Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Dangerous Dieting- a Homage to Karen Carpenter

There are some really bad diets out there. I should know, I've been on a few. The Mexican Montazuma's diet, The Fran Liebovitz diet, (coffee and cigarettes) The Hollywood cleanse, (21 days of water, lemon, and cloves) and the 8 glasses of green sludge a day diet. Those are the most radical. I've been very lucky. I've been able to maintain a decent weight for 23 years, and keep myself in good health. In my 20's I was dangerously over weight and had to lose over 100 lbs. Yeah, I was really fat. I've written a lot about this in the past on this blog, and I have talked about my weight issues on the air. The next few weeks we are talking about fad dieting on "Hair on the Air " radio, and I'm reminded again that dieting and weight obsession can go to far, WAY to far, fatally to far. Extreme and obsessive dieting can slip over the line into eating disorders. The following bio of an iconic alto who wanted to lose a few pounds shows how she brought deadly dieting out of the closet.

A Homage to Karen Carpenter

Anorexia became a well known word in the early 80's with the death of Karen Carpenter. Biographer Adena Young says about her:

"Karen Carpenter was well known in the 70s and 80s for her dazzling music. She was one half of the sibling music group, The Carpenters. Born in 1950, she grew up listening to the Beatles and performing with her older brother Richard, and in her lifetime captured 3 Grammy's, 8 Gold Albums, 10 Gold Singles, and 5 Platinum Albums. The music she made was so great that she held the record for the most Top 5 hits in the first year of business. You could say that she lead her life in the spotlight. Young girls looked up to her. She was a role-model and a symbol of American culture. At least, this is what she was trying to be. As it turns out, it was these social pressures that ultimately lead to her downfall.
Richard Carpenter recalls that Karen was "a chubby teenager". Genetically, she wasn't meant to be super thin. Unfortunately for this singer, the only body that she would stand to have was a thin one. The dieting began in 1967 when Karen's doctor put her on a water diet, bringing her weight down from 140 lbs to 120. When she had made it down to 115 lbs, people told her she looked good, but she could only reply that this was just the beginning of the weight loss, and that she wanted to lose still more. By the fall of 1975, Karen was down to 80 lbs. She was taking dozens of thyroid pills a day, and throwing up the little food that she ate. Karen's body was so weak that she was forced to lay down between shows, and the audience was gasping at her body as she walked on stage. It was this year in Las Vegas that Karen collapsed on stage while singing "Top of the World". It was a big scare to the audience and her family. After being rushed to the hospital, it was reported that Karen was 35 lbs underweight. It was this final collapse that made Karen Carpenter realize that she had a serious problem. She went to doctors and therapists, and eventually began to believe that she was well. However, in reality, her body was still suffering from the lack of food, the over dosages of laxatives, the lack of sleep, and the anxiety of being on the road. When she died in 1983, it was a shock to many people who believed that she had been cured.
The emergency call came at 8:51 am on February 4, 1983. Karen Carpenter's mother found her naked and unconscious on the floor of a walk-in wardrobe closet in their home in Downey, California. At the age of 32, she was 5'4", but weighed only 108 lbs".

Todd Haynes's Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story

"Openly gay, experimental filmmaker Todd Haynes burst upon the scene two years after his graduation from Brown University with his now-infamous 43-minute cult treasure "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (1987). Seizing upon the inspired gimmick of using Barbie and Ken dolls to sympathetically recount the story of the pop star's death from anorexia, he spent months making miniature dishes, chairs, costumes, Kleenex and Ex-Lax boxes, and Carpenters' records to create the film's intricate, doll-size mise-en-scene. The result was both audacious and accomplished as the dolls seemingly ceased to be dolls leaving the audience weeping for the tragic singer. Unfortunately, Richard Carpenter's enmity for the film (which made him look like a selfish jerk) led to the serving of a "cease and desist" order in 1989, and despite the director's offer "to only show the film in clinics and schools, with all money going to the Karen Carpenter memorial fund for anorexia research," "Superstar" remains buried, one of the few films in modern America that cannot be seen by the general public. Now finally you have a chance to see this piece."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hair on the Air Season 3 Premier

OK, I'm horrified at our first interview for the opener of season three. Tomorrow night at 7pm Alfred and I start up our radio show again in the new expanded SUPERSIZED format of 3 hours. We are live on the ETIN network:
and through our home site at:

We are going to have a segment every week with other beauty profesionals in the industry to dish the dirt with, and talk shop. Tomorrow night's guests are the spokespeople for the national chain of salons known as "Knockouts"- haircuts and grooming for men. In other words: HOOTERS. Girls skimpily dressed like Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders strut their stuff around the salon and talk about sports. Umm, I would rather jab needles in my eyes than get my hair cut at one of these salons. My feminist friends and clients need to bear with me on this as I hope to clamp down, sink my teeth in, and not let go like a terrior with a bone. Are there any gay people that are associated with this place? Knowing Alfred we will goof on them and go all Howard Sterns on them. Geez for our first interview back, it's a tough one though.

We're hitching our wagon under the banner of WERS 88.9 FM with commercial and under-writing support. This means we get to have a hotshot producer, and staff to hustle about and book us some serious ass interviews. Rhinehard Engels, author of "The No S Diet" is scedualed for next week, and coming up our patron saint- Cosmetics icon Bobbi Brown is doing a whole hour with us. She is WAY cool, and we're looking forward to having Bobbi Brown as a sponcer.

So, I hope you listen in live or download us to your iPod. Call in Thursday night between 7-10pm (617 824-8100) or shoot us an email at We'll talk about ANYTHING you would talk to your hairdresser about which is....pretty much everything. Remember, only your hairdresser knows for sure.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fat Models off the Train Please

Nothing made me happier last week than Heidi Klum being told that she was to FAT to model at New York's prestigious Fasion Week. She is the latest model to fall off the food wagon, and into the pit of flabby normalcy like the rest of us. The poor little thing; Heidi came back with a stoic statement, supported by Seal her rock star husband saying “my concern is to stay fit, but not to thin”. OK, sounds good, healthy, and what people all over the world like to relate to. But, it is her JOB to stay thin, and she makes millions and millions of dollars doing it. Then the cat fur started to fly:

"Heidi Klum was shocked and caught completely off guard by designer Wolfgang Joop's claim that she is too fat. She had a statement released through her publicist, "Wolfgang is obviously trying to revive his sagging career and get press for himself by riding Heidi’s coattails."
Tim Gunn told the New York Daily News, "It’s totally ridiculous! (Heidi) is a sensitive soul, and it’s very troubling to her. If she’s fat, other women should throw themselves off a train. I can wrap my hand around her bicep."

On Heidi’s show project runway, she is brutal to the contestants that walk their creations down the runway. “Auf Wiedersehen” She snaps like a whip, dismissing them with that skinny model attitude. The would be designers slink off the runway, and ussualy burst into tears in the back room. So Heidi- YOUR TO FAT TO MODEL- Auf Wiedersehen!! I would have loved to be a fly on the wall as the dressers strained with the zippers; buttons popping, and seems splitting. I evoke an enormously fat operatic soprano being synched up before going out to play the starving and sickly Carmen. I can just imagine the bitchy German designer Wolfgang Joop tilting his head with an oh well- to bad look, throwing his hands up and saying “get your fat butt outta here- Auf Wiedersehen!

Normally I would feel sorry for any girl who was told she was fat. I was CONSTANTLY told I was fat at the dreaded weekly gym class -that I managed to cut on a regular basis for 12 years. On the play ground little Heidi Klums jump roped in their little white socks, with their skinny legs and whispered about me- the fat boy over there. So, I'm not feeling very sorry for Heidi since she gets paid MILLIONS to stay thin- that's her job! Cut out the snacks girl.

Heidi is in a "growing" group of models getting to chubby for the runway. Karolina Kurkova, the Brazilian model was also slamed by the fasion press after the Sao Paolo fasion week in June. "You can't be a stick forever" she said. Ummm, yeah you can. Tell Nancy Regan she can't be a stick forever. She's given up bread for ninety years to look that good in a red Channel suit.
Top supermodel Gemma Ward from Austrailia was called "roll model" last month after some sneaky shots on the beach were leaked to the press where she lay like a beached whale. Hey- she gets a pass though, her ex boyfriend was Heath Ledger...Let's cut her some slack on that.
The billion dollar beauty buisness promotes unhealthy attitudes about weight and self image- I'm the first to admit it. I try to be aware of that, and I feel a good hairdresser/stylist helps to make the client feel good about themselves, no matter what shape you are. We can all find something beautiful in every soul. We can all find at least one good thing, no matter what the day provides. I love to bring that out in people; optimism. Heidi- snack away...your very beautiful just the way you are, flaws and all. Oh, and by the way, it pains me to mention that you got worst dressed at the Oscars in that hideous Roland Mouret dress and all that gaudy jewelry. But to find the ONE good thing- loved the Christian Louboutin shoes, they made you look thinner.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Gay Hairdresser's guide to the Superbowl

I'm really trying to get it; Superbowl Sunday. All the clients (Alfred's especially) have been weighing in all week about this big deal of a game. Alfred predicted on our last radio show that Baltimore would play Philadelphia. Eagles, Ravens, now Cardinals- all the bird teams. I don't think they even have any Cardinals out there in the desert. They certainly don't have Eagles flying around downtown Philadelphia. Already I'm not getting the bird thing. At least Pittsburgh has a name "Steelers" that makes sense, being a steel mill town and all. It's a manly butch sounding name that fits well with the kind of sport that football seems to be. Cardinals are pretty sweet little red song birds, and it's a girly sounding name. ("My bridesmaid dresses were Cardinal red") Besides, I thought the Cardinals were a baseball team? Are they just trying to confuse gay guys here?

To me it's been a no brainer about who would win. Pittsburgh or Arizona-big strong steelworkers that drive 4 wheelers through snow, and grow up tackling each other in leaf piles, vs old wrinkled retired people driving Mercedes Benz's that learned falling into cactus piles and avoiding the rattlesnakes in every backyard. Kids in Pittsburgh come into eat hearty root vegetable soup on nippy Fall Sundays after playing. Kids come out of the hot sun to the air conditioning for Tacos with shredded iceberg lettuce. Hands down, Pittsburgh has the football Karma going and will win.

It is currently halftime and Bruce Springstein has sung Born to Run. He's all American, cool, and I'm loving the show, but I wish there were a few marching bands with precision flag and rifle twirlers, dazzling sequined baton twirlers, and drumlines all marching in complex formations. Now THAT is a good halftime show.I still have yet to see a decent cheerleader tonight however. I know Arizona has great cheer girls...Come on, BRING IT!! BRING IT ON!! But even without cheerleaders, I can't believe I've made it this far into the game without turning the channel to see what's on Lifetime Network, or Turner Classic Movies. I am strangely mesmerized by this game. I need more cheerleaders though.

First, I have to say that white spandex pants and white socks is just wrong, wrong, wrong. Yet another reason Arizona should lose. EVERYBODY knows you don't wear white pants after Labor Day. Especially #75 and #68 who look even fatter because they are wearing white. Rolls of thigh fat are squished into the pants on those guys; extremely unflattering. Who designs this stuff? If I were going to be on TV in front of millions of people. you couldn't make me wear white pants. I like the gold and black pants on the Steelers. Yeah, they should get extra bonus points for their outfits.

I thought I saw Whoopie Goldburg out there in the beginning with the dred locks. Several of the Arizona guys have Whoopie's hair coming out of the back of their helmets. It just doesn't work for me. The WORST hair award definitely goes to Pittsburgh #43 who has Diana Ross's hair from the movie Mahogany bubbling down his back. You'd think it would get yanked and pulled. Only Manny really gets away with the dred look I think in pro sports, and that's another sport all together.

OK, there's 2 minutes left, and Arizona has made a come back. The fat guys in the white pants are ahead by 3 - this is getting good. TOUCHDOWN!! Pittsburgh pulls off an amazing pass with 35 seconds left. Yeah, I'm enjoying this. The pretty boy quarterbacks are throwing great passes. Where are the supermodels they all date tonight? (that announcer sure says the word "penetration" a lot by the way). The fat guys fumbled at the last second, and Pittsburgh wins. Gatorade baths, ass slapping, and pig piling. I'm happy. I hope Alfred won a bet. I don't understand all that point spread stuff, but there has been a lot of talk about that all week at the salon.

Here comes Joe Namath to give out the trophy. Didn't he used to wear pantyhose? He looks really good. GREAT hair!! Nice cut, natural looking color with a few highlights. He has teeth so white that you could see them from the space shuttle. He's the original "pretty boy quarterback." There is a long line: The Paytons, Doug Flutie, William Perry, Emmitt Smith, Joe Greene, Tony Roma. Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, and my personal favorite from San Francisco-ahem- Steve Young. And now Tom Brady is the boy du jour. Giselle was hand feeding him bon bons this week in the papers-revolting.

There was/is a big Superbowl party at the White House tonight with Barac. That would have been really fun to go to. I would have hung out with Michelle and the girls, keeping the Chile, Buffalo Wings, and beer coming, and trying not to ask stupid questions about "off sides". I can only imagine the conversation, cigar smoke and Brandy snifters that are going on at this very moment. I bet they're surprised at the breaking news that Michael Phelps was stupid enough to get photographed smoking pot. Those big sports endorsements could be in jeopardy. He said "I acted in a youthful and inappropriate manor" That's pretty good damage control. Remember what happened to Kate Moss though, she lost all her endorsements. She was snotty, over 30, and to skinny snorting coke with an attitude. Michael's owned up, and is under 20, he'll be fine. Nice to see he has a bit of a bad boy edge, like Joe Namath.

This week on HAIR ON THE AIR RADIO Alfred and I will be live, taking phone calls, (617 824 8100) and having our own Superbowl after party from 7-8pm on Thursday night. I'm sure we will have a lot to say about the game and the aftermath. I certainly will as this is the second football game I've ever watched all the way through, and actually paid attention. since The only other one I watched was over 20 years ago in my brother's basement. He tried to explain the nuances of the game as we watched the Boston Patriots play on a yet again another Sunday. There seems to be a religious, spiritual ritual connected to football. It's always played on Sundays, and brings friends, family, and communities together just like parishes do. Maybe it was Divine intervention that day I watched that fateful game in the basement. God intercede as Doug Flutie threw the now infamous "Hail Mary" pass. I saw that live; a Miracle. That one play has been replayed thousands of times on televisions all over the world for all these years. I was there for it and watched my brother's eyes roll back, spasm into Hallelujah, and have a moment of Hail Mary Epiphany. The religion of Football- God really does work in mysterious and unseen ways.

Let us know what you thought of the $3 million commercials. My favorite was the Budweiser Clydesdale horse in love with the pretty white circus horse, and their quest to be together. Tune in Thursday night. I'll be the pretty circus horse, and Alfred will be the Italian Clydesdale.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

A New Year/A New You/A New Do/A New Oprah

Happy New Year. Well, I'm optimistic generally about what's ahead. We have a new president, a completely FABULOUS first family, and Oprah got fat again. The economy is tanking, everybody in the Middle East is pissed at each other, (what a few good electrolysis and waxing salons couldn't fix over there-) and there's a blizzard, flood or blazing forest fire at every corner of the country. Global warming is definitely messing with the weather and frizzing everybody's bangs- not to mention melting the polar ice caps and sending the Polar Bears into extinction. So, we are facing a tough year here with lots of problems and things to get anxiety attacks about. Someone very wise told me that "anxiety is an interest payment on trouble you haven't had yet."

The baby Polar bears are not gone forever-YET. Antarctica has not turned to slush-YET. Unemployment has not reached 10%-YET. I choose to stay hopeful and optimistic; that joy, and happiness are attainable and is a realistic attitude to have. I have a feeling that January 20th, in less than two weeks, we all have a new opportunity to make our New Years resolutions a reality. This is why I am THRILLED that Oprah got fat again. She now gets to lead the charge-spearhead a movement that dares us all to "make 2009 the year we give ourselves the love we need to be happy, to be healthy, to be well and be loved." YOU GO GIRL! I'm with you all the way.

This week Oprah kicked off her "Best Life Week" series. She is throwing all of her considerable resources into the ultimate New Year's resolution movement. Her TV show, radio, magazine, and website are all converging to show us how to "honor ourselves, to have reverence for ourselves, and to have harmony in our lives." I've been Taping this weeks shows to buddy up this weekend and have a marathon self esteem party. Instead of pizza, potato chips, and chocolate this Sunday, I'll be serving baby carrots dipped in Dijon mustard, celery with hummus, and fresh fruit with cheese (lowfat). We can take classes on line for free on with Dr. Oz (great name) and Oprah's trainer Bob Greene. We are not just going to drop some pounds here, We're going to get HEALTHY!! We're going to feel better about ourselves and have more BALANCE in our lives.

Oprah's Ultimate Checklist starts out with writing down the answer to the question: Why am I worthy of being healthy? Then, it's time to get busy. First we go get a real checkup from the doctor- a "physical" it was called when I was a kid. (I still don't like when they goose me and ask me to cough at the same time) We ask our doctor for a copy of our medical file. We ask what tests we need, and we know our NUMBERS. (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.) We find a friend, a relative, a support group, a website, or even just yourself to be a "health advocate." (the buddy system- I get it.) We learn what BAD foods to avoid. (high fructose corn syrup, sugar, transfat, and anything that says "enriched" on the label. We ALWAYS read the label) We eat healthy food, take vitamins, and of course EXERCISE!! Walking is the best exercise there is; even just 1/2 an hour a day. (not a stroll- walk like your late to a meeting.) We only need to work with weights once a week. And lastly, we need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

We need t0 reduce stress, and STOP SMOKING. ( smoking ages us 10 years, gives us wrinkles and cancer) So, all in all- I can shoot for some of this stuff. It's all basic common sense. I'd like to add a few of my own resolutions and suggestions along with Oprah's however. I've been asking clients all week what New Year's resolutions they have been making. Wow, a lot of people are jumping on to Oprah's bandwagon. But, I particularly like: Make up with people that your mad at. Laugh more, lighten up. Be honest and tell the truth- (careful with questions like "does this make me look fat?) Trust your instincts. Get a new haircut. highlight, or complete makeover. (I love that one) Throw out all the stuff in my closet that I haven't worn in 3 years.

My personal resolution is to be more grateful for what I have instead of resentful of what I don't. I want to accept the fact that I'll never have a better past. What's done is done, and all the mistakes I made were opportunities for me to learn life's lesson's the hard way. Another resolution for me is to take more risks. Get out more. I want to take Tango lessons this year, go on vacation to Buenos Aires, and take a Latin lover. (OK, that might be a stretch, but I can TRY for that)

My hat off to all of you Hair on the Air fans and supporters that are taking 2009 as a stepping stone to move ahead, achieve something more, and just try to do the next right thing. I am feeling optimistic. I have a new president, a new first lady to worship, (she really is the new Jackie) and I really am grateful for the bare bone basics in life that I used to take for granted like a roof over my head, and glass of water when I'm thirsty. At Oprah's expense, I am grateful she got fat again to light her blazing fire of the New Year's resolutions to beat them all. Happy New Year. Love, Alfred and Thomas

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Thoughts What will Santa Bring?

Christmas 2008/ 12/21/08 aboard American Airlines Flt 25 BOS-LAX

The one thing I desperately want most for Christmas- (besides world peace, waking up ten pounds thinner tomorrow, Alfred turning gay, and all squirrels that dig up flower bulbs to drop dead) is for our new high tech multi media studios to be open, finished, functional, and done done DONE!! Like Santa’s elves I need producers, researchers, techy computer geeks, eager interns, and advertising executives scurrying around us with busy and purposeful energy. I want a printout 3 seconds before going “on air” that says how many men use Rogaine or Viagra. September 1st was the original start date. Now it finally looks like (fingers crossed) the switch gets flicked by January 7th when Alfred and I come back from the “Holiday Hiatus.”(Enjoy the re-runs until then.)

Let’s have a holiday Pity Party. An hour before our big Christmas show this week our producer called; “bad news guys.” The electronics are getting rewired and we can’t record (in the phone booth size temporary studio, no outside phone line, or capability to broadcast “live.”) It's hard not to be disappointed as we had researched, worked, and saved all emails pertaining to the holidays for this week. “I have no money, what can I give my partner for Christmas?” –“ my husband’s promotion is almost sealed but his boss drinks to much at the Christmas party and slobbers over me. How do I tactfully handle it”?

We’ve been cranking out pre recorded iTune podcasts and RadioYou HD programming for 6 months now. We are unable to interview big name, celebrity guests due to the technical situation. Damn, we had Carrie Fisher lined up (Debbie Reynolds’s daughter, you know the horny teenager from ‘Shampoo’, and uber hairdo icon: Princess Laya in “Star Wars.”) Lenny Clarke- comedy king is waiting to come on, the editor of …let’s just say a big fashion magazie, and some surprises not yet able to mention. Santa, we are SO ready to get into that studio. Send the fricken sleigh, and drop the new headphones off under our tree. OK, a week at the fat farm, a hike up Brokeback Mountain with Alfred, and a squirrel fur coat would be nice too.

Now let’s look at the bright side, and get off this damn Pity Pot. Alfred and I have churned out our best shows in the last 6 months. Held together by gum and string like MacGiver, (without the mullet), we walk in, pull up the microphones and do our thing. We can do great radio, just the 2 of us, with our supporting cast of characters: Pizza Regina our talented producer and sharp tongued Valeria the vixen, our associate producer. Twenty eight years of standing next to each other all day, makes for an easy, lovingly caustic, comedy that we could expand to a 3 hour show tomorrow. If you came into our salon, you’d here our radio banter all day. Ricky and Lucy went on for years and years. Starsky and Hutch did too-although I still have my suspicions about those two. The Phantom Gourmet guys have nothing on us. 96.9 here we come.

The greatest gift that Santa has been steadily putting under my tree is the gift of gratitude. Wow, I am so thankful for realizing what is important in life and what’s not. The trick is to see and have the ability to receive the gifts when they come. Someone very wise once told me “Receiving the gift honors the giver.” I have my health. I have people in my life that care about me. I have enough to eat, and a place to sleep. I don’t need another sweater, or a new fancy car. I just need the strength to pull myself up by my bootstraps and plow through whatever it is I have to deal with at the moment.

A lot of us have crappy childhoods; for now let’s just call that SO WHAT, and move on. Timmy-grow up, Lassie died 20 years ago. Acceptance is giving up the hope that I’ll ever have a better past. I am increasingly grateful for trusting my instincts and choosing the profession that I truly love, instead of what was expected of me. I was like a baby turtle running for the water in the beginning; the flesh eating birds trying to pick me off. Nice WASPY boys don’t become hairdressers. Therefore the best gift of all is no longer having regrets. I can go back and substitute the word MISTAKE for the word LESSON. All the mistakes I’ve ever made, all the way back to wetting my training pants was an opportunity to learn.

So, back to “what can I give my wife for Christmas since I lost my job?’ As your hairdresser I would say the most valuable, romantic, and meaningful present you can give anyone is YOUR TIME. Inside of a big box all wrapped up, put an envelope inside with an old fashion love letter. Say I LOVE you, I APPRECIATE you, I‘m GRATEFULL that your around, I have NO REGRETS, and I want to spend more TIME together. On your computer make up a “book of coupons” that you can glue together. Each coupon has things like: -Good for a massage,-Good for a night I cook dinner,-Good for a Sunday walk around Walden Pond,-Good for a game of chess,- Good for going to a movie of your choice- (Go to a girl movie…suffer through it)-Good for listening to a book on tape together,- Good for a very naughty night!! All these things have the underlying message that I want to spend time with you. Even if you’re a zillionaire, that’s a priceless present.

I’d take Alfred’s audition as a Chippendale dancer/elf on Christmas morning- that would be spending time together, come on… Merry Christmas, from HAIR ON THE AIR.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thomas and Alfred: Radio's New Oprahs

Who are Alfred and Thomas?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Hair is on the Air

Here's a little more about the guys that make Hair on the Air a radio show like you've never heard before:

ALFRED: (on the left)From Boston, he’s Italian, streetwise, smart mouthed, with a tough edge and a city attitude. As a die hard Red Sox fan,he can tell you any sports statistic you want to know. With three kids, a career of dealing with parent issues, coaching kids on every team, and a family comes first, conservative values kind of guy, his matinee idol looks, and Robert DeNiro character voice fit his personality perfectly.

THOMAS: From Martha’s Vineyard, he’s gay, boarding school educated, liberal with far reaching communication skills that sometimes are over the top. His sense of humor, life experience, (for one, he lost 140 lbs 20 years ago) keeps him never at a loss for words. His prior radio talk on WBCN from 1984-87 gives him an ease in the medium. He is the “Lucy” to Alfred’s “Ricky ”.

Hair on the Air in on RadioyouBoston HD2 on Thursday nights from 7-8, but don't worry if you don't live in Boston, just go to , iTunes or and listen online. If you have a question, topic, or comment that you want the guys to answer, call the 24 hour HOTLINE: 617 418-HAIR (4247), shoot them an email at or better yet, on Thursday nights between 7-8pm CALL IN LIVE: (617) 822-6211 and take your turn in the chair.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Fledglings Come Back to the Nest


Alfred and I work our longest hours Wednesday, Friday and Saturday of Thanksgiving week, which are HUGE days at the salon, because of our dearest, and longest clients that come "home for the holidays". "Fledglings" I call my clients that I have done since kids and steer them through high school- many from the local town schools, and lots of Nobles, BB&N, Windsor, Beaver, Milton,and Concord day students. Then they go off to college, away from Boston and come home for vacations. They get their hair done and we catch up on...well, everything people talk to their hairdressers about, which is pretty much everything.. We also have those that have that same scenario as above, then stay for college at Harvard, BU, Tufts, Brown or other local colleges; so add 4 more years. Then again, the same as above and add 7 more years of PHD and "post doc" time.

I have clients that have come in as children as regularly as clockwork for 10-25 YEAS. I participate through their ENTIRE education, then one day they come in and say" I'm going off to teach at Stanford and movin
g away to California...(I always completely LOSE IT) but I always get the "don't worry, I'll always be home to visit my folks, and see you". So, this is the week where some of my most beloved clients come home. For example- Dillon who's bangs I cut as a TWO year old on his mother's lap, and is now TWENTY EIGHT years old, living in NYC and playing 2nd Oboe for the American Ballet Orchestra. He is my longest and dearest "fledgling". He sends all his girlfriends in for me to "approve". I call it "running the Mohican's gauntlet", and his last- (now ex) girlfriend left with multiple tomahawks in her head. I HATED her. This all falls under the blog topic a few weeks back that was called "Living Vicariously Through our Clients." My Mom watched her favorite Exeter Day School Kindergarten students grow up; William Tuthill is now over 45. She was protective, proud, and kept a watchful parental eye on her brood. Me too.

"Fledglings" come in all shapes and sizes. I have a girl named Billie who was 8 when I started with her. She didn't say a word for 4 years. S
he was shy, skinny and awkward with stick legs, knobby knees and big wide eyes. Now She's TWENTY SEVEN, drop dead gorgeous, with long sleek legs, dark smouldering eyes, works as a writer for MTV, dates a Billionaire's son, and travels all over the world. She is my Charlotte Vale from "Now Voyager." Bette Davis has the greatest makeover in Hollywood history. In The movie, all she needs is a good shrink. In this case, all we needed was a good lipstick-a good dress-and a good hairdresser, I did her hair/makeup/styling for her high school prom which seemed to be the begining of her metamorphosis, and produced one of my most famous and well timed comic lines When her Mother came in and started to cry, I turned Billie around in the chair and pronounced "Well well, hasn't our little duckling turned into quite a Swan". Alfred still reminds me that I omitted, but implied the word "ugly" from that sentence, but she DID have (that has kept on going) a miraculous and dramatic transformation. There was a huge silent pause, then a roaring laugh that included Billie- who years later makes her appointments as "the Swan".. I still use that line occasionally.

I have worked with a guy for almost 20 years that was the geeky computer kid in high school with thick taped glasses a
nd bad skin who found accutane acne medication, contact lenses, a happy marriage, 2 kids and a job as the editor of a well known magazine. He found self confidence and self esteem a long the way. I have a lot of Harvard students that went on to become quite illustrious. A legal commentator on CNN, more Deans then I can count, a three star General, and a lot of politicians. THEY WERE BABYS !! If I gave them one haircut, or one word of encouragement along the way that helped them, then I encourage my fledglings to spread their wings and fly. Go for it. DO IT!! I'll be around to tell you how well you've done. and how good your hair looks, but until then, the world is your oyster Anybody can be or do anything they put their mind to in this world- we just had a national election that proved that.

So, This Thanksgiving, I look forward to Charlotte Vale coming in to get her hair streaked, and Dillon to come i
n to prepare me for yet another girlfriend for me to look over. (the right one is going to come along, but for heaven's sake no more anxious ex models.) I can't wait to see my Clinical psychologist coming up from Philly, or my micro financier from Yale who loans 5 dollars to a farmer in Bangladesh to buy a cow that helps the whole economy of the village. I cut her bangs to short in 6th grade (her Mother MADE ME) and she still gets skittish around it."Post Traumatic Bang Stress" (PTBS) I think about 70% of all women have a childhood bang trauma that takes a good hairdresser to help them work through that. That's what I do. Come home and see us over the Holidays to get your hair done by those of us who love you and sent you out there way back when with your chin up, your shirt tucked in, and your bangs just the right length.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Size 12 is the new size 2

Jane Russel was a size 14. Endowed with a large bust, she won the lead role in Howard Hughes' The Outlaw (1941) after Hughes conducted a nationwide search for a curvaceous actress, eventually finding her working in his dentist's office. The film caused a storm of controversy due primarily to the amount of cleavage shown by Russell onscreen, and, after brief releases in 1941 and 1943, it was not officially released until 1950. The controversy brought her much publicity, often in the form of off-color, sophomoric jokes. However, she surpassed her mindless "bombshell" image and went on to perform with versatility in a number of films.

My personal favorite Jane Russell movie is “Gentlemen prefer Blondes with the equaly “full figured” Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was a size 12.

“We’re just two little girls from Little Rock-
And we were born on the wrong side of the tracks”

Any gay guy that has not seen this movie at least 3 times, and can not sing a few bars of this most FABULOUS and famous soundtrack should just turn in their entry card to Provincetown right now. "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" is a song introduced by Carol Channing in the original Broadway production of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949), which was written by Jule Styne (who also wrote the scores for the famed Broadway musicals for full figured women: Funny Girl and Gypsy) This iconoclastic song is sung not just once, but TWICE in the movie by both Jane and Marilyn.

Where am I going with this? Michelle Obama is a size 12. She has the same figure as those glamorous, glorious gals that were considered the paragons of beauty not that long ago. If Michelle is the new Jacki, then the whole concept of style will change. Isn't that Obama’s big slogan anyway? “A time for change“? The 18 hour cross your heart bra look is coming back faster than a speeding train. Start chowing girls, thin is definitely SO OVER !! Mary Kate and Ashley, you should forget about the matching nose jobs and EAT SOMETHING for heavens sake!!

The red dress she wore to the White House this week was perfection. (Nancy Regan was all about red.) The wrap around waist gave her the classic hourglass shape. With those hips, I would just kill to do the Cha-Cha or Rumba with her. My favorite comment comes from the Times of London’s Sarah Vine. Just in case you don’t think clothes make the woman, here is what Sarah said about Mrs. Obama’s red dress: “[It is] a garment that betrays her excitement in more ways than one. The color is racy, the cut (empire-line with a pencil skirt) emphatically sexy. And it has been a long while since a neckline as fashion forward as this has been spotted within a mile of the Oval Office.

To bad about the election night dress however. Mrs Obama wore a red and black scoop-neck dress by Narciso Rodriguez for the historic moment, a decision that has sparked instant debate among the fashion-focused. Some branded it an eyesore, others said it was a simple mistake. Most agreed Ms Obama had suffered a rare lapse of taste. I think it looked like a Lava lamp. OK, we all have our tragic fashion moments. I had a pair of Frankenstein platform shoes that were 6 inches high in high school. I wore them to my prom with baby blue low riding velvet bell bottoms- What was I thinking?

I am enamored with Michelle. She's smart. She's beautiful, and she's a classy mom on the go. To bad Mr Blackwell died who came out with the Best/Worst dressed list every year. She would top the best. She IS the best. Jane Russell or Jacki; thick or thin, tall or small, Michelle Obama is an inspiration to us all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Beautiful new World

I woke up this morning to a historical and unprecedented event: the election of Barack Obama, the first “Black” president of the United States of America. I feel hopeful, optimistic, and full of awe as this first term Illinois senator, like Abraham Lincoln has risen out of the ashes of the GIANT mess of corruption, dishonesty, and stupidity that has been a thorn (spear) in my side for quite a while. Not to mention the TERRIBLE hair cuts, dye jobs, and press conference makeup these guys have had, (magnified now by high definition television.) At least Ronald Regan had a sensational haircut, a flawless color job, great fitting suits, and a good manicure every single day he was president. Now there was a guy who new how to be butch and yet wear tons of makeup….BECAUSE of the White House private beauty salon.

Along came George Bush Sr, and tragically Barbara Bush ripped out the tastefully built in full service salon that Jackie Kennedy had built. Nancy Regan worshiped her hairdresser in Jackie’s original chair. It was a sad day for hairdressers around the globe when the dogs went in and the salon went out. I could tell instantly when it happened as Barbara Bush’s hair looked like a car wreck on I-95, during holiday traffic. We all just slowed down to a crawl and gawked in horror as we drove by.

To make matters worse; insulting the tradition of White House style, The Bush’s installed a…. DOG KENNEL in Jackie’s private beauty salon for that dreadful insipid little mangy cocker spaniel named “Millie” who had disgusting runny eyes with “goobers incrusted in it’s tear ducts. No wonder Barbara’s hair looked like that. Betty Ford (love her)) and Pat Nixon (another mess in a dress) used to hang out in the White House salon, throw back a few cocktails, and OOOH BOY I can just imagine the dishy, boozy chitchat between those girls and their hairdresser. Lady Bird Johnson teased up her hair into that fabulous “Dallas Crash Helmet” She needed the height, since she was just an itty bitty tiny little thing. Thanks to Lady Bird, we had Highway Beautification movement; key word: BEAUTIFICATION.

OK, I’ll admit that Roslyn Carter, and the present Mrs. Bush were never the paragons of style, but they are victims of that “earthy” look of their generation , and I give them both a pass. They are both quiet, not flashy, and stand by their men.

Presidential daughters Linda Bird and Tricia Nixon NEEDED that salon for those glitzy White House weddings. How disappointingly tragic that Jenna Bush had a burgers and beer BBQ for her wedding (what was she thinking?) The Obama’s oldest daughter will be in her 20’s in 8 years, and I smell a White House wedding to beat the band. Can you imagine dancing with Daddy in his white tie and tails, swirling around the White House Ballroom, in a Vera Wang dress with the French President waiting to cut in?

So, Now that Michelle Obama is moving in, and has a lot of work done on her hair Are you kidding me? It takes hours to straighten and blow out that flip to get that retro look. Which by the way is drop dead fabulous. She’s the new “Black Jackie” and I think that the first executive order of the new first lady should be to rip out that flea infested dog kennel and put back the beauty salon for HEAVEN’S SAKE!! I mean it’s a no brainer.

Those teenage girls have extensive braiding and extensions done, anti acne treatments, and Japanese seaweed relaxer. Of course a girl needs to wax in all kinds of places, especially during bathing suit season. There are THREE new ladies moving in and I propose a letter writing campaign to sweep the country to bring back the White House beauty salon!! Bring the damn thing back!! If every hairdresser, gay guy, fashion puss, and anyone of us that works in the 40 billion dollar beauty industry were to write a letter PLEADING to re build the salon- we would have a movement, a mandate, and a national statement that has the underlying message: JOBS are out there for us. This would be great for the economy. The 40 billion dollar beauty industry is a field that can expand and create new heights of green industry skin care, bio degradable make up, and eco-beauty. The time for change is NOW!!


Thursday, October 30, 2008

It Feels Good to Look Good

We hold the secrets. We listen. We console. We acknowledge and appreciate you when you sit in the chair. Our job is to help make you FEEL good about yourself, as well as look good. And remember our motto: It feels good to look good. God, we love our job. When a client walks out feeling better then when they walked in, we have done our job well. If you've been thinking about cutting your hair into something new-GO AHEAD!! Hmmm, maybe I should cover a little of this grey-GO AHEAD!! Maybe I'll go red for the fall, I've always wanted to...GO AHEAD!! You'll feel better about yourself. Ask your stylist what they really truthfully think would look good. "If you could do anything you wanted to my hair what would you do, and why?" The reason you should go to a good stylist in the first place is for their expertise and knowledge on what works and what doesn't. TELL your stylist about your life style. Be honest. "I have two kids to get off to school, and get to work. I can spend 5 minutes on my hair. With my texture, face shape, and time constraint what will work for me?" TELL your stylist the truth. "I hate blow drying, can you give me a cut that doesn't need any styling?" or "I use a flat iron everyday, hot rollers, and blow dry the wave out. How do I keep my hair healthy looking?" These are the things you should discuss and TELL your stylist. Have a relationship where you trust, collaborate, and aren't afraid to TELL your stylist what you think. "It was to short last time." So, OK, let's grow it out a bit so that your more comfortable with the length, but it's my job to be honest and remind you that your wispy soft short cut, looks dead fabulous with your Valentino suit, and the Narz lipstick we picked out last time, and you got the promotion a week after your last cut. TELL your stylist about your job, your relationships, (he likes it blonder) your schedule, your new water aerobics class in the chlorine pool, your vacation to the beach coming up, (wear a hat) or your upcoming court appearance. (always wear an off white suit, pearls, and your hair in a low chignon bun for the honest understated look whenever you have to testify) The point is TALK to your hairdresser; interact, and develop a rapor. Your hair, your presence, and youir whole look will develop and transform. Remember, it feels good to look good.

Hair on the Air in on RadioyouBoston HD2 on Thursday nights from 7-8, but don't worry if you don't live in Boston, just go to , iTunes or and listen online. If you have a question, topic, or comment that you want the guys to answer, call the 24 hour HOTLINE: 617 418-HAIR (4247), shoot them an email at or better yet, on Thursday nights between 7-8pm CALL IN LIVE: (617) 822-6211 and take your turn in the chair.