Johnny, who gained renown as our forever First Lady Michelle Obama’s hairstylist and was also behind Tamron Hall’s signature pixie cut, serves as the show’s resident hair therapist. After letting clients vent to him and Tamar, he then serves up expert advice to the stylists on what went wrong and the proper techniques to fix it.
“Stylists get to go through a bootcamp with me, which is the part that I love the most: training and teaching stylists how to do hair and how to do it better.”
In terms of the pull-up, Johnny says he was very sensitive as to how the show approached the stylists. Instead of a straight-up ambush, the stylists are able to meet with Johnny first and talk before Tamar and the client surprise them.
“I thought, if I was in that position, ‘how would I feel?’” says Johnny. “The good thing about it for me, I know that I’m always open to learning new tricks. So, it wasn’t a completely horrible response from the stylists being called out. Some people were apprehensive at first, and rightfully so.”
The show also highlights the importance of effectively communicating expectations, whether you are the client who dreams of Beyoncé waves (and have no edges) to hairstylists who are making you their guinea pig for a new ‘do they have never done.
“Clear communication is key,” Johnny adds. And so are consultations before any hairstyling is actually done. “Once you do that, you know that both of you are on the same page, and you’re probably going to end up with great results at the end.”
But if you do end up in a hair-raising situation, speak up.
“I never want to have a disgruntled client out there experience a styling session with me and leave unhappy,” says Johnny. “I would want them to let me know that I didn’t give them what they wanted and allow me the opportunity to make it right.”
Tamar, herself, is no stranger to hair mishaps at the hands of “several” stylists and has had to have similar uncomfortable conversations.
“I usually don’t know I’m jacked up until after I leave, which is the situation, I think with everybody,” she says. “While we’re in the salon, it’s like a whole different feel. But then you get home, the real real comes and you’re like, ‘Wait, what happened? Did I miss something?”
That’s when she says she’s had to go back to the stylist to ask for a redo or replace her wig. “I think a good stylist will try to make it right.”
And making things right is, ultimately, the show’s biggest takeaway.
It’s about “feeling heard and feeling human,” says Tamar. “They were able to release certain things that they’ve been holding on to. And, it makes me feel good that I can help somebody feel good about themselves. And I feel like everybody wants that. The stylist, the person who comes to us, Johnny, myself. It’s a really good feeling.”
To Catch A Beautician with Tamar and Johnny airs Mondays at 9 pm EST on VH1. Check local listings for details.