At this point, if you haven’t heard the name Ted Gibson, we’re going to assume you’re living under a rock. Gibson is one of the world’s most notable hairstylists, gaining fame for working on all of Hollywood’s most famed celebrities, he charges a whooping $1200 for a haircut! Gibson was the resident hairstylist on TLC’s What Not To Wear and he now has 3 salons and counting! We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview, giving us a glimpse behind Gibson’s skyrocketing success and reap his words of advice. Take a look at what he had to say below…
How did you get your start in the industry?
I’m an army brat so I’ve lived in many different places around the world. Experiencing all of those different cultures exposed me to many different kinds of beauty. I was fascinated by it. Fast forward to my 20s, I had a friend who was a hairdresser that I thought was so major! He had the best clothes, drove a fab car and had an amazing apartment. He inspired me to enter the industry. I got my first position assisting a hairdresser named Zan Ray in Austin, TX, who is still a mentor to this day.
What was one of your biggest career challenges and how did you overcome it?
I started pretty late in the business of fashion and editorial at 33 years old. My first show was Miu Miu with Eugene Souleiman and it changed my life! I wasn’t one of those kids who picked up Vogue or any other fashion magazines. I knew who models were, but I didn’t know anything necessarily about fashion. When I had the chance to do shows that season it opened my eyes to a whole new way of thinking and gave me a different perspective. Normally how this business works is that you enter in as an assistant to a stylist at 22 or 23 and that stylist later passes you work, thus allowing you to grow your own career. Because of my age, I had to expedite that process so I concentrated on creating the brand of Ted Gibson from my work in fashion and with celebrities.
Who are some role models who have inspired you?
I have a few role models. The hairdressers that have inspired me are Vidal Sassoon, Paul Mitchell, Eugene Souleiman, & John Atchinson. My fashion icons are Diana Ross, Raquel Welch, Farrah Fawcett, Josephine Baker, & Rita Hayworth.
Do you have a signature look or style that you are known for?
My beauty philosophy is “Beauty is Individual”. In my career one day I can do an Angelina Jolie, the next day Gabrielle Union, the next Lupita Nyong’o, and the next day Anne Hathaway. With that being said, I would say my signature style is polished hair. Whether it’s waved, straight, or up I feel like my signature is beautiful, sexy hair. In addition, my $1200 haircut, as the most expensive salon haircut in the world is not just for celebrities – in my NYC and W Fort Lauderdale salons I work on anyone from the stay at home mom in New Jersey to the high powered Wall Street executive.
Which hair products or tools are always in your kit?
I always keep a boar bristle brush, multiple sized curling irons, French pins, baby powder and hairspray in my kit.
What advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
Everyone is not your friend!!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? What advice would you give to new stylists?
My mentor, the late Horst Rechelbacher, told me that in order to build a successful business, you have to know who your customer is.
What is the next chapter for you?
More salons! More products! The next IT girl! And continuing to live the dream!
My tagline is “Beauty Is Individual” and I always say #HairChangesEverything. I believe this with my whole heart.
Be sure to follow Ted on Instagram for more #manespiration.