I have to admit that I was around when the shag haircut first became popular in the 70s. The shag. The haircut that had to have been created when some drug-induced stylist slipped with the scissors, leaving a chunk of missing hair. In an effort to make the chunks look more even (and planned), and rather than admit their mistake, a new style was born! Why am I mentioning this old, tired hairstyle? Well, all things old become new again, and today is the day of the shag.
A Shag by any Other Name is Still a Shag
Our happy cutters file into the Nexxus salon where Anthony is congratulated for being last week's Celebrity Photo challenge win. To say Anthony is ecstatic at seeing his model on the cover of the fake Allure magazine would be an understatement. He’s stoked, but will his claim to famedom be short-lived?
For today’s short-cut challenge, it will be a re-creation of Sally’s signature cut—the Sally Shag. In case you haven’t heard it enough, it is the one made famous by Meg Ryan. Did you know that? Sally is going to demonstrate and judge the finished coifs, and they will be judged on technical proficiency, overall look, and how closely they resemble Sally’s original style. They have one hour to complete the task.
Good fortune for some living, breathing model types today, as the contestant’s cut will be done on beheaded mannequins, while Sally demonstrates the cut on a live model. Sally is big on sections and precision, telling them they can wreck it or make it conservative. Something tells me the wrecking part will not be a problem. The students are dutifully impressed at watching the master shagger at work, but, now, it’s the stylist's turn.
The air is quiet and serious because as Dr. Boogie states, “This is one challenge you don’t want to get dissed on." Lacey decides to take a risk by cutting the ‘do shorter because "this is a game, and you either win or lose." Tyson feels very comfortable and confident in his technical abilities—after all, his mother has been a hairdresser since he was three. Danna knows she is in trouble because her nerves and adrenaline kicked in, and she’s got the angle all wrong. At the halfway point of the challenge, Sally drops the bombshell that one of them will be eliminated from this challenge. Nerves take over, and the tension is so palpable in the room, you could cut it with a . . . pair of scissors.
Time is up and Sally begins critiquing the Sally Shags. I have to tell you no two shags look alike. Lacey is called out for making the look her own and not following directions. Ben feels learning sectioning of the hair has upped his game. Theo thinks this would be a good cut for him. It would look better than what he is currently sporting, which is hiding his gorgeous curls.
Tabatha, Tyson, and Ben are called out by Sally as the top three. While she loves what Tabatha and Ben did, she says she "would pay Tyson $650 for that particular cut," and he is declared the winner. Tyson agrees with her that he is all that—modest guy that he is. If I ever pay $650 for a haircut, it had better come with dinner and a show!
As the winner, Tyson is going to have first choice of client for the next challenge. But wait! That’s not all! He will also get to choose the order of the other contestant’s picks for their models. He comments that he is “everyone’s favorite guy tonight.” Tabatha flashes him the glare of death. Hee! I like this woman.
More business at hand as the bottom three are called, consisting of Danna, Lacey, and Evangelin. Sally thought Evangelin’s would have the messiness, and she would be correct. Danna’s was not youthful enough or textured on the bottom. Lacey took hers to a whole ‘nother direction, and it wasn’t even a shag. Without further ado, Lacey is out of there. Ben comments he knew she was a goner as the cut wasn’t executed right at all.
Lacey says she’s young and was glad to have had the opportunity to be here. Tip for Lacey: Listen to and follow directions, or you won’t be having repeat clients. I don’t know of too many people who go back to a stylist who follows their vision instead of what the client wants. One or six inches--what's the difference?
There’s No Place Like Home
The remaining stylists head back to the loft, but not before Tyson rips the head of his model off its stand and takes it back with him. Jaclyn and Sally give him a “you’re a little freak” look as he ambles out smugly smiling. There’s a note waiting for them telling them that they can each make a five-minute phone call back home. How long have they been away from their families? This is just the third show. Wait. Are they in prison here or on a reality TV show? Maybe it’s a work-release program.
Tyson is all flushed as he makes his call . . . to his mom. I guess winning the challenge lets him make the first phone call, too. Oh, the perks! Danna is an emotional mess and doesn’t know if she can handle it. Tabatha is lounging around on a couch and perks up to ask Anthony why they are all crying—they haven’t even made the bloody call yet. Anthony simply says they are crying because they are emotional. She doesn’t get it. Neither do I.
Danna, Dr. Boogie, and Evangelin are letting the waterworks flow and are embraced in a group hug as Tabatha once again asserts it’s stupid because they haven’t yet called. Theo also calls his mom. Daisy tells her girlfriend how she so, so, so, so misses her. Evangelin speaks with her husband, but she doesn’t want to talk with her son because she is such a mess that she doesn’t want to make him feel bad. She wants to make sure her babies don’t forget about her, though. Danna’s on the phone with her step-mother, greets her with a mazel tov, and wonders how little Izzy is. No idea who Izzy is, but she also wants to pass on her love to mommy and daddy. She’s an emotional wreck, and this is bizarre. Girlfriend also has some nasty fingernails as she hides her face in her hands. Maybe she needs to dunk more than just her scissors in that frightening turquoise liquid.
Tyson has the group gathered around in a circle and wants each of the contestants to tell him why they should have the second pick of models. Danna’s arm immediately pops up and wants to know who is getting first. Tyson responds he is, obviously. Theo plays the coy boy and says he doesn’t know, but he has no room with the straight boys. Dr. Boogie says it doesn’t matter who he gets ‘cause he’s going to ride the roller coaster because he’s a professional, and he’s going to make it anyway it goes. Daisy is not impressed with the power Tyson thinks he has right now and his trying to play head games with people. Tabatha is asked why he should give her second, and she says he shouldn’t, it’s his decision, and she’s not going to beg anyone for anything. Translation: I can kick your ass, so I’m not kissing yours. Tabatha further tells him you'd have to be an idiot to say you didn’t want to have second selection.
Tool of the Day
A new day finds the contestants back at the salon for their elimination challenge, and today it’s a long-to-short makeover. Rene is standing off to the side in front of three trays covered with white towels. Has someone ordered room service? With the precision of a surgeon, Rene lifts the towels covering the trays of tools to reveal . . . tools. They indeed have some very special tools with which to be
hackingcutting the client’s tresses off in this challenge. There is an array of household scissors, grass clippers, wire cutters, pocket knife, nail clippers, etc. from which to choose.
Tyson takes first pick and chooses a pair of household scissors, despite Rene egging him on by pointing at the hedge clippers. Not sure if it’s a smart move or not, Tyson decides to implement the strategy of giving the weakest stylists first choice in tool selection, thus putting his strongest competition at a disadvantage.
Dr. Boogie chooses regular household scissors (maybe he should have picked up those hedge clippers since he’s not used to cutting hair with scissors.)
Danna also picks household scissors.
Evangelin is following her “gut” and heads right over to the hedge clippers, while the other stylists look on with shock and amusement. Evangelin say she wants to make a statement.
Theodore examines many but chooses the butcher shears.
Ben wants the gardening shears (grass clippers).
Daisy picks up several knives and shaves her arm testing for sharpness. Saying she feels relatively comfortable working with a razor, she chooses the box cutter.
Anthony takes the industrial wire cutters after snipping off a lock of his hair.
Tabatha feels Tyson is focusing on her for some reason, and she tells us that is going to be his undoing because she is going to kick his ass. After exchanging smiles, complete with a wink from Tyson, Tabatha chooses baby/safety scissors. You know, the kind that don’t even cut paper.
Tyson tells us that the model selection can make or break you in a challenge, and he’s going to do everything in his power to win this competition. The model selection commences in the same order as the tool selection with Tyson getting first pick and Tabatha taking home the leftovers.
The judging criteria for this challenge will be based upon technical skills, overall style, and client satisfaction. They will have a mere two hours to transform long hair into short, sassy cuts. Surprisingly, none of the contestants seems upset at the prospect.
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow
Tyson gets right to it and lops off a chunk of his model’s hair to shoulder-length. He tries to convince the client it already looks awesome. She’s saying, “Oh, my God” and covering her mouth. Myself, I’d be covering my eyes. Dr. Boogie, not used to cutting with scissors, bobs his head in time with each slice he takes. At least his mouth didn’t open and close like a kindergartener first learning to use scissors. Her hair looks a jagged mess where he’s cut, though, and he hands what looks to be a dead animal back to his client. Theodore tells his victim that her hair is old, but he doesn’t cut enough off to make it short. The client, however, doesn’t want it any shorter. Armchair shrink Theo informs us that hair is an emotional thing because when women lose control of their lives, they do something with their hair. That is so very profound—I’m now frankly shocked that Freud and Jung didn’t just get their big break in haircuttery.
Evangelin’s client wonders what the heck she has gotten herself into as Evengelin tells her she doesn’t want to pick something she can cut hair with—she wants to do something different, because that’s what it’s about for her right now. Why this client doesn’t run screaming out the door after seeing those hedge clippers and hearing that I will never know. Could one really be that hard-up to get a free haircut and be on a reality TV show?
Daisy tells her client that it makes it all so much easier when someone is a good sport. She gets to work with her box cutter, handing the chunk of hair for her client to hold for a while. This seems to be a common theme.
Anthony gets to work with his wire cutters and takes off a large amount of hair, as his client is saying, “Oh my God.” Unsurprisingly, this too is a common theme. He tells us he picked the wire cutters because he was looking for the sharpest tool. He gets brownie points for saying it was “sheer genius.”
Looking somewhat unsure, her client she says she trusts Evangelin. Ominous music plays as Evangelin goes toward her with the humongous blades of steel. I can’t look and neither can the client as she is told to close her eyes. The client ends up holding up hair sections as Evangelin needs both hands to operate the tool, and she is told to “close your fingers so I don’t cut them off.” Still she sits in this chair!
Remember Daisy’s difficult client from last week? This week, it’s Tabatha’s turn. Time ticks away as her client isn’t sure what she wants. She has never had her hair short or colored. Tab sums it up saying her client is “restrictive” and the typical client who wants to change her hair, but she doesn’t want change it; she wanted her hair cut off, but she didn’t want it short. Tabatha more succinctly sums it up by saying, “Everything was a pain in the ass.” Rene announces there is one hour left, and it doesn’t appear Tabatha has started.
Moving on to Ben, he informs us he is using the same thing that Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid used to trim his bonsai plants. Instilling customer confidence, he says what everyone wants to hear when someone is cutting your hair with grass clippers, “Oops, ouch.” He thinks he obviously picked the wrong tool.
Tabatha has finally gotten somewhere with her client, and she has color on her hair, but the client keeps waffling back and forth about whether she wants it. Tabatha, tired of her time being wasted, tells her she’s just not doing it. Tabatha is not happy and is wearing one of her looks that would scare most people into submission.
Theo has progressed from psychologist to masseuse as he is seen massaging his client’s hands while she sits under a hair dryer. Mr. Foreshadow also makes an appearance as Theo tells us he wanted his client to have an experience, and he knew his timing was going to be totally fine to finish up.
Dr. Boogie thinks Theo has *bleeped* up and wasted his time and needed a plan. Rene, meanwhile, is telling Dr. Boogie that he takes the easy road and stays in the middle. He needs to up his game. Dr. Boogie says he’s waiting for when the time is right to up his game because he doesn’t want to end up in the bottom three every week.
Tabatha’s client is looking extremely nervous as she is told it’s the first time Tabatha has cut hair with “craft” scissors, and they are slower because they aren’t very sharp. She doesn’t want her to freak. Cue nervous laugh from her client.
Theo is suddenly scrambling as there are six minutes left, and his client’s hair is one massive frizzball. Dr. Boogie starts heckling him as Theo tries to stay focused and salvage the mess on his hands. Theo needs to give Dr. Boogie a well-placed karate kick right about now, as he is being beyond obnoxious.
Mr. Spock’s Highly Logical Spacecuts
It’s time for the hair show runway, and tonight’s guest judge, the very Vulcan-esque Garren, is joining regulars Jaclyn, Sally, and Michael Carl. Garren’s celebrity list includes Madonna, Linda Evangelista, and Scarlett Johansson. The contestants all act surprised and thrilled to see him, and I suppose he’s a somebody, although I’ve never seen him before
except on Star Trek.
Since I can’t even describe to my own stylist what I want done with my hair, I won’t attempt to describe these ‘dos. But, you can see for yourself HERE. Suffice it to say they are mostly a variation of a bob, except for Theo’s, which is a hot mess.
The models appear on the runway wearing their Cynthia Rowley clothes, and I must say these are some dowdy-looking clothes. Jaclyn Smith’s K-Mart line is much more appealing, don’t you think?
Tyson thinks his style is well done, flatters his model, and is confident that the work he put out is aesthetically-pleasing, as he has yet to put out anything that is ugly. It’s ugly. That Tyson is becoming one cocky, little guy, and I do mean little . . . and cocky.
Dr. Boogie reiterates his strategy “to play it safe in the middle—as in ride the line, until it’s time to shine.”
Danna is so excited with the style she has created, even though I don't get the excitement as it’s just a flipped up bob, with one eye hidden by hair.
Evangelin tells us her tool was really heavy and a big piece of equipment to work with, so she wasn’t able to fine-tune. The modified-bob cut flatters her model, she has nice highlights, and all seem pleased with the results.
Theodore tells us he had no issues doing his technique with his scissors because his cut was very free-hand. He cuts curly hair his way, and that is what he did. Perhaps that explains why the right side is hanging down inches longer that the left side.
Ben bemoans his model’s thick hair and having done a total color change by taking out all the blonde. Her hair is missing chunks in the front and is also uneven. He doesn’t think it looks bad and says the haircut is kind of silly, yet workable.
Daisy’s thrilled that her model is loving her haircut and rocking it on the runway. She’s especially glad she was able to convince her client to go even shorter with great results.
Anthony cut the most off his client’s hair by taking off about 13 inches. He thinks she was really pleased, but she’s not looking too pleased at the moment.
Tabatha’s model enters the runway all smiles as Tabatha recounts the difficulties she had with scissors that didn’t work and a client that drove her nuts. She has that intense look going on, so I’m wondering if her model is afraid not to smile.
You've Got Some Explaining to do
After the scores are tallied, Tyson is asked how he determined the model selection order. Michael thinks he was very crafty putting Tabatha last, as Tyson confesses she is his toughest competition. Tabatha admits to the judges her difficulties using bladeless scissors and how she achieved the finished product. Her model states she loves the glaze used on her hair to make it shiny.
Garren is asked if he likes Ben’s style, and without hesitation says, “No.” Good sport Ben smiles. Sally and Garren don’t like the color change and think the blonde looked more youthful.
Daisy is jubilant when her model tells the judges that she so loves her cut that she no longer wants to have long hair. Dr. Boogie gets called out for not creating a crazy style since he was using crazy tools. How about a crazy tool using a crazy tool?
Jaclyn tells Evangelin’s model that she would have run had anyone approached her with those clippers. The model affirms she was really scared but loves her cut and color.
Theo is asked if he feels he made the right model choice given it was a long to short challenge. He enthusiastically says he and his mom have the same kind of texture of hair, so that’s why he picked her as a model. Michael doesn’t like the hair or the highlights.
The contestants and models are sent away as the judges further deliberate. Tyson’s is universally disliked. Tabatha being able to create and execute something using the dull scissors impresses them. Bens’ cut and color are not liked, and Garren sums up the disaster by saying it can be re-cut. Ouch! Daisy’s is praised as being the good version of Ben’s. They are impressed the look was accomplished with a box-cutter. All the judges liked Dr. Boogie’s model better with her long hair. Sally says she would have given her a shag. Oh, well that didn’t come out awkward at all. Kudos abound for Evagnelin and what she accomplished using the hedge clippers. Theo’s is described as a rat’s nest and not working for them. They fear the poor girl is going to wake up as Lord Helmet.
ShearThrill of Victory, and the ShearAgony of Defeat
It’s callback time to face the judges, and Daisy, Tabatha, and Evangelin are called forward. They look at each other nervously, as they were the ones who all used the weird tools: hedge clippers, a box cutter, and safety scissors. Surprise! This is the top three, and Evangelin’s is declared a cut above the rest, and she is the winner of the challenge.
The bottom three is announced and consists of Ben, Dr. Boogie, and Theodore. Ben is told his tool backfired on him. I’m sure there is a joke in there somewhere. He went too dark and didn’t capture the spirit of the client. They are disappointed and expected more from Dr. Boogie and are not impressed he played it safe. Theo is called out for being over-confident, and they feel his style was indecisive as they didn’t know what direction he was going. What direction was he going, you might ask? The direction of the door, of course, as he is the one eliminated. Poor cute little Theo is quite gracious in his exit speech and feels he is so honored to have stood in front of these movers and shakers in the hair industry. He tells America he is just getting started and receives a round of applause from the contestants and judges. With that he sashays out the door saying, “These boots were made for walking.” Sing it, Nancy
Next week: Everyone’s true colors are coming out and everyone is insane! Sounds like a good time. See you then!