I met Jose Eber at his Two Rodeo salon in Beverly Hills when I got my makeover from Edgar. I was actually surprised to see him in the salon but little did I know, he is there almost everyday, so I told Cynthia, the manager, that I wanted to meet him and she was like, “yeah, go ahead, go say hi”. Again, little did I know, he has no pretense and apparently does not know how majorly huge and famous he is – he is totally humble, perfectly charming and heart warmingly sincere. I went and introduced myself, talked about various things, including the very botched up haircut I got a few months ago and am waiting to grow it out. He immediately saw what the problem was, the layers on top were way too short, and offered to fix it for me ……HIMSELF!! Uh, I was like, I thought you don’t take new clients anymore and only consult, but he said, “Of course I will do it for you darling. And you will look gorgeous because you are gorgeous”. Wow, I was in love already, he didn’t even have to fix my hair =) He is a firm believer in inner beauty and says his true talent is in knowing what his clients want. Of course, his talent for transforming that knowledge into gorgeous hair is what put him on the map.
Jose had seen my hair a few days earlier so he already knew what to do. He began with me standing up, which makes totally sense since my hair is long and this is the only way to get a good view of the back. No stylist has ever done this before and now I’m wondering if the back of my hair has never received proper attention. He was so meticulous with each section of my hair, sometimes twisting a few strands and cutting ever so little, other times grabbing a bunch overhead and snipping into it with abandon. I really felt like he deliberated over each strand of my hair equally. All of this took over an hour I did not waste those precious minutes with him so I peppered in questions in between our chit chatting.
Beauty Snob: There are now celebrity chefs, celebrity trainers and of course celebrity hairstylists, but you were the first. Did you set out with this goal in mind?
Jose Eber: No, of course not. You don’t choose your career. I knew what I wanted to do at a very young age and I am good at what I do.
BS: What is the about the Farrah Fawcett wing style that made everyone bust out their curling irons trying to copy it?
JE: It is sexy, easy and carefree. It was a women’s liberation movement to get away from the stiff, sprayed hair of the day. Even Jennifer Aniston’s hair was appealing because it was sexy and carefree.
BS: What hair style do you love right now? What celebrity has it?
JE: Gwenyth Paltrow just chopped her hair. I really love it. I want to get away from the bob, it is not for everyone and it is getting to the point that everyone wants it so the trend needs to end.
BS: What features do you look at before deciding what style is right for a person?
JE: Personality. I have a talent for knowing what a person wants. It’s not about the hair, it is about the person.
BS: You are known to listen to your clients and give them what they want, but what if I said I wanted a perm?
JE: I would talk you out of it. I work with clients and point them in a certain direction but I am soft about it, I would never say, “chop off your hair”.
BS: You look fantastic, what are your beauty secrets? (At which point Jose, with a childlike innocence pouts his lips, looks in the mirror and says, “I do look good for my age, don’t I?”.)
JE: Sleep. That is my only secret. I use really cheap soap, I swear, and no moisturizer. I don’t believe in products. OK, here is my one secret. I have dry skin and oily skin, what do you call that? (to which I replied, “combination”). Yes, combination skin. So what I do is, I take my fingers, they are clean of course, and I take the oil from my nose, the oily parts and I smear it to the dry parts. It works and is totally natural!
BS: What is your typical day like?
JE: I wake up early, I don’t stay up late anymore. You know I used to party a lot but not anymore. I need 8 hours of sleep. I have a very light breakfast, I always watch what I eat. Then I make phone calls with the east coast because of the time difference. If I have house calls I do those (he does not talk about celebrity clients but I know he does house calls at Elizabeth Taylor’s home on a regular basis). If there are awards shows and special events, I make a lot of house calls. Then I go to the salon, I always go to the salon, I must be present.
Jose has agreed to continue the interview with some follow up questions. I would like to open it to our readers – so what would you like to ask the legend? Put your questions in comments and I will ask them in a phone interview. Make sure to check back for Part II of this interview!