Destroy the Hairdresser hit the ground running in 2017 with a new Masters Class Interview with the one, the only: Geno Chapman. To put it in perspective why he is on our list of people we bow down chanting ‘We’re Not Worthy! We’re Not Worthy!’: he conducted the interview from a hot tub at Big Bear Mountain 8 a.m. New Years Day.
I mean yeah, its Geno Chapman so it had to be something rad. Add in the fact though that he had already put in his daily workout and morning meditation where he focuses on themes of gratitude and we have officially been colored impressed.
He is a champion of helping hairdressers grow in their craft through his work behind the chair at Ken Paves salon, through teach-ins with Hairbrained, NAHA collections, education with Aveda, and living like a Zen Buddhist Ninja Seeker Monk Globetrotter, a Scholar of Humanity and the World We Inhabit.
'Get busy living or get busy dying. There’s too much to see.'
In our latest podcast, DtH advocates tithing or the process of giving back what you get. On a scale of 1 to 10 for living like a good person, Geno rests at 11. Every year he donates time to organizations like Toys For Tots, Veterans living with PTSD, he cuts hair for the homeless; he keeps his heart open, finds situations where he can help and uses his skills to give back.
Something changes in you when you practice mindfulness, when you travel, and when you give back to the world.
Geno's weekly schedule can be hectic. He is behind the chair 2-3 days a week, travelling to other cities for education every weekend, making house calls for celebrity clients, and he prefers to do it all himself with no personal assistant. Even his assistants at Ken Paves, while they do 'work their asses off' with him they get to observe him directly and he educates while he cuts.
‘I do shit to make myself laugh’
As a self-described nerd who usually has a soundtrack going in her head during color applications (it ranges from Lil’ John to the Duck Tales theme song) Geno is a breath of fresh air. Do you know how often you see a high-end hairdresser be a success and also be a public goofball? Once: Geno.
When he started in this industry, his training was like boot-camp with instructors that could be mean. As he started his journey he reflected on how he wanted to be as a teacher: should he be what he knew, a drill sergeant or should he be himself? Someone who is ‘an idiot all the time’ and when he chose himself, he saw bookings rise and more information retained from students. It’s not about him as a teacher, it’s about giving the learners a comfortable arena to explore new information and the freedom to be silly themselves.
Why travel is important
Garrison Keillor said once ‘I am from the Midwest, where we know we have to travel to see the world.’ Expand that to being from anywhere: NY is not the world, LA is not the world. Growing up in Hawaii, he seeks outside experiences and brings them back to his life as a hairdresser. It plays a huge part in driving his passion. When he is spanning the globe he takes the situations and information he finds and uses it as inspiration and gratitude. Every 8 weeks he takes a couple days and sets out on a trip. He has been to Paris, Israel, Dubai, Miami, Jordan, Indiana, Norway, and Iceland will soon join the list.
How does he pick where to go?
Google Matrix. No, seriously, after finishing this immediately click on that link. This is a new one for us and it deserves its own article. It’s a little known part of Google services that allows you to search the world for travel based on whatever your interests. It brings up a map of the world and all available flights with their prices listed from the city you live in.
This site takes all the airlines and tertiary travel sites like Kayak and Expedia and converges them into the Matrix. Take the time off, and a couple days before figure out what you want to spend and book a flight. Apparently at this moment travelling to Vancouver from the East coast is less than what I paid for a blow dryer. We are seriously amazed because the Matrix makes it possible to NOT be a 100k hairdresser and travel the world.
Where does he want to go next?
As God As His Witness, He Will Go To Antarctica This Year. In the meantime, he is up for a Hairbrained Video Award with the submission below and will be in NYC for the awards ceremony.
Geno is a man who wears many hats. As a representative of a product company, he speaks their language and being an ambassador gave him the network and support to develop his art. As he builds his personal brand, he expands outward. 'Brand yourself brand yourself brand yourself' Geno says. Social media is great and the next step is to put yourself into an outlet that is in the real world: the Southwest Hairstyling Awards, NAHA, the Hairbrained Video Awards. Social media is good exposure but always be thinking about guerilla-type marketing and something off the internet. Pins, stickers, graffiti, teach-ins, anything that makes people stop and look twice.
His last piece of advice is: Find a partner in crime. His is Lupe Voss of Haircolormagic. Someone to push you, to keep you in check. Sometimes it’s with someone that is your exact opposite to balance you out, for Geno it’s a kindred spirit in Lupe: they are cut from the same cloth. They collaborate, they are goofy, and they take cheerleading for the learners in our industry very seriously.
You can find Geno educating in every city in America, or exploring the world every 8 weeks. Our advice at Destroy the Hairdresser is when you do run into him, make sure to say hello.
- The awards ceremony is sponsored by Hairbrained and are being held in NYC on March 12th. You are cordially invited.
- Check out the IBS New York site for registration.