Anthony Pazos Interview
He just happens to be “the hottest” hairstylist in all of Beverly Hills.
Not only does he have an impressive client list but he’s about to launch his own line of hairstyling products.
Anthony Pazos is the man we are talking about and we spoke with Anthony about all things Hair.
Q – Anthony, you’ve been described as someone who has a quick wit and a sharp tongue. Now, how does that work in your favor? If you were quiet when you were cutting someone’s hair would that make a client nervous? Would that work against you?
A – Yeah. Having a quick wit and a fast tongue, sometimes it actually can get me in trouble because usually what happens is I don’t think before I speak. Although I’m very nice and I’m a good person, sometimes the things I say can come up a bit harsh and maybe seem sensitive even though I mean no harm. And so, even though I can be funny at times, sometimes me being quick-witted can be taken the wrong way. But, I like it. It always goes for a nice, interesting day. It makes it fun. As long as they don’t take it personally, it can be fun.
Q – And so, if you didn’t open your mouth while you were cutting someone’s hair it might lead them to ask, “What’s wrong with this guy”?
A – Yeah, totally. In our industry, especially being a hairstylist I feel that we’re artists but we’re kind of like a therapist too. So, a huge part of doing hair is actually listening and communicating with your client, just making sure like they’re being heard. So, if I was quiet it would really be bad, my client wouldn’t come back. So, in my work, in my field, it’s really important to be personable and to communicate and most importantly to have a good time.
Q – You must be talkative and outgoing.
A – Yeah. I’d like to think I’m pretty outgoing and I’m pretty personable. It depends on what time of the morning you catch me. In the morning it takes me a little time to get awake and feel happy and pleasant, but, hey as long as I have my coffee I’m totally happy and having a good time and being funny. I feel that’s how life should be. It should be fun.
Q – It should be. Not always is.
A – It should be. I forget sometimes. I get a little crazy sometimes, a little stressed out. But, I try to keep it pretty lax.
Q – When did you know you had a talent for cutting peoples’ hair? And, were you encouraged or discouraged from pursuing it?
A – Hair was always something I was good at. I started doing hair when I was 13. I have two sisters, Alissa and Lauren and it was my job in the morning to make sure their hair was done before school, so I kind of fell into it. It was kind of my way to help out the family, but then I realized I had a knack for it. It just came really easy to me, doing beauty and making people feel good came really naturally to me. And, I felt like it was just something that I was really good at. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew I was good at it. Someone was like, ‘I like Katy Perry’s hair or I like Britney Spear’s hair’, as long as I could see a picture it was always easy for me to mimic whatever it was that, that person liked about that image. I guess I’m a good mimic (er).
Q – So when you went to cosmetology school, did you get anything out of that? Did they teach you anything you didn’t already know?
A – The cool thing about going to cosmetology school is, I felt like I was a bit more. I don’t want to say advanced, but in a way I was. At one point I remember teaching other students how to high-light. I just felt really confident in my craft and I felt really comfortable so I felt like I had a real advantage over the hairstylists learning in cosmetology school. But, I did learn a lot like formulations and what conceals what in hair coloring and what makes things look vibrant and so I did learn a lot. I definitely learned very specific techniques. So, it was nice to go to Beauty College and I’m still learning. You’re always learning.
Q - And how are you still learning? Do you go to seminars?
A – You know, anything from watching someone teach a class or maybe a fellow hairstylist is working on something I haven’t done or don’t have as much experience doing and for me I learn by watching. I find it really easy for me to be able to watch someone do something and I can mimic it really easily. I guess it’s just one of my strong suits. But, every now and then I’ll go to a class. It’s been awhile since I’ve been to a class I’ve been so busy actually doing hair. I think it’s really important even to someone who has been doing hair as long as I have to go to class and see what’s out there and get knowledge that’s current.
Q – When you got out of college you went straight to work in a famous salon? Is that how it worked?
A – When I got out of Beauty College I went to a salon and I think it’s still called Wild Orchid. It’s in the South Bay which is where I grew up in Los Angeles. I’m a Los Angeles native. I didn’t assist. I went straight to doing my own clients and was making good money and still doing well. I felt very lucky that these people trusted me enough to do hair when I just came right out of college. They saw something special in me. I really like it. I really love doing hair and make-up and making people look beautiful and feel good about themselves.
Q – How did you get your own clients when you were fresh out of school? Where did people hear about you?
A – Back in the South Bay, it’s a relatively small community and I feel like at that time I was kind of like the ‘hot shot’. It was a small community, but not that big of a city even though it was in Los Angeles. So, I feel like I was kind of like Big Fish in a Small Pond. Word traveled. My prices weren’t expensive, but, they weren’t cheap. And, I did good work. It kind of all worked out. I guess in a way I got lucky but, I was really inspired, so fresh, and so inspired. I think my freshness kind of made it exciting for others ‘cause I was so excited about it they were excited about it.
Q – You cut the hair of just women or men too?
A – I do women and men, hair-cutting, color, extensions, make-up for t.v. and film, for editorial magazines, basically whatever it is they’re going to be hiring me on, fashion shows. I would say my most favorite thing to work on would be fashion shows and editorial shoots and film projects. I feel like it’s a nice way for me to really express my talent. It’s a way for me to just go beyond what I’m doing, a normal haircut and blow drying it. I can be more creative. I like that.
Q – Do you go on location for some of the celebrities you cut hair for? Do you travel?
A – Totally. I was so lucky to work with Miss Ashley Greene. She’s in ‘Twilight’. So, I’ve traveled here and there to take care of the trusses of these well-respected actresses and actors. It’s a lot of work. A lot of stress, but at the same time I feel like if I wasn’t doing it, I’d be bored. I really want to challenge myself to do something that I’m almost afraid of doing. So, for me whatever I’m afraid of, that’s what I want to do. I want to challenge my fears instead of being stopped by them.
Q – You’ve styled the hair of the Kardashians, Beyonce…
A – Beyonce? No.
Q – Mary Jo Blige.
A – I haven’t done Mary Jo Blige. I was on a show where Mary Jo Blige was there. I’ve worked with Ashley Greene who was in ‘Twilight’, Gerard Butler, Leighton Meester who’s from ‘Gossip Girl’, gosh, the list goes on. I’ve worked with ‘One Direction’. They’re a boy band. I worked on their video ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. I think that was the first single they released in the U.S. They’re being produced by Simon Cowell. I think their video has over 280 million ‘hits’. The girls go crazy for those boys.
Q – Are you intimidated when any of these celebrities walk into the salon?
A – You know what? It does make me nervous. Even though I’ve been doing it for a while I feel like it’s always so new and you’re always working with such strong energies and strong personalities it is intimidating because you want to please them and you want them to hire you back. And so I feel there’s an added stress. We put a lot of significance on celebrities. It’s the added significance we give them or the importance we give them that makes it so stressful. Not only that, but they have a huge self-image that’s being portrayed to the whole entire world and so in a way we’re kind of responsible for everyone else in the world maybe being inspired by Ashley Greene’s hair. There’s just pressure to deliver and that’s pretty much all it is.
Q – You have your own salon don’t you?
A – I do. It’s off of Sunset Boulevard, down the street from the Chateau Marmant. It’s quaint. I just opened it. It’s nice. I like that it’s my own.
Q – What’s with all the guys having this shaved look? It seems like nobody has hair anymore?
A – Totally. I feel the younger generation especially if they’re in the age from 14 to 24, 25, they’re still trying to get their finances together. And when they have their hair short, not only is it very edgy but it’s also economical too, so their haircut will last longer.
Q – Really?
A – Yeah, but not only that, it’s kind of young and edgy. I feel in that age range they’re going more with the shorter, tapered haircut. I like it. Hugo Boss is doing that a lot. I know Prada is switching it up from very tapered to very long, but, there’s not really any in-between. It’s either short and spiky or tapered on the bottom and long at the top or it’s just long. I think a haircut should basically give or suit your lifestyle. And so if you can’t afford to get a haircut every 6-8 weeks which is when we recommend you to get a haircut, then it’s best to go short ‘cause it will last longer.
Q – Now see, I would think it would be the exact opposite.
A – You’d be going in there more to maintain the short look.
Q – Right. In order to maintain a short look, you’d have to have your hair cut every 3 weeks.
A – Yeah, you’d literally be there every 3 weeks which I totally understand.
Q – What do you charge for a man’s haircut?
A – For a man’s haircut I charge $75.00, including a shampoo and a condition and I style it. If he wants a wax or a shampoo conditioner for home that would be extra obviously. So, about $95.00 for a nice, solid haircut and one product.
Q – Plus a tip.
A – Yeah. So about $100. That’s not too bad.
Q – I’ve been told that if you’re the owner of a salon, you’re not supposed to take a tip. Is that true or false?
A – That’s false. I still take tips. They don’t have to, it’s up to them. I’m not going to be mad if they don’t tip me. It’s totally up to them. I don’t tell them you need to tip too.
Q – What if a guy walks in and wants not a haircut but colored as well. What’s that cost?
A – $75.00 for the haircut. If it’s a single process for a base, it’d be about $70.00. If he wants highlights it’d be about $90.00. This is a very minimal amount of color and a minimal amount of highlights. Very natural. Very subtle. In fact, I don’t necessarily like to have too much going on. There are very few clients coming in having their base done so they have no grey. So, they leave spending about $145.00, which isn’t really a lot of money if you think about it. The way it makes you feel is priceless.
Q – How many do you have working for you?
A – Seven people depending on the day. There’s twelve available stations and about half of those are filled during the day. Not everyone is in every day. On Saturday, it’s about nine people.
Q – Do you have a manicurist?
A – We do. We have a celebrity manicurist. Her name is Naji and she’s worked with Lady Gaga and Katy Perry, Pink, Mary J. Blige. Any celebrity you can think of she’s worked with.
Q – Michael Jackson?
A – I don’t think she’s worked with Michael Jackson, although she has worked with Janet Jackson. She’s fantastic. (Naji).
Q – So, who cuts your hair?
A – The sad part about it is, there’s never, ever enough time for me to get my hair done, which is horrible to say ‘cause I’m always too busy doing everybody else’s. But today I actually have time to give myself a haircut. So, I’m excited about that.
Q – How do you do that?
A – In my house I’ve got mirrors throughout my entire bathroom where I can see and cut my own hair relatively easily.
Q – And just think of the money you can save!!
A – Oh, I know. I always feel bad asking someone to do it even if there’s stylists around. I never want to inconvenience anybody. The truth is, when you’re doing hair all the time and you don’t have to do hair and you’re not going to get paid to do hair, ‘cause you do it so much, it’s exhausting, so I understand not wanting to ask another hair stylist to cut my hair on their off time. And besides, I like the way I cut my own hair. That way I can have it the way I want it.
Q – There you go!
A – (Laughs).
Q – And, if it doesn’t turn out right, you have no one to blame but yourself.
A – Exactly. If it’s screwed up, it’s my own dang fault.
Q – Anthony, how far up the ladder can you take your business? What is your ultimate goal?
A – I kind of want to segue into a product line. I’m actually working on it right now. It’s called Bon Vi Vant, which basically means living the good life, or the good life or the luxurious life. Basically it’s a conglomerate of all the products I love to use on a regular basis, but, it’s under one brand. That hopefully should be on the shelves within a few months from now. (January 2013).
Q – What are we talking about here, a shampoo, a conditioner?
A – It’s going to be very modest at first. So, it’ll be a shampoo and a conditioner, sulfate-free and the styling aids – a wax spray, a hair spray, a volumizing mousse, a gel. Very basic products. Then, we’ll go from there, and let it grow from there.
Q – Who comes up with the formula for the product line? Is that you?
A – Oh, no. I don’t worry about formulas. I just let them know what I do want and what I don’t want. For example, you don’t want any paraffin’s in there. You don’t want any sulfates. You want the first active ingredient to be water, even alcohol. Some alcohols are nourishing whereas other alcohols are drying. At the same time there are certain ingredients that have to go into a shampoo and that have to go into a hairspray to make it a hairspray. It’s kind of funny because people don’t know that hairspray essentially has sugar in it and the sugar is what makes it stay, that sticky hold effect.
Q – Did you approach the makers of these products or did they approach you?
A – I approached them. I totally approached a chemist. It was like, ‘Hey, this is my idea. I like these products, but, let’s switch it up a little bit. Let’s give it this scent, take this ingredient out, let’s give it this packaging and make it my own’. Once the product is out then we ask our friends, ‘I’ll do your hair for free if you don’t mind saying you love this product’. Or, I have my publicist hand it out in gift bags so people can get acquainted with the product.
Q – Won’t you then have to go out and sell your product? That will cut into your time at the salon won’t it?
A – I’d like to think that the product will actually help my business. I’d love to have it on amazon.com but I’m not necessarily there now. I’m going to get the product on the shelf. The best bet is to have the product as an add-on. So, let’s say I’m doing a haircut or I’m doing a hair color and the hair cut is going to $100 plus dollars, plus whatever hair color. And now I have the tools to send home with them. You just got your hair color done; now you need this moisturizing conditioner. Here you go. I have it. Use this and I guarantee your hair feeling soft when you return. So, I see it as an add-on even though there’s an up-front cost to get the product started. It’s actually kind of funny because statistically your clients will return if they have a product, if you give them a product as well. So now, they’re not only coming to you for a haircut, but they’re also counting on you for this amazing product to make their hair feel a certain way.
Q – How expensive will a tube of Anthony Pazo’s gel cost?
A –It’ll be very affordable. Shampoos won’t cost more than $20.00. Same with conditioners. Palm aids will be about $20.00. Anything from about $10.00 - $20.00 but it will not be over $20.00. I want to stay competitive. Because it’s such a small brand so far I want it to be affordable. I want to get it out first. Once it gets more notoriety we’ll have more products out on the luxury end.
Q – Starting off you’ll probably have it carried in a boutique.
A – Correct. I guess at first you’ll be able to find it in salons in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood and Los Angeles and then of course we’d like to put it in Target or obviously amazon.com and on my website. So, it’ll be available in certain places. The product is pretty much there to make money. So however I can make money with that product that’s what I’m going to be doing.
Official website: www.anthonypazos.com
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