Hattiesburg American recently caught up to Douglas to discuss
the job, the business practices he implements and what defines a
published January 4, 2008)
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Why do you love your job?
A. The gratification.
Most stylists get recharged by going to shows. I get recharged by
Sassoon, you get to ask questions and get taken through the
process step by step. I always leave fired up. With a show, you're
sitting 50 feet back with your favorite adult beverage. In a
class, it's all hands on.
How long have you been cutting hair?
Over 30 years. I went to school at the Academy of Scientific Hair
Design in New Orleans. My mom owned a shop in Biloxi and I didn't
want to go back there because I wanted to be successful on my own.
I decided to come to Hattiesburg and started hitchhiking to
Hattiesburg on weekends to give haircuts when I was in school.
After I graduated, I opened up my own shop. I've never worked for
Have you always been across the
street from USM?
No. I was downtown for two years, and then I moved to this place.
I've been here ever since.
What is your favorite haircut?
Always the haircut that gets the best
response. (Laughs.) Really, my favorite haircut is a haircut that
is easy to replicate and gets good growth and lots of compliments.
What are some of the challenges of your job?
Dealing with people. Making sure that the client and I are both on
the same page. When a client says 'do whatever,' that means that
they are giving you just enough rope to hang yourself. If the
client doesn't like the haircut, then you've lost both the client
and the opportunity. If a client loves their haircut, they may
tell three or four people. If they hate it, they'll tell 30.
So how do you make sure you and the
client are on the same page?
We just talk. I find out how much time they traditionally spend on
their hair, whether they blow-dry.
I can't tell
you the number of times I've started talking to a client and have
them admit that they're running around in the morning getting the
kids to school while trying to get ready for work and spending
maybe five or 10 minutes on their hair. I'm not going to give
someone a cut that takes half an hour to style if they only spend
10 minutes on their hair. A good haircut is a haircut that works
in real life and looks just as good at home as it did in the
You call yourself a "different" kind of hairstylist. How are
You have a lot of opportunities to get
your hair cut in Hattiesburg. You could go to (chain salons) and
you'll get a certain level of training. I could name a lot of
salons in town that are a step up from that.
If you feel
like you've found a home for your hair and are happy with what you
have so far, that's great. But it's not for everybody. But if you
haven't found a place that works for you yet and you want a place
that's a step up from what you've experienced so far, I hope to be