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Celebrity Hairstylist Ted Gibson Spurs Change at the Oscars

Posted: 07/03/2012 11:05 am

You may know him from the What Not to Wear television program. You may even know him without knowing him because you've seen your favorite celebrity on the cover of a magazine with their hair done by him. When it comes to the hair of celebrities like Angelina Jolie or Kelly Rowland, he's considered their mane man.

I became friends with the legendary, "King of Hair" Ted Gibson, when his salon gave pro bono services to my AIDS related programs. He was even kind enough to style my hair for a photo shoot I was doing because he believed in my work as an HIV/AIDS activist and thought I should look good doing it.

Last year we began discussing his desire to campaign for the Academy Awards to add an "Oscar" for hairstyling. I signed petitions, forwarded emails, tweeted and facebooked' in support of Ted's idea -- all because I believe in the power of one person to make change, and because I believed Ted could help make that change to world's most important film award show.

On Friday, change happened. The Academy awards announced they'd be changing their makeup category to "Make-Up and Hair Styling." I caught up with my old friend Ted to discuss the news and to share in his happiness.

AFRICA:
Congratulations! Tell me the big news that happened today regarding hair and the Oscars?

GIBSON:
Hairstyling on the ballot, finally after all the years of hair playing an important part in the character of a movie its finally happening and the Hollywood reporter broke the news

AFRICA:
How did you feel when you read it?

GIBSON:
I cried!!!! It feels so great to be a part of movement for change. It feels good to know that people recognize how us hairdressers contribute to film and to pop culture and to change peoples' lives.

AFRICA:
How did this all begin?

GIBSON:
Last August I decided to start a campaign on facebook and twitter letting people know how hair not on the ballot was a dis service to hairdressers

AFRICA :
And why is it?

GIBSON:
Because it is important to change the perception of hairdressers

AFRICA:
Why was this something you wanted to see happen?

GIBSON:
Validating how important hair is to every person on this planet and how it can change the way a person feels about themselves in a instant. In movies it creates a character immediately, clients of mine Jessica Chastain, Gabrielle Union, Ashley Greene have been behind my cause.

AFRICA:
How did hair affect you? Besides being a hair dresser in the industry now why are you passionate about it? In the black community we definitely have a " HAIRITAGE" is there a moment you can remember from youth... a chord that struck that you want to make someone feel good in an instant?

GIBSON:
I just recognize that hair is important to everyone.

AFRICA:
HAHA I was so fishing for a mama put my sisters hair in the sink relaxed it and all her hair fell out moment and I thought I could do better hahahha you should be an ambassador next life! Moving on. What was the process? Who came together?

GIBSON:
Hairdressers and people who love them.

AFRICA:
Was it the public or industry insiders I am trying to get a pulse on how the actual change occurs?

GIBSON:
I think hairdressers and people who love them

AFRICA:
Uhm ok...LMAO Ambassador...Did anyone think this was silly?

GIBSON:
No everyone agreed that it should happen.

AFRICA:
Well what would you say if someone said to you now darling that really is silly? Hair PIFF POFF sillyness I TELL YA ...

GIBSON:
Why should costume only get recognized? We all know Meryl Streep thanked her hairdresser when she won for The iron Lady. If she walked on set with her own hair style, she wouldn't have won, the hair created the character too.

AFRICA:
True! Is this the end of the campaign or is there more you would like to see with this HAIRSTYLING recognition at the Oscars?

GIBSON:
Hair needs to have its own ballot. I'm not finished yet.

AFRICA:
You never have been in your life that I know!

GIBSON:
Nope lol

AFRICA:
What would you say to a young person of color who feels something should change in their world?

GIBSON:
Keep going for it, people before us did and I am forever grateful.

AFRICA:
Tell us the biggest HAIR moments with celebrity women of color that you had?

GIBSON:
Cover of Essence with Kelly Rowland

AFRICA:
Are you doing Hair for films now?

GIBSON:
No but have lots of friends who do.

AFRICA:
So you are doing this and it's not even yet for you... that is amazing BRAVO true activist... it's a just cause!

GIBSON:
Validating hairdressers, we are worth it.

AFRICA:
Tell me some of your favorite HAIR in Cinema styles that should've won an Oscar in the past?

GIBSON:
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffanys, Diana Ross in Mahagony, Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby, Angela Bassett in Waiting to Exhale.

AFRICA:
How would your acceptance speech for your Oscar for hair be and what celebrity would it be?

GIBSON:
I haven't given it any thought, I am still not satisfied yet.

AFRICA:
Oh come on... really.. ok who would you thank? MUM? DOG? throw me a bone HAIR KING?

GIBSON:
LOL.

AFRICA:
Ok ok one more I can't resist having you here without asking you a healthy black girl thing, I am after all an activist and I used to be obese 250lbs now 110lbs slimmer whew... and I never wanted to exercise sometimes because I didn't want to mess up my hair which I was hiding behind... so any tips for a black woman who wants to work out daily and work out hard enough to be healthy so that means sweating and each day? WHAT ABOUT OUR HAIR SIR??

GIBSON:
Keep it simple keep it modern and keep it as an individual beauty is individual

AFRICA:
I'll respectfully throw some extra in ladies from my experience losing 110lbs. If you have 50lbs or more to lose keep it very short and simple, simple is key like TED said. 50 - 20lbs keep it short... 20lbs and below keep it up away from face and then use a spray bottles to clean, I suggest go straight home after workouts and rinse your hair right away at the root, so you don't use soap but once or twice a week especially you braids and weave divas. Lastly Ted Gibson has these amazing things called HAIR SHEETS use those it's like soap and water on a sheet to clean in between braids and weaves. If you cannot afford use baby wipes but the sheets he makes are super soaking wet it's like a shower on a sheet. But girl at some point WASH YOUR HAIR or well eww.. Eh VOILA flowers may you have OSCAR worthy hair and health. Thank you TED and Congratulations on this.

 
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