When the hottest R&B stars in the game take the stage, pose for a magazine cover or prepare for a big television interview, there's one name they all ask for: Tippi Shorter.
Tippi's client roster is like a who's who of black music.
"My current clients include Alicia Keys, Keri Hilson, Rihanna periodically, she travels often and has other stylists she works with. I just started working with Mary J. Blige," she explained, in a telephone interview this week. I had to ask Tippi about her predictions, hair trends, and best tips for those of us who aspire to be as stylish as her clients are.
BV Hair Talk: Tippi, you work with some of the hottest ladies in the music biz right now. Your clients are always ahead of the trend. What do you predict will be the next big trend for 2010?
Tippi: The next big trend for 2010 -- the bob. A couple of my clients have already bobbed their hair. Rihanna has talked about growing hers out into a longer bob. I cut off Alicia's hair as well. I predict everyone is gonna be wearing a bob by the summer. They may be longer and graze the shoulder, choppy, maybe a long fringe, a lot of movement. They could be straight, wavy, crimped -- I just had a client ask me to use a crimper on her hair. Let me tell you, they are not easy to find!
BV: Talk to me about your line of products. What is Get Gorgeous Hair?
Tippi: A lot of my clients use hair extensions. I went to India and did the research, made the right connections. Now I use my own brand of hair extensions on my clients. You can visit getgorgeoushair.com.
BV: What are your thoughts on hair color? Do you see any trends coming in 2010 in that area?
Tippi: Recently, I colored Alicia's hair, and Alicia has never ever worn hair color before. That was a big deal for her. In terms of trends... I think I've seen it all.
BV: How did you get your start?
Tippi: By doing lots of beauty shoots with Essence magazine. It was so long ago. I worked hard behind the scenes. And they were doing a celebrity for their cover -- Foxy Brown -- and they wanted to give her a softer look. So that was my first celebrity client.
BV: You've managed to become a superstar in a field that is ever evolving. Do you have any tips for those trying to advance in the field of celebrity hairstyling and image making?
Tippi: Yes. Learn your craft. Just because you came out of school and have a license doesn't mean you're ready for the big time. It takes hard work and networking.
BV: I blog here at BVHairTalk.com, and I also am the creator of Afrobella.com. Many of my readers have natural hair, and they're very proud of their natural hair. But sometimes even natural women want to switch it up and rock the styles they may see their favorite celebs wearing. Got any heat styling tips?
Tippi: Yes! You gotta prep the hair with a great shampoo and conditioner. Condition first -- I use that on anyone's hair as a heat barrier. When you're changing the style you need to be cautious with the cutting. You want to make sure the shape you get works for both relaxed and natural hair. Same goes for color. Like right now, Rihanna has a graded hair color, that may not work as well for a style going between natural and heat straightened.
For shine, Tippi cites Avon's Advanced Techniques Anti-Frizz Serum Capsules as one of her favorite products for her on-the-go clients.