Welcome to the second episode of Shear Genius. This week I’ve dusted off my left-handed scissors and (hopefully) my recapping skills and am ready to cut some hair and dish some snark or at least to watch others cut hair and dish snark. As a disclaimer, the only time I ever cut someone’s hair it was attached to my Chatty Kathy doll. I was five and used a pair of dull right-handed school scissors. Let’s just say that she ended up with a unique hairstyle. However, it wasn’t much more “special” than the ‘dos some of the contestants foisted on their unsuspecting
victimsclients this week. Let’s get down to business, shall we?
Hey You, Get Off of My Cloud!
The episode opens as the eleven remaining stylists walk into the salon and notice a mockup cover of Allure with Theo on the wall that proclaims him “This Week’s Top Stylist.” Jaclyn announces to them that as last week’s winner, he is featured on the Allure Wall of Fame. I’m sure that all of the stylists are jealous. After all, who wouldn’t want to be on a fake magazine cover?
Theo at least seems quite pleased confessing that he was on cloud nine after that one.
Jaclyn then introduces the stylists to this week’s guest judge, Roy Teeluck of Roy Teeluck Salon and the lead stylist for Nexxus. Roy seems like a fine fellow, but it is a little disturbing to me that his hair looks like it has been styled with the hedge clippers featured later in the preview for next week’s episode. Jaclyn reminds the contestants that the winner of the show gets an apprenticeship with Roy. Evangelin’s reaction is predictably dramatic. She proclaims that the prospect gives her an absolute panic attack and would be amazing. Imagine her reaction to an actual crisis.
Jaclyn tells the stylists that they will be going back to their “roots” and using skills they haven’t executed in a long time. Isn’t she clever? That’s right this week’s short cut challenge is color. The contestants have two hours to transform their mannequin from a raven-haired piece of Styrofoam to a level 8 blonde. Theo tells us that this is crazy as it took overnight to transform Britney Spears to a blonde. Roy shows the contestants a swatch of hair that he just happens to have handy to compare the dye jobs to see if the contestants have reached level 8. Thankfully for me, Ben explains that there are ten or eleven levels of color depending on who you talk to. As Jaclyn reminds the stylists that the winner of the shortcut challenge will have the first choice of clients for the next elimination challenge, the camera catches Jim looking a bit vacant with a dumb grin on his face. This should have been the last time he smiled during the show.
Jaclyn announces that their two hours is starting and the contestants immediately start scrambling. Tyson opines that coloring is all about the mixing consistency. Tabatha demonstrates her knowledge by explaining that in order to go from a level 1 to a level 8 you first use bleach and then when it gets light enough you go back in with color which is what changes the tone to give you more of a natural wearable blonde.
Evangelin is nowhere near the teary mess of the previous episode proclaiming that she is on and feeling it and not crying any more. We even get a grinning confessional where she says that they might just think she’s a small town girl but she’ll show them. During the challenge, she yaps away about the lessons she’s learned, “When you’re supposed to be adventurous and creative, don’t do it. When you’re supposed to be neat and precise, mess it up.” This drives Tabatha to joke with Anthony that she is going to get a mannequin head and go over and beat Evangelin with it. Tabatha’s rage is somewhat lessened when she manages to squirt water all over herself at the washing station. As she explains, this is why she doesn’t shampoo.
As the clock shows that there is 1:29:54 remaining in the challenge, we cut to Dr. Boogie who says that he could have sworn that the rule of thumb they learned back in beauty school was that when you bleached you shouldn’t touch metal objects. When asked what is the worst that could happen he replies something about an allergic reaction.
Ben confesses that he doesn’t like to do a lot of chemical services. Basically, he doesn’t like doing anything that is nasty to breathe, but he wants to win pretty badly.
Evangelin earnestly explains that sectioning is very important to make sure the color is on properly. Otherwise, you end up with dark spots and lighter spots. Lacey, still looking like a little lamb lost among wolves, tells us that not only is she not a colorist she’s beyond not a colorist. She doesn’t like getting it on her hands and doesn’t want to ruin her $100 boots.
Guest Judge Roy asks Tabatha what level color her hair is and whether she colors it herself. She declares her hair to be through the roof and says that she does it herself because she does it better than anyone else. Roy is clearly impressed by her confidence.
Next, we get a long confessional from Jim. He tells us that he is old school and that he’s been in the beauty industry for 30 years. He thinks that going back to basics is very important when working with color. He then informs us that he’s no expert but he knows color. The effect of this statement is lessened by us seeing him flipping through a color book frantically and mumbling colors under his breath. He also tells us that his clothes are ruined, his glasses are ruined, and it’s not pretty. This he is dead on about.
As the time reaches 45:04, Dr. Boogie is swearing and informing us that he’s blue. He doesn’t mean he’s sad. He means that his mannequin’s hair is blue because he grabbed something wrong in mixing up his color. It’s a nice contrast to his confessional that the challenge is a refresher crash course in being the genius that he is.
Theo is oozing confidence. He tells us that he and Danna are both colorists. He says that they were talking and sure they were going to rock the challenge and both be in the top 3. In fact, we see them sitting and chatting with Roy who asks Danna if she’s doing fine on time. She says she’s doing great. Next, we see Tabatha working hard.
As Roy proclaims that there are ten minutes left the stylists other than Danna are frantically running around. Danna is applying lipstick.
Once Danna finally manages to wander over to her station to unwrap her mannequin’s head, she loses the casual act and is rinsing as fast as she can while everyone else is blow drying.
After time runs out, she confesses that she is humbled. Her mannequin’s hair was sopping wet by the time the clock stopped. She didn’t even have time to comb it out and it ended up looking like a bird’s nest mush of blonde hair. Dr. Boogie sums it up by asking her if she melted her or highlighted her.
As they line up to be judged, a lot of the hair looks red to me. Based on Roy’s swatch, it looks like level 8 blonde is fairly red, however. Luckily for Danna, Jaclyn reminds the stylists that they will be judged on technical proficiency not cut or style. Roy tells them that it is not about matching the color of his swatch. It’s about attaining that level or higher. He does say that some of what he sees is darker than he expected. He offers comments to everyone and points out to the “colorists” Theo and Danna that there are inconsistencies in both of their coloring jobs. In the end, he proclaims Ben, Tabatha, and Evangelin to be the top three and Tabatha to be the winner.
Jaclyn congratulates her on having gone from last in the first short cut challenge to first in this one and tells them all to head back to the loft. Tabatha is thrilled and thinks that having first choice will be a huge advantage. She thinks it was good to know that she did what she meant to do and got recognized.
Some of These Things Are Not Like The Others
When the contestants return to the loft, they are surprised to be greeted by Rene who tells them that he is there to inform them about their next challenge. He says “You know this client who walks into the salon with what?” They all proclaim, “A picture!” And, they are right. Rene has pictures of 11 clients on a wall around the corner each of whom has a dream celebrity hairstyle. He tells the stylists that the challenge is all about making the client happy AND what’s best for them. I think a few of the stylists missed the second part.
As the top three, Tabatha, Evangelin, and Ben get to pick first and get to see the celebrity pictures. The rest of the contestants will get to choose a client but won’t get to see the celebrity pictures until the next day. After very carefully scanning the pictures, Tabatha decides to go with her gut and chooses a woman with long hair who wants to look like Victoria Beckham. Tabatha reasons that this cut will require a lot of precision and classic hair dressing skills. Evangelin then wastes no time selecting the woman with a picture of Halle Berry. She explains that she chose her because she had red in her hair while Halle does not. She knew red was the toughest thing to get out and thought it would be a good challenge. Ben says that he wouldn’t touch some of the choices with a ten foot pole. He specifically mentions a woman with black hair and a picture of Gwen Stefani. Ben later proves to have been a smart and psychic man. In the end, he picks a client that he thinks wants to look like Melanie Griffith. Actually, her dream celebrity is Sienna Miller whose name he can’t pronounce. The top three are all happy with their choices and congratulate each other.
After he removes the dream celebrity photos from the wall, Rene calls the remaining contestants in. There is basically a free for all to pick the clients. Jim tells us that he has this thing where he can scan very quickly and he saw this beautiful woman and made an Olympic move and grabbed her picture. In retrospect, I bet he wishes he hadn’t been quite so quick. Dr. Boogie employs a somewhat ruthless tactic and grabs a whole bunch of pictures off the wall and just hands them out after deciding which one he wants to keep. In the end, everyone ends up with a picture.
After Rene leaves, the stylists discuss trades and Daisy also proves to be prescient when she jokingly asks Dr. Boogie to get her client off her back after putting the picture around her neck.
The next morning at the salon, the contestants file in. Evangelin tells us that she stayed up all night trying to figure out the formula to make her client’s hair the color of Halle Berry’s. Rene reminds the stylists that the challenge involves figuring out the most flattering style for their client’s features. After a commercial plug for the clothes the clients are wearing (Cynthia O’Reilly?), Rene annoyingly tells the top three to say “hi, hi” to their clients. He then tells the rest of the stylists to do so as well.
Lacey is relieved that her dark-haired client revealed a picture of Jennifer Aniston and had features that worked with the hair style. Anthony’s client produces a picture of Carmen Electra. The two of them seem to get along well. Anthony appears quite comfortable dealing with clients who bring in pictures. He tells us that if it’s not possible to make them look like the picture, he just tells them so. Poor Daisy is stuck with the bitchiest of the clients. She presents a picture of Christina Aguilera as a platinum blonde. Daisy tries to convince the client that it is a far way to go given that her hair is basically black. The client doesn’t seem moved by things such as possibilities.
A Horse of A “Different” Color
Tyson is also unpleasantly surprised when his client reveals a picture of Gisele. He tells us that in his professional opinion he chose not to do a carbon copy and slap it on her head. Instead, he’s opting to do a very tailored custom piece. Tabatha’s client admits to being nervous about her new bob because she hasn’t had short hair since she was three. Tabatha handles her very well and gets to work on the cut. Danna’s dark-haired client reveals a picture of Jessica Alba. To Danna’s relief, the client liked the concept more than the color because as she says, it would be impossible to take her to platinum blonde in two hours.
Poor Jim is stuck with the dark-haired Gwen Stefani wannabe. He tells her that he would take her to a very, very orange red which would be really, really strong or he would take her to platinum blonde. Jim offers her and us many words. Unfortunately for him, the one word he doesn’t utter when she decides to stick with platinum blonde, is “no.”
We cut back to poor Daisy who is patiently trying to explain to her client that if she got her hair to platinum blonde it would be a bitch to maintain the roots. Daisy says that she was confident that she could convince her to do something else. As Daisy will learn, she might as well have beaten the client over the head with a blow dryer as she yammered on at her.
Evangelin has decided to abandon all her careful planning to color her client’s hair after seeing what a gorgeous red it is. Theo’s performance in the short cut challenge hasn’t hurt his confidence as he once again tells us that he’s going to rock a challenge. His model has been using European over the counter hair color product which is much stronger than American products but he’s going to see how light he can get her hair.
Dr. Boogie’s client’s celebrity model is Nicole Ritchie. He whacks a lot of length off and chats away with her. She seems fairly comfortable and relaxed about the whole thing.
With 1:06:56 left, Tyson is using a freehand painting technique on his client’s head. Anthony is quiet and concentrated, and his client seems very comfortable. Theo has somehow decided to put on a muscle shirt while working on his client whose dream celebrity is Jessica Simpson. He explains that he is going to do a couple of highlights around the top to hopefully get the feeling and tone her hair to the lightest blonde it can be. When asked by Roy, he admits he’s not sure he has time to pull this off. Ben doesn’t feel pressed for time at all. As he explains, he is used to answering phones and doing his own shampooing. Over time, he’s grown faster by necessity.
With 53 minutes to go, Jim finally pulls off his platinum blonde colored glasses and admits he doesn’t have time to turn his client into Gwen. He tells her that he can make it darker in the back and lighter in the front. She is understandably nervous. Jim still maintains that he has it totally under control. When Roy questions him about the four different tones in the client’s hair, Jim poo poos him and tells him that most of that will be cut off. His plan is to turn her hair copper red. He’s convinced that although she’s not going to be blonde, she’s going to be fabulous. I’m convinced he really did ruin his glasses during the short cut challenge. Oy vey.
Tabatha talks with Roy about how hard it is to cut a bob. She acknowledges that she took on the challenge willingly and continues to exude professional competence. And to think I didn’t like her at all during the first episode. Daisy, on the other hand, is exuding panic mumbling about being tight on time. With five minutes left, Daisy realizes that the client’s hair looks nothing like she wanted but decides to try to put up her red (not platinum blonde) hair to make it look decent. Jim tells us he’s lucky he got an optimistic client. I’d say he’s right. If he’d turned Daisy’s client’s hair that ghastly orange, she would have neutered him. Dr. Boogie sums it up best by comparing Jim’s results to Carrot Top. Meanwhile, Anthony confesses that he’s worried about Daisy because he doesn’t believe she’s even cut her client’s hair at all. After Daisy finishes putting the client’s hair up, the sour puss client tells her she hates her hair pulled back.
After time expires, Daisy understandably loses it a bit in the lounge. Dr. Boogie gives her a big hug. She explains to the others that it was crazy. Her client had three colors in her hair yet she wanted to be Christina Aguilera. Her client admitted that some people call it being a bitch, but the client calls it wanting what you want. There was simply no way to convince her she couldn’t become Christina in two hours. Evangelin not so helpfully tells her that she should have told the client no and she has every reason to cry. I wonder what the judges would have done if Daisy had flat out told the client to leave.
Little Show of Horrors
We come back from commercial to the hair show. Jaclyn introduces the judges Sally, Michael, and Roy. She tells the stylists that they will be judged on technical ability, style interpretation, and the client’s satisfaction.
Tabatha’s client comes out first and looks fantastic (and like Victoria Beckham). Tabatha is clearly happy with the result. Ben’s client comes out next. Ben tells us that he wasn’t going for glamour--he was going for practical. He admits that she looks good but not great. I agree but I also think she doesn’t so much look like Sienna. Evangelin’s client struts out, and let’s just say it was obvious she wasn’t going for practical. The style is relatively short and there is a piece on top that sticks out. The color is beautiful. Evangelin says she thought, “Jesus, superstar.” I have to admit I thought the style is bold but what the heck was in that styling gel she used? As Michael later says, the judges all thought “Something About Meredith.”
Tyson says that he’s well aware that he’s
humbletalented. He does admit that if he’d taken less time on his highlighting technique his client might have looked more like Gisele. In my not so professional opinion, the style does look flattering though. Danna has smartly instructed her client to work the runway which she does quite well. The client clearly loves the results. As Danna says, the client told her at the beginning that she felt like a princess and by the end she felt like a queen. Anthony’s client comes out and immediately fusses around with her hair. At first, he was annoyed that she was messing up his style. However, he tells us that she totally worked it and flipped, twisted, and floated. Her layered cut looks great and you can tell she’s quite pleased. Next up is Lacey’s client. She appears to have done a good job imitating the Jennifer Aniston picture and is very happy with the result.
bitchclient comes out. As Daisy admits, she looks absolutely miserable. Daisy is clearly quite worried that her bad luck in client choice may be the end of her on the show. Theo’s client has red hair which he decided on in the last 23 minutes of the challenge. She had black hair which Theo thought looked great but wanted a change so he went for it. It looks good but not particularly like Jessica Alba. Jim’s optimistic horror experiment is next. He seems pleased with the result and tells us he turned what could have been a white scalp with a yellow middle and bright orange, red, and brown ends into copper red. Poor Jim. More like into Ronald McDonald red circa 1972.
Last out is Dr. Boogie’s client. He tells us that her hair was long, dry and flat so he layered and flipped it and added a little volume. It looks a bit like Nicole Ritchie. As he explains, she was no supermodel but she looked cute.
The judges bring all of the stylists and clients back and tell them they are done scoring but have a few questions. They ask Tabatha how long she colored her client’s hair. Tabatha answers twenty minutes explaining the cut took most of her time. Sally gushes over the cut even telling the client when the client suggests it could be a bit shorter in the back that that is the cut. They ask Evangelin something which leads her to explain about her decision to keep her client’s red hair. Sally brings up how the top section would look in a profile shot. The judges are enjoying their Something About Mary joke but on the whole seem to like the cut.
Ben explains that he cut before coloring because his client wanted an easy style. Roy compliments the cut telling him that he feels like he captured the rock ‘n roll easy free-spirited hair.
Once the judges finish with the easy questions, they move on to Daisy and Jim. Jim explains that his client wasn’t interested in styling and on a scale of 1-10 wanted a 20. He is a bit deflated when his client answers that the style will take a little getting used to when asked if she likes it. Daisy tells the judges that she was excited when she first saw her client’s picture figuring she might want to look like Marcia Cross and was really surprised when she realized she wanted full blown level 17 platinum blonde. She admits that she decided to attack it full force even if she ended up going home. Sally calls her on not telling the client a flat out no.
Anthony explains that he was pleasantly surprised when he saw the picture of Christina Aguilera so he decided to take the interior sections of the client’s hair and just do highlights and lighten them up and given her a technical layered haircut and blow dry. Michael says that he thinks it turned out heavenly and the client admits that she feels sexy. On that note, Jaclyn sends the stylists to the break room so the judges can deliberate.
The judges all agree that Tabatha nailed the challenge. Surprisingly to me, they also thought Evangelin did a great job. I guess they are serious about taking all three categories into account. Theo gets a much harsher evaluation. One of the judges thought his client’s hair looked better before and Sally rakes him over the coals for the muscle shirt saying she wouldn’t want armpit hair in her face while getting her haircut. Jaclyn wasn’t that pleased with Ben’s cut either saying it was the wrong texture and style.
Not surprisingly, the judges hate Jim’s style. They dub his client Ms. Pink. As one says, it would be interesting to have a camera to see her reaction when she looks in the bathroom mirror the next morning. As another one says, the thing is that the poor camera would break. Sally bluntly calls Daisy’s hairdo prom hair. She does say that she’s seen Daisy do modern hair in the past. Jaclyn opines that the biggest problem with the challenge was that the stylists weren’t strong enough. She loved Anthony’s Carmen Electra style. Sally agrees saying that he achieved what he was trying to do.
The judges call the stylists back in and without much more ado Jaclyn asks Tabatha, Anthony, and Evangelin to step forward. They are the top three. Jaclyn explains that Evangelin made a drastic change, bold choices, and had a client who couldn’t be happier. Anthony didn’t have the advantage of knowing his model ahead of time but managed to really make his client happy. Jaclyn tells Tabatha that the client asked for a haircut that was technically difficult and she pulled it off. She then tells them that the winner will be featured in a Nexxus ad in Allure. When Jaclyn announces Anthony as the winner, both Tabatha and Evangelin seem genuinely thrilled for him.
Jaclyn quickly moves on to less pleasant business and asks Jim and Daisy to come forward. She tells Daisy that the judges expected much more from her and that bad time management contributed to her problems. She tells Jim that he didn’t have a plan. In the end, Jim has had his final cut. He is very gracious in leaving and says that he’s waited all his career for an opportunity like this and that it was nothing but an honor.
The Next Cut
Next week, Tabatha appears to get a bit testy with an indecisive client and the rumored hedge clippers make an appearance.
PM me your worst haircolor stories.