KB: How was it working on Oprah?
DS: Surreal. The first show I got called for was very last minute, and I was own out to Chicago right away. Carson Kressley and Tim Gunn walked by, and only then did it all start to click. After all these years of working on celebrities, to work on regular guys was awesome. These were huge transformations. One guy was still wearing his high school mullet! Watching their families cry tears of joy really choked me up. Oprah was everything you want her to be. She really changes people lives. She changed mine. Being asked to do this show was a huge compliment in itself. But it was the reactions of the wives and family members upon seeing their man’s new look that resonates with me to this day. On the male client…
KB: What should salons be doing to build a male following?
DS: Men love things that are exclusive and private. They are extremely loyal and expect you to be educated. Men like facts, and they like to keep things simple. Put yourself into the regular guy’s mind and take it from there. Get to know your neighborhood. If I had to go to the Jersey Shore, I’d have a heart attack with those hair cuts. It’s not my turf.
KB:What should we be offering the male client? What would they like?
DS: Technique, skin care advice, a holistic approach, you must also be able to be knowledgeable when it comes to hair replacement (surgical and non-surgical) options. You have to be the professional on all things that pertain to men. Be an educated artist, and learn how to treat the whole guy. Sure, the hair cut is the most obvious thing to focus on but address other items like how to shave, trimming eyebrows, nose hairs, ear hair, and how to use grooming tools.
KB: How do we get men to embrace hair color?
DS: Depends on the guy. You need to ask a series of questions. Instead of asking what they do want, ask about what they don’t want. No one knows what they want but I can assure you every man knows what he doesn’t want. You need some great consultation skills, and some men-friendly verbiage. “Do you like these gray hairs? Do you like your current style? Any celebrity hair style you like? When was the last time you had a hair cut? Did you like it? Do you have any head scars that I should be aware of?” It all happens in the consultation. Spend your time talking with your client about their needs. Focus on what looks best on the individual sitting in your chair. For a man, it’s all about the shape. Ask yourself: is everything in proportion? During the last 10 to 15 minutes of my work, I take off the cape. I have my clients bring an extra shirt—because I like to see the nal hair cut in relation to their overall body shape. The cape hides the shape of your client’s body and it is important to see the proportion, shoulders, body shape. My advice is to take off the cape while putting your nishing touches on your hair cuts. On the future…