Celebrity hairdresser Kevin Charles is very concerned about seeming stuck up. “I don’t want to sound obnoxious,” he says several times when asked what sets his salons apart. “We’re really not snobby. We’re in the service industry.”
Despite his genteel disclaimers, something about Charles—maybe it’s the posh British accent—bespeaks status. This is a man who regularly styles stars for movie sets and red carpet events such as the Oscars, Emmys, MTV Awards, and Country Music Awards. His clients have included Oprah Winfrey, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jennifer Garner, Ellen DeGeneres, the late Princess Diana, and Kevin Costner. (“Well, [Costner’s] actually a friend,” Charles says. “I can hardly call him a client.” )
As a young man, Charles established himself as a Vidal Sassoon global ambassador, and he went on to find success on both sides of the pond. He worked closely with French celebrity stylist Frédéric Fekkai in Beverly Hills and later in Dallas in Uptown, and he has since launched his own line of hair products.
Although the demands of Hollywood still keep him busy, the father of five is now settling into a relatively slower groove running the three Texas salons that bear his name. His salon in Austin, where he lives with his family, continues to thrive. And last year, Charles opened his flagship Dallas salon in Snider Plaza, followed by the brand-new Legacy Plano location in April. (The original Uptown outpost is no more.)
“There are some very good hairdressers in Dallas, but I think we bring something different to the table,” Charles says. Specifically, five-star service, which is heavily influenced by past business partnerships with the Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons hotels and their hospitality culture.
But this luxury service never comes at the expense of being welcoming and open, Charles says. That old gold standard of the Ritz-Carlton—“ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen”—has stuck with him, and he sees it as a privilege to take care of every customer, whether they show up in a Ferrari or on a bicycle. “The client is a celebrity. We’re not,” he insists. “Our feet are firmly on the ground.”
Pro Tips for Summer Hair
Don’t let the humidity get you down.
- Go-To Product Kérastase Genesis Defense. Charles says, “It protects your hair against heat and breakage and helps it de-frizz, which coming into the summer is going to be a huge thing. Smells great, too. Simple to put on, detangles, hydrates.”
- Summer Hair Trend To Watch For Maintaining long, soft hair with beachy waves. Tip: “With slightly longer hair, you can tie it back into a high ponytail that twists on itself, so that when you take it down, you at least get some kind of body or wave to it.”
- Hair Care Pet Peeve Using a brush on curly hair. “It’s like somebody dragging their nails on a chalkboard. You can almost hear the hair breaking.” Instead, apply a soft oil product and comb through with a wide-tooth comb or your fingers.