known for her blunt, direct style with the other contestants. Tabatha made it to the Final 6 of the competition. Tabatha also was the first ever Shear Genius "fan favorite" winner, for which she received $10,000.

Season Two - The second season of Shear Genius began airing on Bravo on June 25, 2008. Sally Hershberger and Michael Carl were replaced by Kim Vo and Kelly Atterton. Dee Adames defeated Charlie Price and Nicole Obert to become the winner of season 2.

Like the first season, Bravo also had a fan favorite competition for Shear Genius. Daniel Lewis, who was in the Final 4, was fan favorite of season 2.

Note: Charlie Price in the Bravo version of Shear Genius is not related to the Charlie Price from Sheer Dallas.

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