Interview with Ted Gibson


The single most important part of being a hairdresser is the consultation. This gives the client a “voice” and helps them discover what it is they want, even when they don’t necessarily know what that is. Enjoy our interview with Celebrity Hairstylist Ted Gibson. Tell us a little about yourself.

I love being a mentor to others. I try to inspire them and give hope, thereby raising the level of what hair is about. I want to provide a 5 star luxury experience while changing the way someone feels about themselves. Did you always want to be a hairstylist?

My entire life I was drawn to hair. I grew up as the only child in a military family. My dad was not very accepting of his only son being interested in hair. A good friend brought me to beauty school and got me interested in hair. I then ended up attending that school. What prompted you to get into hair?

I realized that through doing hair you were able to change the way someone feels about themselves. I traveled my whole life and was exposed to different cultures, different types of hair. I learned that just by working with the texture of hair I could change someone's image. These experiences led me to hair specifically.

Ted-Gibson---standing What was your first hairstylist job?

Apprenticing under a woman, who continues to be my mentor today. I learned many of the necessary and important skills to be a great hairdresser. I learned the importance of a good shampoo, and developing a system for cutting hair. This experience, these tools were what really turned me in to a successful hairstylist. Beauty school is designed to help pass the state boards. But developing the skills to be a great stylist is the most important part of being successful Can you tell us about a memorable moment you had while doing hair?

Yes, in fact it changed my life. I flew to London to do the covers of Cosmo and Marie Claire with Angelina Jolie, shot by Patrick Demarchelier. Who’s hair would you love to work on?

I love being an “image maker". Everyone I style is an opportunity. Helping new, up-comers is a particular love of mine. I enjoy helping them develop the image that then becomes them.

tedgibsonfw12-04 What is the toughest part of your job?

Being “Ted”. Being the Ted that everyone expects and deserves. Being ready to do all things, being uplifting, being “on”. Setting expectations for my staff. To initiate this there is a 15 minute huddle every morning. We use the daily huddle to inspire everyone and get them on the same page. We discuss everything from pop culture to individual and personal concerns. What is the best part of your job?

Seeing how someone’s life can be changed. This is one of the main reasons I started working with the show, "What Not to Wear." In every episode I am an integral part of this concept. It’s an incredible feeling being involved in a woman’s complete transformation. What surprises you most about working as a hair stylist?

My success. An only child in a military family from Texas, I’m just not your typical hairdresser. It’s not supposed to be me, I’m just grateful that it is. I am known for having the most expensive haircut in the world at $950. I have learned how to make people feel good about themselves and that's something you can’t put a price on.

Where do you find your inspiration? In helping others and being able to make someone feel good. In changing their image, their life.

What does it take to be successful in your industry?

Not working inside a box. Never put yourself in a situation where you don’t or can’t realize your full potential. A beauty license can offer a person so many opportunities. You can work behind the chair, photo shoots, hair shows, TV, even traveling the globe. Go for it. Also remember to always give back. I am very involved in the nonprofit organization Beauty Changes Lives. Mentoring others is also an integral part of my work.

tedgibsonfw12-05 You have worked with so many famous celebrities, is there anyone that stands out as your favorite from a Hairstylist stand point?

No, as I stated before it’s about how a women feels. That I can provide an experience and be able to change a life. In essence, I can empower a person by helping them understand their beauty. What are the biggest hair care do's and dont's?

The single most important part of being a hairdresser is the consultation. This gives the client a “voice” and helps them discover what it is they want, even when they don’t necessarily know what that is. Making sure the client trusts their hairdresser. The importance of using good products. It is also important to advise the client to change their hair at least two times a year. This can be done by adding bangs, changing color, even something small, by doing this they can “keep fresh”

TG - Ashley Greene - Samsung Galaxy SIII Launch What’s the one hair care tool you simply can’t live without?

Ted Gibson Beautiful Hold Hairspray. I use it in every setting from runway to everyday. A “working hairspray” it provides shine, volume, movement and it smells good too. It can be used on all hair types, it’s effortless and sexy. It can help to make a statement. Which hairstyles do you tend to do the most often?

I don’t have any one specific style. It’s more about working with the texture of hair to create a style. I always focus on helping women understand what they want and ultimately what will make them feel their best. Which hairstyles are the most popular?

It’s always an individual decision, always different based on what the guest needs in order to feel good and look their best. What tips and advice do you have for aspiring hair stylists just starting out?

Make your value known. Never work for free. Make sure your guests know how valuable you are. I always ask, "When was the last time you raised your prices?" I then advise doing this one to two times per year. It’s that important.

TG - Jessica Chastain - Madagascar 3 Are there any new exciting shows or projects that you are working on or have lined up in the near future?

Yes, so many. Let me look at my calendar. The cover of Cosmo with Demi Lovato, a brand new salon (secret location), the cover of Bullett magazine with Juno Temple, Elizabeth Olsen, Jessica Chastain for Madagascar 3 appearances, Millennium by Harms Software Inc educational conference in Miami. These are some of the things I am doing right now, this month. What would you classify or define as Ted Gibson hair?

Natural, sexy, individual. I’m known for coiffed hair. I’m not known for a cut, but rather an experience, a style.

I’m currently campaigning for a hair category at the Oscars. We need our own category, separate from makeup. It makes us feel as hairstylists that we aren’t that important, it’s disheartening. Hair is Hollywood. With great hair, words aren’t necessary. That little black dress is nothing without the hair. Hair creates the character, think about it. Many icons were created by their hair, Marilyn Monroe was a brunette, Diana Ross in Mahogany.

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