Hairdresser on Fire

Pub date January 24, 2007
WriterMarke B.
SectionArts & CultureSectionTrash

GOLDEN CLIPPERS "I’m all about spreading my message," local mane maestro Joe Hamer gushes breathlessly over the phone from his car en route to his Petaluma flagship salon. "And my message is beautiful, shiny, healthy hair."

Hamer’s just flown in from teasing celebs’ tresses at the Golden Globe Awards, as part of the beauty team in Showtime’s red carpet perk-up pit stop for volume-compromised VIPs — a freebie fluff tent for the rapidly flattening fab. "I know you want those names," he intones tantalizingly. (Teased: Lance Bass, Mimi Rogers, CSI ‘s Eva la Rue, Masi Oka from Heroes, Ugly Betty ‘s Ana Ortiz, Justine Bateman, Sunny Mabrey, many from Weeds).

Hamer and his crew had been specifically flown down to primp Globes dos after dazzling ’em with scissor wizardry at the 2006 Emmys. (Dazzled: Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Blythe Danner, Lisa Edelstein from House, various American Idol finalists). "Showtime and everyone loved my work and wanted me back," the Bay-born chop chief effuses. "That affirmation was so wonderful — I was thrilled. It’s been a whirlwind!"

We here at the Guardian aren’t exactly starfuckers. (Well, no more than maybe 10 minutes a day — hello, Britney’s latest ex! Mrrow!) And from a progressive standpoint, the Globes aren’t really our bag — the only "surge" likely to be protested there would be the one bursting forth from Beyoncé Knowles’s neckline. But when we heard about Hamer’s slingshot to the tonsorial top — watch your ponytail, José Eber — we simply had to know more. It’s the kind of "local locksmith picks through LA poufs" scoop that allows our queeniest staff writer an ample go at tabloid torch-singing.

After 26 years of weaving and bobbing to the bangs of the Bay bristle biz, Hamer’s having his day on the dilettante dais, but he’s been at the forefront of the frizz fight for a while. Besides his successful Joe Hamer Salon in Petaluma, he’s established the Joe Hamer Academy at San Francisco’s Hairplay salon, which spreads his shiny, healthy message to rookie coiffeurs. ("My goal is to help as many hairdressers as possible," says the evan-gel-ical Hamer.) The look he currently favors? It’s " ’80s but natural; romantic yet lazy. Half-layered looks with a little drop-down."

Hamer’s also traveled the world spreading the gospel of Greyl — Leonor Greyl, that is, the hair care product company he represents as global artistic director. "I’ve traveled everywhere — Asia, Europe, Australia — bringing style advice and stunning beauty with me."

From global to Globesit’s quite a trajectory. But Hamer — a "weekend cowboy" who resides with a gaggle of goats, hens, and horses on his family’s 300-acre Petaluma ranch — also tears up about little things that make a big difference. "The celebrities were so warm and friendly … but the real joy was working on Holly McBlair from the Make a Wish Foundation, whose wish was to get the whole Golden Globes red carpet treatment. Taking a child like that in my hands and transforming her was something that means so much to me. She looked fabulous, and the stars treated her like royalty."

About those stars … was there any whiff of backstage Globes scandal? Did, say, Lance Bass bend over to fix his loafers, causing the crowd to gasp, "Oh, that’s what the fuss is all about"? Did anything happen?

Ever the professional, Hamer sighs and replies, "Of course! Beautiful hair happened." (Marke B.)