July 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Allen Edwards and the Force of Shears

Allen Edwards

Rock Star Hairdresser Allen Edwards celebrates 35 years as a celebrity stylist in his new book, Shear Force: a Memoir.

Allen Edwards rose from a shy kid with a stutter to a hairdressing sensation. He learned from the best, including Jon Peters, who revolutionized the business through his own masterful public relations antics. This is the real inside scoop on grit and determination, talent and showmanship. Edwards’ climb may have been meteoric, but he also fell hard and often and fast. This is the story of how he stuck to it, how he got through it, and the lessons he learned along the way.

Edwards made his mark on hair styling with the Farrah Fawcett look. One of the most scrutinized makeovers in recent history was assistant district attorney Marcia Clark during the OJ trial. Edwards straightened her dated curls and catapulted her out of the doldrums.

Inside the Allen Edwards Salon and Spa in Brentwood

His cuts are a transformational experience for women. “I don’t change people by creating a new nose or a new chin. I take the person she is and make who she is beautiful,†says Edwards. “It may not be as popular as Extreme Makeover, but it’s less destructive for the husband who loves her.â€

Edwards is the master of the rock ‘n roll hair show. Industry stakeholders were invited to join the star hairdresser in shows that elevated the craft of hair styling to production art. Using dry ice effects, dancers and rock ‘n roll, Edwards did stand up comedy while cutting hair for industry audiences around the world. He has had over 1,000 television appearances, including Oprah, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, The Style Network, A & E and Regis.

Allen Edwards Salon is rated as one of the top five salons in America. Locations include Brentwood and Woodland Hills. His empire once included Beverly Hills and beyond, but he has scaled back. Partnerships have been problematic. “It’s like a marriage,†he says. “They all wanted to be partners, expecting it to rub off on them.†But, when things turn bad, “how do you come back? As a salon owner, I never stopped working behind the chair. I was still able to make an income. This book is about how you maintain when things go bad.†He talks about sky-high leases and friends who have lost their salons, as well as friends he has lost to AIDS.

Allen Edwards has a strong sense of his place in the world: “Making women look beautiful,†says Edwards “is my profession. Hair dressers need to tap in to their creative side. As they get older, women need to change their look. It’s not the cut, it’s the person, how interesting you are. You constantly need to reinvent yourself.â€

And Edwards is the master of reinvention. Through the sexcapades of his first marriage he traces his career through bad partnerships, unsuccessful product lines and disappearing profits. His personal life roller coaster serves as a backdrop.  He succeeded and he is reinventing himself yet again with Shear Force.

When his profits were disappearing into thin air with a shaky partner, says Edwards, “I sold my house, I moved into a smaller house. I am not my car, I am me.â€

Allen Edwards and his team, Lindsey Zakheim, Jennifer Devine, Carrie Grossman and Allison Durand

Inspirational lessons on success are peppered throughout the book. “Embrace where you are at any time. I do, I am. It’s about making life as full and rewarding as possible. You have to take opportunities where they come. Don’t be afraid, even when you are. Pretend,†he writes. “It’s easier than you might think.â€

Today Allen Edwards is married to the woman he adores; Lisa runs the business. “I couldn’t do it without her,†he said. His kids are close and

Allen Edwards Salon & Spa

his life is on track. And he is out there again reinventing himself. “I have learned not to dwell on the past because I can’t change it. I deal with the reality I have, and that reality is pretty damned good. This is the best time in my life. A new game is just beginning. Just give me the dice and watch me roll.â€

“I can’t wait to see where I land,†he writes.

Shear Force is available at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and other book stores, and the Allen Edwards Salons. Shear Force is published by Durban House in paperback for $19.95. For more information and to purchase the book, visit www.allenedwards.com

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