Catching Up with Kim Vo
By Dustin Fitzharris
The competition on season 3 of Bravo's Shear Genius is hotter than a flat iron. Premiering back in February, the show went international this season in its quest to find the top stylist, who will take home $100,000 in prize money furnished by Nexxus Salon Hair Care, an apprenticeship with the company, and the chance to style hair for an Allure magazine photo shoot.
Another change this season is that host Jaclyn Smith was replaced by designer Camila Alves and Jonathan Antin, star of the Bravo series Blow Out, also joined the cast. There is one familiar face back to give the contestants a sheer dose of reality: Kim Vo.
But who is Kim Vo? He's considered a top colorist in the industry and he's worked with Britney Spears, Kate Hudson, Alicia Silverstone, and many others. Today he owns salons in Beverly Hills, Laguna Beach, San Francisco, and Las Vegas and sees up to 30 clients a day. Still, what happens when he leaves the salons and goes home?
Out spoke with Vo while he was putting the finishing touches on a client's hair. We chatted about hair and Shear Genius, of course, but we also talked about growing up in Vietnam during the war, his love life, and exactly how much plastic surgery he's willing to admit he's had.
Out: How does this season of Shear Genius compare to the previous ones?
Kim Vo: Of course I loved season 2, but in season 3 what I think they've done is have challenges that are more realistic. It's how Hollywood stylists would actually work.
Was season 2 not truthful to the stylist lifestyle?
They were trying to fine-tune their challenges. They were trying to get related things, but they didn't know the direction. Now it's a very strong direction.
What is the toughest thing about the show?
To really be put under pressure and deal with your competition. It's all your worst nightmare. It's all the people who don't want you to succeed, in the sense that it is a competition. You have to utilize your skills while having a timeline.
Is that how it is when you get out into the 'real' world?
Sweetheart, we eat our young. There are certain cities, like New York and L.A., that if you're not accustomed to that personality, than unfortunately, it's not going to work.
This year Brazilian model (and Matthew McConaughey's girlfriend) Camila Alves replaced Jaclyn Smith as the host of the show. Do you miss Jaclyn?
Of course I miss her, but I love Camila. I miss my Charlie's Angels gossip that no one gets to hear.
How is the show different with Camila?
It's different in the sense that I think Camila brings in the model/fashion side of it. Even Jonathan (Antin). I love him. He's adorable. We're just bringing a different vibe. It definitely shows. The ratings are up.
With spring here, what is the look for men when it comes to hair?
Everyone is cutting their way away from the shaggy look. It's a little more tapered. The Italian mullet is big too.
What is that?
It's tall on top, slicked on the sides, and a little longer in the back. I'm seeing a lot of hip guys wearing that.
How do you get that look?
It's a little more tapered on the sides, but it's not cut short. It's left long, but you slick it back. The top is not a pompadour. It's just a little volume -- not Snooki volume! Then it goes a little lower down the neck.
When thinking of guys' hair, how do you feel about the looks of the following:
He has a whole new look, which I love. It's choppy. It's piecey. It's put-up. It's great.
I love it. It's one of those things that's age-appropriate. If it was too mature, it wouldn't fit his personality.