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Celebrity Hairstylist Kevin Josephson on men’s style, Janice Dickenson and the Mayoral ‘Do

Since relocating to Los Angeles some 18 years ago after getting his start at San Francisco’s 77 Maiden Lane, celebrity hairstylist Kevin Josephson has built a celebrity following that includes Hugh Hefner, Anthony Hopkins, Janice Dickenson, Kirsten Dunst, Nicole Kidman and Virginia Madsen, to name a few. When he’s not making appearances on television shows such as Blow Out and The Girls Next Door, Josephson can be found perfecting the locks of Hollywood’s elite in his eponymous Beverly Hill salon. In anticipation of his appearance later this week during the Styling the Modern Man event at the W Hotel, we caught with Josephson to chat about men’s style, the stars he works with and the Mayoral ‘do.

When it comes to men’s hair, do you have any “rules to live by” that you often tell clients?

The main thing is, when it comes to your hair, just make sure that it fits who you are. Also, that relates to your lifestyle, who you’re dating, all these different things. There’s nothing worse than seeing an old guy with bad hair color or a young guys trying to do something with his hair color that just isn’t working. For example, if there’s a Latin guy with thick hair trying to be blonde. A lot of time what needs to happen, people just need to have a little simple direction as to what not to do, rather than what to do.

So that begs the question, what should men not do with their hair?

What they shouldn’t be doing is falling into these traps of trying to do things with their hair that it’s reasonably not capable of doing. I have a couple of famous clients, Anthony Hopkins and Hugh Heffner, and I have to give them a hairstyle that will work with what their hair will do. Comb-overs are the worst thing ever. People that go and get hair plugs when their hair is so thin, they would be better off not to do anything.

Do you have a signature style that you’re known for?

If I’m known for any particular type of hair, I’ve been labeled as doing babe hair, the sexy, curly, wavy, beach hair. I don’t think anyone’s going for a signature cut on a man. That’s kind of bizarre.

You got your start in San Francisco. How does L.A. style differ from Bay Area style?

L.A. is inundated with actresses and models and all kinds of stuff, so you always have people needing to look a certain way, and there’s also a lot more blondes down here.

I used to work at 7x7 Maiden Lane. Very beautiful, classic hair came out of that salon and still does. The looks there were very professional and very clean. As far as the style now, it’s very classic, clean and natural. San Francisco is straighter, sleeker. It’s a city of business, not so much acting and modeling and that kind of thing.

Who are the big male style icons out there right now?

The styles the guys wear on Mad Men. A lot more guys are wanting to wear their hair like that now.

As far as the movies are concerned, you’ve got your big stars out there, like Clive Owen.

Now I also look at Grey’s Anatomy, the guys on there. Justin Chambers comes to my salon. The really short hair thing is real popular with guys. The top shows, people follow that stuff. It’s not rocket science, it’s pretty simple.

In San Francisco, the most-talked-about hair on a man belongs to Mayor Gavin Newsom. What’s your take on his ‘do?

It fits. Ya know? It fits. What do I think of it? It wouldn’t be my first choice for the guy, but I think it kind of fits his personality, don’t you?

I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

It’s kind of an example of a style that fits the personality. Like Don King, can you imagine Don King looking any other way?

Who are some of your famous clients?

My top three are Hef (Hugh Hefner), Sir Anthony Hopkins and my favorite diva of all time would be Janice Dickenson. She is constantly in my shop running around screaming her head off.

Are there any must-have styling products you'd recommend for today’s modern man?

I’m a big fan of spray waxes and clay waxes, things that don’t look greasy and shiny but are flat and matt and give great hold. They kind of give your hair that second-day, didn’t-wash-it-look.

Want more tips and advice from Josephson? He'll be showing off his hair expertise during the 2nd Annual Styling the Modern Man series taking place April 9-10 at W San Francisco.