Curly Hair Is An Asset

Roy Teeluck on what the keys were to winning the curly hair challenge.

This week I had the opportunity to sit in as guest judge for both the short cut and special Nexxus Salon Look Challenge and help decide who would appear in a Nexxus advertorial in Allure magazine. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did! During the short cut, clients played musical chairs while the nine remaining stylists worked on whoever happened to land in their chairs. In the end, they had to answer for the client they began with and a few ideas seemed to get muddled along the way -- kind of like playing a game of telephone with scissors.

Dee was the clear champion on this one. I think she understood the challenge better than the others and it showed in how happy her client was. From my own experience as a stylist, I understand the importance of giving your client a look they can duplicate on her own. In fact, the real mark of a great stylist is the ability to teach the client, while she's in your chair, the step-by-step process of the style so she can do it at home. That's why the Nexxus challenge tested the stylists' teaching abilities.

Nexxus provided the products and it was up to the contestants to share the "how-tos" with their clients. The real key to winning this one was giving the client a style they loved that wouldn't take too much of a chunk out of their morning routines. Glenn, who won the challenge, had a client who'd always taken a very low maintenance approach to her hair, so Glenn gave her client a few simple tips. When you can give someone simple steps that make a vast improvement in her look, that's the best you can do for them. Well, after Glenn's success, we had to say goodbye to someone. Strangely for an educator, Meredith's biggest problem was that she had too hard of a time teaching her client.

When she was sent home, she blamed the straight-haired population for just not understanding the charm of curls. That couldn't be farther from the truth! Curly hair is an asset, but like any hair, it needs to be given a shape that works. Meredith's client's hair fell sort of getting there, without dynamic form or movement to it. The cut needed to flatter the texture of her hair and be amplified by products specifically made for curls, like Nexxus Gorgeous Curls that helps define curls and battle humidity -- a curl's worst enemy. If Meredith had known how to work with her client's curls a little better, she wouldn't have had to leave the competition. For all of you fans who think you can style your hair as well as the pros, now is your chance to prove it! Log on to Nexxus.com to enter the Nexxus Hairdo How-To contest.

Show us your best tips for achieving a salon-quality look and you could win a trip to New York City to watch the finale episode with me and the Shear Genius cast. For full details, go to Nexxus.com.

Brig IS Shear Genius!

The controversial contestant reveals which stylists she still speaks to and what she learned from the experience.

Bravotv.com: In this challenge, you got to pick your assistants? Why did you pick who you did?  
Throughout the entire competition I saw a personal strength in April that I truly admired. I knew 100% that she would give her all to help me execute my vision, regardless of how crazy it sounded to her. I chose Faatemah because I needed her strong styling abilities for what I had in mind. I had an advantage and didn't want to face either of them on another team. I was excited to put together an all female cast.
 
Bravotv.com: How do you think your two assistants worked out in the end? 
Brilliantly. April and Faatemah helped with the final looks. They both gave their input which I candidly admit helped arrive at the winning end result.

Bravotv.com: Can you describe your inspiration a little more? Have you ever laminated hair before?
I had never laminated hair before or seen it done. It came to mind a few days prior when I was playing with a roll of clear tape, so I tried it on a piece of hair from my own extensions and it was very interesting. It seemed a bit nuts, yet intriging at the same time. I love taking risks at the chance that the outcome could just be genius. When Henry and I consulted, I asked if he liked comic books, and he told me how he just started collecting collecting Chinese comic books. Cool! That I felt was the "money" question to give me the go ahead with my idea. Imagine: Bjork as a villianess superhero.

Bravotv.com: Were you expecting the criticism you got from Jonathan about not using their real hair enough?
I rarely work with extensions in my salon, so I was thrilled to push myself. I expected criticism from the day I tryed out for the show.  I welcomed the different opinions, Jonathan's included.  Because I expected it.

Bravotv.com: What was going through your mind when your hair came down the runway? 
It was insane, unusual, and most importantly elevated Henry's collection. I loved how the color story I chose came through, especially on the final model where I muted the color palette into pastels. I also was thrilled with the make-up. It really punctuated the entire look. When Matthew and Janine?s hair came down the runway I thought they put up very strong looks. Matthew took a huge risk by using the skull caps. I thought it was cool that he threw all his cards down on the table and went for it. Janine always managed to make the most of every second we were given. It is no secret that they both are extremely talented. Once again my work was the odd collection. I knew I was looking at something that I had never seen before. Completely original. That was all I ever wanted to do during Shear Genius. I felt like a winner at that moment and really did not care if the judges liked it or not.

Bravotv.com: At that point did you think you had it or maybe you lost it?
I was thrilled with myself for the concept and thankful for April, Faatemah, and Henry's input that helped produce the final looks. The entire process of the show to that point was such a arduous journey that I was proud that I took a HUGE risk.

Bravotv.com: Did you agree with the judges' comments for your own hair and your competitors?
I was on cloud nine to be standing in the finale and hearing Linda Wells say that she had never seen anything like it ever on the runways around the world.  When Henry (the designer) told me how pleased he was, I couldn't have been happier in a bathtub filled with Fruity Pebbles! As far as Matthew and Janine's looks... I don't recall what the judges said.  I was in my own world at the time.

Bravotv.com: Some of our viewers love you, some love to hate you (sorry!) -- how much of what we saw is the real Brig and how much is strategy? 
What you saw was the REAL me strategizing for $100,000 in my greatest professional challenge. Early on I realized a few stylists were "blinded by my bow" and started saying I was crazy. I felt that being underestimated was not a disadvantage. I was so thrilled to be standing behind a chair in the Shear Genius salon. I was given a very rare opportunity to really discover what I could handle.

Bravotv.com: What went through your mind the moment Camila announced the winner? 
Shock at first.  Then I wanted to jump up and down and there was no way I could with Janine still standing next to me. She was actually very kind to me and congratulated me.  I am not a gloater, so I hope I didn't appear ungrateful. Winning was something I said I would do, however having accomplished that goal among the high level of talent each stylist possessed was surreal.

Bravotv.com: What are your plans now?
Shear Genius introduced me to a large amount of talented and creative people. I plan to continue to be ME and inspire others to TURN UP THEIR VOLUME!  I don't understand the lack of confidence a lot of people experience, however I wish to inspire them to try something new and not worry about what anyone else thinks. I am eager to take advantage of the amazing exposure I received from being on Bravo and use that to help express my ideas.

Bravotv.com: What has changed for you since the show started filming?
Going to Target has become a social adventure. The recognition has been great for my business at play hair lounge. and has created some amazing new friendships and opportunities.

Bravotv.com: Do you still talk to any of the other stylists? 
I do.  April, Brian, Amy, and Jon. I welcome future conversations with all of the stylists. 

Bravotv.com: What do you think the biggest thing you learned was? 
That I truly am 100% secure with myself, my style and my ability, and to accept failure and learn from it. I also learned that without everyday responsibilities and distractions, my creativity increased exponentially!

Bravotv.com: Any message to the haters?
No. I prefer to focus my attention to those who are positive and support the freedom of self expression. It takes twice as much energy to be negative then it does to be positive. and as you know I am a very positive person so I have plenty of energy to spare. 

Bravotv.com: Anything else you'd like to add? 
I plan to continue to post my stories on my blog "BrigKnowsBest" and cutting hair at my salon, p!ay hair lounge in Simi Valley, CA. I strongly believe that success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. I have been overwhelmed by the amazing amount of support by people who have shared this amazing journey along with me. This is only the beginning.  I am ready for the next big challenge!