Laurent Dufourg Interview
(Hairstylist to the Stars)

His Prive Salon, is just the "hottest" place in all of Hollywood and Beverly Hills to go and get your hair done.

Located on the real Melrose Place, his celebrity clientele reads like a Who's Who in Show Business.

Teri Hatcher, Uma Thurman, Sophia Loren, Paula Abdul, James Colburn, Sharon Stone, Connie Stevens, Vicki Lawrence, Gene Simmons, Anna Nicole Smith, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Joan Lunden are just some of the dozens of celebrities who call Laurent Dufourg their Hairstylist.

We spoke with Laurent Dufourg, hairstylist to the stars, about his life and his line of work.

Q. You started cutting hair at the age of 16.
A. Yes.

Q. And at the age of 18 you had your own salon?
A. No. I really didn't have my own salon at 18. I moved to a small town when I was 18. I had my own salon when I was 22.

Q. That's a pretty fast rise in the business wouldn't you say?
A. Yes.

Q. Would you say you're more of the exception than the norm?
A. I mean it's very different the way we work in Europe, in France. You start to work as an apprentice in a salon somewhere and when you finish your apprenticeship you really know how to do hair. It's not like here where you have to go to Beauty School and you spend two years there and you come out of Beauty School and you have no idea what to do and what's going on, in a salon. When you start to work from Day One in a salon you know what's going on. If you're pretty good, and into it, I mean I was into it, I love it, and I still love it, after all these years (Laughs).

Q. You used to work with a gentleman, name of Jose Eber.
A. Yes. I was partners with him for 16 years.

Q. Why did you feel the need to break away?
A. That was his decision. He wanted me out.

Q. What makes you as a stylist and your salon different from your competition?
A. In the 80's we used to have a bigger salon. In the 90's people request more. They love to go to a smaller salon. My salon is kind of small. It's very intimate, and I give a lot of service. I operate in a very beautiful location which is very important. I have a very, very talented team working with me. I give a full-service salon and I'm always available for my client. I work a lot with movie stars. I travel a lot with them.

Q. Now, if someone like Sharon Stone makes an appointment to get their hair done at your salon, does that mean you personally will cut her hair?
A. Yes. If she requests me, definitely. But, a lot of my celebrities book with all my stylists. Teri Hatcher and Jodi Fisher, who were my clients at the beginning, they totally trust my people for a photo shoot and they go with them. But, they usually come to me for the haircut.

Q. Do you have non-celebrity clients coming to you as well?
A. Yes, of course, we do. I have about 20-25 clients a day. Half of my clients are from 18 years. I do the same thing if she's a secretary or a housewife or Sharon Stone, the minute she sits in my chair, I will do exactly the same thing. I will give the same attention and the same service. I have a huge clientele that is not celebrity.

Q. Did you ever cut the hair of Princess Di?
A. No. I was very, very close because I worked a lot with an English photographer and we were supposed to go to a photo shoot together and go to Bali, and unfortunately it never happened.

Q. Do you charge depending on what the person wants or is there a standard fee?
A. If they come into the salon the haircut is $125. I'll charge more if it's a special service, like a photo shoot for a day. The price could change. I couldn't go work for a full day for free because it's just a cover and a credit, where I could charge a few thousand dollars a day. It just depends.

Q. When did you start your own hair care product line?
A. Two years ago. When I opened my own Salon Prive I started my own line. And, it's doing very, very well. I have a fabulous line. I have an incredible shampoo, conditioner. I have an incredible defrizz to make your hair straight. And two fabulous hair sprays. And now I just started a new line of hair mascara.

Q. Are those products available nationwide?
A. By a toll free number (1-800-407-8999) and QVC.

Q. How does a stylist get a job at your salon?
A. They have to be talented. I mean, that's very important. I don't have many chairs. I only have like six stations for hairstylists. I never take a hairstylist who will come to the salon with a huge clientele. I'm not interested. I like young, talented people. I prefer they start with no clientele, 'cause that's usually good. And a good attitude I always like. I'll give them a job.

Q. What does the future hold for you?
A. I'm actually working to open a salon in New York, in Soho. And, I'm definitely opening a salon in Las Vegas. There is a fabulous new hotel owned by Steve Wynn called The Bellagio. It's opening in September 1998.

Q. How will you be able to oversee the operation of three salons?
A. If I go to the salon in New York, I will go for a week, every six weeks. And Las Vegas is pretty easy. It's a 45 minute flight from L.A. So I can go for the day. My wife runs all the business-side. I'm very lucky that she takes care of all of that. So, I can just do the artistic part. I'm very fortunate.

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