Saturday, March 13, 2010

Brad Johns, Buttery Blondes

When I saw this headline in the NYT ("Taking on Hair Color's Bad Guy"), I immediately knew who the story would be referencing:

Brad Johns.

(It was really about ammonia.)

But Brad Johns was my reflex assumption, and for good reason: I have never heard of any colorist since the mid 1990s who's made such a splash with his strong color (or "buttery blondes," to quote his website) or his outspokenness.

You may recall that Carolyn Bessette Kennedy's lawyer issued him a "cease and desist" for talking about his client or that he preferred "crisp" $100 or $500-bill tips, with an elegant thank-you note.

Outspoken indeed.

Aside from his well-known clientele, Johns was known for his "chunking" technique, which gave a "fabulous" but not necessarily "natural" look (his words).

When I worked in NYC, during 1996, Johns had his own salon--not under the umbrella of Avon or Elizabeth Arden, but his own joint--on 5th Avenue in an upstairs location.  One lunch hour I went for a consultation, determined to capture all the New York magic that I could during my residency.

Mr. Johns was pleasant enough, plopping a portfolio of his work into my lap, but I ultimately did not have my hair colored there.  Why?

Because I didn't like Brad Johns' own blonde hair--it looked more brassy than flattering to his skin tone so I didn't trust his judgment. Terrible mistake?  Who knows.

For my money, Kathleen, then at Bergdorfs, now at Salon AKS, was just right.  And I have no regrets.


K.Line said...

What a self-possessed young 'un you were! And I'm amazed by your daughter's acting stamina.

Belle de Ville said...

Ever since I allowed, uber hairdresser Garren, at Garren at the Plaza Hotel, chop off all my hair, on my stop in NY before heading to Europe for my honeymoon, I have never allowed myself to be intimidated by hairdressing divas again.
Good for you for walking out on Brad Johns.
I still cringe when I see my photos from my honeymoon.

Miss Cavendish said...

K.Line--Last perf today. She's at her cast party right now and will be exhausted.

Belle--Garren's been on my wish-list for years--ever since he cropped Linda. Do tell everything!!

WendyB said...

^^Belle, I went to Garren's salon but not Garren himself. I went there over 15 years ago and I'm still with the same hair stylist! (He left the salon and now does his own thing...)