Move over Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers. There’s a new host on the late night front, and he’s got the professional salon industry talking.
In late 2015, Tev Finger, president and CEO of Luxury Brand Partners, launched his own Internet talk show featuring celebrated stylists, beauty entrepreneurs, cutting-edge salon owners and even a celebrity or two.
“Creative things always start with a problem,” Finger says. “While communicating to salons and stylists, it seems issues in the industry have reached a fevered pitch—things are heating up between lease and commission salons, states are facing deregulation issues and beauty professionals are worried about topics from price suppression to diversion.”
Finger thought a late-night style talk show was a great way to address some of these heavy topics while having some fun at the same time.
“Stylists and colorists are passionate artists, and they aren’t looking for a lecture,” Finger says. “Personally, I like those kinds of shows, and they are a great way to inspire while getting a national conversation started.”
The shows also serve as a forum where guests can share helpful beauty business-building strategies and cutting-edge styling ideas. And social media is one strand that weaves through each episode.
“There are camps of young stylists who are turning this industry upside down by building their own brands and marketing themselves through social media, leaving others a little lost and confused,” Finger says. “We want to share those social media practices so everyone can grow.”
Only three episodes in, the show is delivering on the fun factor from karaoke contests, hockey-puck-shooting competitions and carpal tunnel syndrome prevention stretches. Finger’s sidekick, Mixology Mike, dresses up in everything from shark costumes to Hair-bacca and greets each guest with a custom, themed cocktail. Guest segments are broken up with Saturday Night Live-style mock commercials and hilarious spoofs of music videos that salon teams send in.
Because LBP is passionate about this project, the company is building a permanent set within their educational center in Miami’s Wynwood Art District and flipping the bill for each show while resisting the temptation to use the vehicle to push their own products. In fact, Finger’s gone as far as inviting other manufacturers—like John Paul DeJoria of John Paul Mitchell Systems—to be part of the conversation.
“Who knows, maybe we’ll event bring an array of presidents from different haircare companies on for a presidential debate?” Finger laughs. “After all, we have a united goal of making the industry stronger and helping salons be more successful, and so far everyone we’ve invited has said yes immediately.”
To catch up on Late Night with Tev Finger episodes, visit LNWTF.com.
As Seen on Late Night with Tev Finger
With a diverse range of guests from celebrity stylists to successful salon owners to a star or two, you never know what will be discussed on an episode of Late Night with Tev Finger. Check out some of the chatter from the first three episodes.
“Right now, there’s a lot of competition. With things like social media, with things like Instagram and Snapchat and Twitter, you’re always being fed an image. You’re always being forced this image from somebody who has thousands of followers or somebody who’s charging this amount of money for a haircut or color, and you’re still here, so you feel like you have to be better and push yourself. It’s inspirational, but there’s also a lot of anxiety with my generation.”—Eva Taiibi, a celebrity and fashion show stylist from IGK Salon in Miami, on the pressure to build a social media following
“My father is the person that put me where I am today because he stood up to the student counselor who told him he should not allow his son to become a hairdresser. He (the counselor) told my father that I was wasting my time, that it’s not a man’s job and I was going to fail and wouldn’t have a future. My father took this long pause and then all of the sudden he stood up, put his hands on the desk and said to the counselor, ‘My son will be a hairdresser, and he’s going to be great at what he does, and you’re going to read about him.’ That was the beginning of my career all of a sudden.”—Celebrity stylist Garren, one of the collective behind R+Co.
“What you are doing is very, very important. We’re in this industry together, and we need to help this industry out. It’s so brilliant because we can accomplish so many things together. When you harmonize together, it benefits more people. I think our industry has to realize that, and not just manufacturers working together, but also salons.” —John Paul DeJoria, founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems, on why he participated in the Reset documentary, which sheds light on some of the industry’s most pressing issues from the rise of the rental market to licensing deregulation
“I was young and was sitting with him and complaining and whining about something. Dad shushed me and said, ‘Darling, go do something for someone else.’ It took me years to really understand that, but now I know he’s absolutely right.—Eden Sassoon, owner of Eden by Eden Sassoon in Los Angeles and the founder of Beauty Gives Back, remembers the greatest lesson her father, Vidal Sassoon, ever taught her
“It was a huge rock star who I won’t name. I show up at her place, and the assistant brings me up to the bathroom which, is the size of this studio, and (the celebrity) stumbles through the door. I turn around to unzip my bag and grab my tools and when I turn around, she’s taken her robe off and is naked. She wanted to be shampooed, and I had to lean her over the bathtub to shampoo her hair. It was a crazy experience, and a little much.”—Celebrity stylist and reality TV Star Jonathan Antin, who owns Jonathan & George Salon in Los Angeles, commenting on his biggest celebrity disaster
“Stylists have a massive hang-up about raising prices—they think they’re going to raise their prices and everybody’s going to leave. The thing is, prices change all around us, they all raise. Why shouldn’t the stylist’s price raise, particularly since year after year they get better by investing in their own education? What I suggest doing is taking your clients and putting them in three different tiers. The top tier is your clients who come to you regularly and you really like being around them because they have positive energy. The second tier is people that come fairly often but you’re not so jazzed about seeing. The third tier is those that don’t come very often and to be honest you’re kind of bummed when they do. Raise the bottom tier a lot. Some may go, but that opens things up and brings more positive energy to your chair.”—David Thurston, owner of Butterfly Loft Salon Spa in Los Angeles and the founder of the Butterfly Circus consortium of social media beauty experts
“I’m always a businesswoman, and my husband and I wanted a VW bus, and I wanted to figure out how I can write it off. I thought, ‘Why not brand it as The Confessions of a Hairstylist’ bus? I’ve been teaching independent education classes for the past two years, so why not go in my bus and teach classes in salon? I took my whole family, and we went from Vegas to San Francisco and all the way down to San Diego, and we did a documentary about the whole experience.”—Social media star Jenny Strebe (@theconfessionsofahairstylist) describing her latest project
“The best celeb I’ve worked with is Jared Leto because he’s loyal, and he trusts me and we’ve been able to do a lot of great things with his hair over the years that have gotten a lot of attention. For me that’s what it’s about if you’re a hairdresser working with that kind of client. They’re almost like a billboard. You’re able to create things that turn into trends and people look at it for years.”—Celebrity stylist Chase Kusero, Member of the IGK team
“I went to beauty school, graduated and took the California State Board and passed. I’m basically a hairdresser; I cut my own hair, actually.”—Actress and Activist Rose McGowan on why she’s passionate about the beauty industry