Tabatha Coffey was born a to be a hair stylist. Her career as a salon guru with a no-nonsense reputation? That came later. Coffey evolved into a pop culture personality after appearing on Bravo's hairdressing reality competition show Shear Genius. Fans loved the striking and stern Aussie so much that she's now in the fifth season of her own show, Tabatha Takes Takeover (formerly Tabatha's Salon Takeover). On the program, she has helped numerous struggling salons. This season she looks to work with just about any kind of small business in need of her know-how.
Creating an empire isn't an easy task, but Coffey continues to expand hers (which includes a wig line, among other things) by hitting the road this summer on a speaking tour that stops at Mesa Arts Center on Sunday, June 9. Though she has a reputation for being tough, in a recent phone interview with Jackalope Ranch she was eager to talk about her show and her passion for helping others. She gave us a few beauty tips, too.
Being five seasons into your show on Bravo, what have been the most memorable moments? Honestly it's always memorable. Any time the owner and staff really embrace the changes and turn their business around I am always incredibly proud and thankful.
How different is it bringing the show to a variety of businesses as opposed to just salons? I take every situation that I go into as an individual business, and things never cease to amaze me. It is different because it is a learning process, interesting to the viewers and also really exciting for me.
What has inspired you to keep going with the show? Honestly I love being able to go in and help struggling businesses, I am so grateful to have the job that I have and a show that has allowed me to really go in and help these small business owners. I am happy to be able to do the show as long as there are business out there that need my help.
How would you handle a situation where a business owner was not willing to take your ideas or help? I am incredibly tenacious and once I make that commitment I want to help that individual and business as much as I can. You have seen me walk out at times, however I always went back. Ultimately the responsibility comes back to them and if they want to embrace those changes and take the advice to really turn it around.
What's it like critiquing celebs for People's Style Watch? You know, it's fun and at times it can be difficult. Let's face it: we all have bad days and fashion faux pas. I think what I and most people are always fascinated with is most of these celebrities have a "glam squad" and yet can still get it so wrong.
Who do you think are the most fashionable celebrities? I think Nicole Kidman always looks well put together and I always love Anne Hathaway's style also. I think what is most attractive for anyone is when they make a trend or a fashion moment theirs and wear it with confidence and adapt it to their style.
What inspired your wig line, LUXHAIR? Being a hair dresser -- having stood behind the chair -- we want to give our client the hair of their dreams. Unfortunately a lot of women out there find themselves with thinning hair, really skinny hair, really fine hair, or someone is going through balding or hair loss for various reasons and they feel uncomfortable. Being able to change their look or wear a wig, it gives them an option that makes them feel better and get that hair of their dreams.
Any tips for finding a good salon? What should people look for when choosing a salon? It's always great to go off of other peoples recommendations -- someone that you know or someone that you see in the streets, and you admire their hair color. Another thing that I think would be helpful when looking for a new salon or stylist: Go in and book a consultation. You can always look at the cleanliness, other clients, and stylists. It's a great way to see how are they interacting with their clients, and make sure you feel comfortable in there.
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What are five hair essentials every woman needs? It always starts with a great foundation-appropriate shampoo and conditioner specific to your hair type. We all do so much to our hair and need to put stuff back into our hair. Even if we are not coloring all the time, blow drying and flat ironing can cause damage and dryness so a once-a-week reconstructive conditioning treatment would be appropriate. Whether you're trying to control frizz or get more body, a great styling product will help, specific to your needs of course. Last but not least a great styling brush.
What hair trends are you totally over? I am so over ombre and thankfully that trend is coming to a close. All of our favorite actress are cutting it a little bit shorter and having more fun with it.
See Coffey in action when Mesa Arts Center hosts an "An Evening with Tabatha" at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 9. General admission is $35, and VIP tickets are $100. Get yours via www.mesaartscenter.com or by calling 480-644-6500.