September 2009

In my Opinion

America Has Gotten Casually Ugly and It’s Our Fault

by Don Bewley

( Editorial note: The Stylist takes no responsibility for the opinions expressed in this article )

I travel a couple hundred thousand miles a year and sit in airports all over North America people-watching.

Simply put, what I see scares me. I see bad hair color, unremarkable haircuts and ponytail after ponytail. Rarely does anything catch my eye.

There was a time when the US was considered a fashionable place. But now any European will tell you that they can spot an American a mile away from their flashy clothes to their consistently casual appearance. And that is not a compliment.

Believe it or not, our clients look to us for fashion and beauty. 20 years ago when I owned my salon, we instituted a black and white dress code. Within three months all of our clientèle were coming in sporting the same look. Not only were they copying our hairstyles, they were copying our clothes.

We need to lead by example by looking absolutely stunning behind the chair. No bellies hanging out. No clothing two sizes too big or small. Class brings class-act clients and the opposite brings, well, the opposite. If you want successful people in your chair, you need to look and act successful.

But even more important than that, we need to stop being so wishy-washy and be real consultants to our clients. We need to take control of our chairs and return to cutting hair based on bone structure, head shape, best features and body shape. Clothes look best when they’re tailored – it’s the same DNA with hair.

We spend so much time focused on color classes we’ve forgotten how to think about cutting a great shape that goes with our clients’ bone structure and body type. When is the last time you went through a three-day advanced cutting class?

Don’t forget that it takes more than haircolor to make a woman look beautiful. Also, if you don’t know the color wheel inside and out, you’re wasting your time by continuing to take color classes. In order to understand how color works, thorough knowledge of the color wheel is imperative.

We need to take responsibility for all of the bad hair out there. The good news is that there is a real opportunity here. We have the power to help make America beautiful again.

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