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Hits from the Past
Written by DR Hanson
Published on December 12, 2012
No, not ecstasy silly, more like Education with a splash of Extensions and never any Ego. I traveled to Hair by Charlie in the Design District in Dallas to chat with Charlie Price and Danielle Harper, his resident Hair Extension Expert. I was greeted by a happy canine named Pippin and a humble Charlie sweeping the floor. A warm smile and firm handshake set the tone for what was going to be lovely conversation.
Charlie and Danielle took me through the intimate space to a large wooden bench that reminded me of a subway bench from the 1940’s. I learned later that that’s exactly what it was. I immediately felt at home. Even with the two of them flanking both my sides, which could be awkward at times, but what’s beauty without a little quirk.
HEG: What percentage of your services centers around extensions?
HEG: Is this from advertising and focusing on extensions ore simply customers calling and asking about them?
Danielle: We don’t promote extensions so the clients we have already know about extensions and are looking for a salon to apply them.
HEG: How many stylists hear work with extensions?
Danielle: Just me. I am the only one who does weave.
HEG: That was my next question! So you only do weave extensions?
Danielle: Yes. I sew in weaves and I also do custom clip in extensions
Charlie: In the 80’s the focus was on cuts. The 90’s switched to color. Now we have extensions. I fought it for awhile and still want nothing to do with them but it is a service we provide. Though limited.
HEG: So you never work with extensions Charlie?
Charlie: I try not to but will use them for editorial and creative work.
HEG: Extensions are trendy but do you think it’s a trend?
Charlie: It’s a lifestyle. It’s here to stay and will be popular whether we like it or not.
What’s great about Danielle is that her unique approach to extensions is all the advertising we need. We’re in such an intimate space that every time Danielle does extensions everyone here gets to witness her genius. And correct me if I’m wrong Danielle, but inevitably one of those people will book a consultation with Danielle.
Danielle: You’re not wrong
HEG: How long have you been working with extensions Danielle?
Danielle: With a cosmetology license 8 years.
Danielle: But I’ve been doing extensions on my mother and aunts since I was 13, 14. I’d just sew hair into their heads and just started to develop my own way of doing extensions.
HEG: And what’s that?
Danielle: A lady never reveals her secrets.
HEG (Laughing) Touché! Do you wear extensions?
Danielle: I do.
Danielle: Right now.
HEG: It looks flawless.
Danielle: Thank you! My hair is like this long (indicating 3 to 4 inches with her thumb and index finger)
HEG: No!? (Danielle’s talking to me with gorgeous shoulder length hair)
HEG: Incredible. So do you have a favorite type of extensions or application?
Danielle: Uh, this (referencing what she’s currently wearing)
HEG: The weave kind?
Danielle: Yeah, I find it’s the safest way to wear extensions. They are not completely non damaging to your hair but I find the integrity of the natural hair is easier to maintain with sewn in extensions.
HEG: And How did you end up at Charlie Price?
Danielle: I worked at another salon and just met Charlie through some friends and fell in love with everything he’s about.
Charlie: Danielle’s a little more humble so let me tell you how we met.
Charlie explains that they did meet through acquaintances and that it was her personality that caused them to become friends and eventually work together. After about a year with Charlie, Danielle needed something more, something different. Charlie and Danielle spoke about New York and with a few of Charlie’s contacts in tow, she was off to the Big Apple. Charlie believed that Danielle needed the validation of someone bigger then him and like they say, if you love something, set it free, if it comes back it was meant to be. And Charlie and Danielle were meant to work together. A year and half of New York living, crazy wig making and working with Ted Gibson made Danielle a more passionate and experienced Stylist, and a wiser one. She came back and has been a Hair by Charlie ever since.
HEG: Where do you see extensions in the next 5 years Danielle?
Danielle: I see them going more places, being used in more ways, just more, more, and more hair extensions.
HEG: From runway to every day?
HEG: Do you have any tips for extension wearers?
Danielle: The best thing I can say is to not over style the extensions. Most extensions are already chemically treated so adding more product and hairspray can start take its toll on the extensions to the point where someone might say “is she wearing…yep those are extensions” and no one wants that.
HEG: No they don’t. I don’t want this to end but I know you guys are about to open and I have a few questions for Charlie so thank you Danielle for your time. I really appreciate it!
Danielle: Of course! It was nice to meet you.
HEG: You too Danielle! Now, Charlie, you have my undivided attention. I’m curious about the hair scene here in Dallas. Can you describe that for me?
HEG: Is there a hair scene in Dallas or such a thing as a hair scene?
Charlie: It’s everything. Women and gentlemen are realizing that their hair is their number one accessory. It’s not uncommon for a woman in Dallas to spend five, ten, fifteen thousand dollars on a handbag that they can only wear for one season.
HEG: I never thought about it like that.
Charlie: The way I teach and educate my staff is to push the limits. And that doesn’t mean pink or purple hair. And there’s so much more to Dallas then the big blonde hair people always envision about this city.
And I’m here to help guide these men and women to these new limits…you know it’s really an open scene, not one bound by trends. I was just in L.A. last week and it seemed like every woman had half her head shaved.
HEG: (Laughing) Thanks Miley!
Charlie: But is that gonna last? No! If you look around you can see hair going to that bohemian simple organic style that is anything but simple. Letting the hair speak for itself with a little help from their stylist. And that’s not a trend. That’s timeless.
HEG: Now I went to the Richard Kavanagh event in Sept. How often do you do events like that?
Charlie: Well, that was our first.
Charlie: Yeah, and we put that together in two, three weeks.
HEG: Wow! It was a great event and to pull that off in that amount of time is very impressive.
Charlie: Thank you. There’s a huge void here in Dallas for incubated education. All the education you get right now always comes back to a salon, to a brand. I want to create a space where we can let our ego’s go, have some fun, and learn from each other. That event was not a hair by Charlie event. It was Charlie Price. I didn’t make any money off that and I didn’t promote the salon. That was all about education and the fact that we had the turn out we did shows that there’s a need for this. That’s why I just leased a building down here and I’m gonna bring people in out to Dallas once a month.
HEG: Wow. That’s a great! So that’s your plan? Once a month education?
Charlie: Yeah, fill that space with 20 or so chairs and just incubate some education. I will not have a Redken stylist. I will not have a L’oreal stylist. I will just have amazing hairdressers that have amazing resumes that don’t work for a big brand.
HEG: What do you think these types of event will do to the “hair scene” in Dallas?
Charlie: I think it will raise the bar on what we create here. And if those stylists that were at The Richard Kavanagh even didn’t go back to their salons and raise their prices, then shame of them. They just got educated by one of the most talented stylist’s in the world. If they don’t take that knowledge back to their clients then that’s on them.
HEG: That makes a lot of sense actually. I hope they did learn something.
Charlie: Me too.
HEG: What inspires you in and out of hair?
Charlie: Hmmm. Streets. Walking around and seeing what people are wearing. What they’re doing. Crowds really inspire me…and of course fashion. That’s kinda the go to answer so I’ll include that.
HEG:(Laughing) I like the streets answer actually. There’s a lot that can inspire you from just being outdoors and looking beyond yourself.
Charlie: Very true.
HEG: Do you have a signature move or signature style?
Charlie: No. I’ve learned so much and try to incorporate it all that I’m just focused on creating great hair.
HEG: I think that’s a pretty good answer right there. You’re signature move is great hair.
Charlie: (Laughing) I hope so!
HEG: Any advice out there for stylists just starting off?
Charlie: Yes. Assist. Find a mentor. Someone you trust, someone you admire and just assist him or her.
HEG: For how long?
Charlie: That’s for the mentor to decide.
HEG: I guess that’s what would make them the mentor
HEG: Thank you Charlie for your time today and for letting see your beautiful salon. I’m a little in love with it.
Charlie: Thank you. I am too!
There’s a song from Pippin the musical called “Corner of the Sky”. After spending a few hours at Hair by Charlie Price it’s clear Charlie and Pippin have found there corner of the sky
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