interviews, reality TV, Shear Genius, television

Interview with Shear Genius Eliminated Contestant April


Well, the person I wanted to get kicked off of Shear Genius last night didn’t get the boot. I was gunning for Brian, big time. First of all, I can’t remember his name half the time and I’ve been writing about this show since the beginning. Bad sign. And secondly, he didn’t try to make his model look good during the Elimination Challenge and that really bugged. But still, April went home.

Throughout the season, April stuck to her guns and put her own spin on the challenges. During last night’s precision cut Short Cut Challenge, she was unapologetic about her broken into heart-shaped cut. She’s a tough cookie who does not back down! Her background is super cool–April started in London in the late eighties and later moved to New York where she eventually opened her current salon, Suite 303, which is on the third floor of the Chelsea Hotel. Check out my interview with April–she dishes on her late night chats with Brig and how the men’s extensions challenge was kinda like bad sex…


Hair on the Brain: You seemed to struggle with giving the judges exactly what they asked for during the precision cut and the graduated bob challenge. Do you regret not giving them what they wanted?

April: I don’t think I struggled with the challenges or interpreting the challenges. As a hairdresser, I collectively take everything I’ve learned in my career–precision cutting, styling–I digest it and what comes out is what comes out. It’s been very favorably in my career, my salon, and with my clients for 20 years. All I had to bring to the table was my artistry, you know? So, it wasn’t that I found it difficult, it was just my interpretation. If the judges wanted a precision cut, that’s a quarter of what I would bring to the table. If you want a precision haircut fine, but then I will bring some volume too. The precision will be there, but I’m going to break it. And that’s my interpretation of what I was asked to do.

HOTB: Would you change anything about how you handled those challenges?

April: I didn’t sell myself short on any of it, so I feel good. I feel great about it. I wouldn’t go back and change anything.

HOTB: Would you change anything about how you handled the critiques?

April: I think when I get angry or short with the judges, it’s because I’m so disappointed because I’m so OK and my client is so OK. So, I’m kind of like, what? It doesn’t come across as gracious or humble, though. But I’m not sorry and my feelings are hurt! I love the hair and so does my client.

Lots more of my interview with April after the break, including who she thinks will be the next to go home, which Shear Genius contestant reminds her of the guy from Inglourious Basterds, and much more!


HOTB: Do you think there was enough room for creativity on Shear Genius?

April: There was plenty of creative room, but there are so many layers. The timing is one thing, the use of different color products, not having an assistant. There were certain things that hinder full expression. I wish there was a challenge where we had to create the best looking hair with 100% client satisfaction. That would have been so rewarding for me, instead of it always having to be a certain way, with conditions and terms.

HOTB: After you were eliminated, you said it was unfortunate that you weren’t able to get your hands on something to represent what you do. What did you mean by that?

April: I wanted to show the [judges], my fans, my family, and my friends everything that I do that is so celebrated on a daily basis. I really wanted that to shine though. I’m very big with men in my industry, I do a lot of celebrity men, and I have great haircuts that are documented in editorial. I was so excited to get a man in one challenge, and then it ended up being about extensions and color. Instead of doing a Richard Gere cut on him, you had to add one more element that takes away… It’s like good sex. If you talk about it too long, it takes away the spontaneity and the art of it! You loose your erection after one too many things. (Laughs.)


HOTB: Were you surprised to be eliminated?

April: Yeah, I was surprised. I thought I would definitely be in the top three. Just based on my work alone. Like, I’m not going to mess up any hair! But there are strong hairdressers on the show–with maybe a couple of exceptions. But, I didn’t see myself going all the way to the end. Then again, I would think, who knows? Maybe the next challenge is the one that shoots me to the top, and it’s going to be my game.

HOTB: Any regrets?

April: I didn’t compromised at all. But I also felt like, wouldn’t it have been great if I found my niche? But in my understanding, everybody on the show craved that. Some people flourished within the challenges. But a lot of people were craving that–just getting their teeth into a head of hair and having a good time. We were cutting each other’s hair! Because that’s what we do. I’m use to doing like five or six people a day.


HOTB: Who will be the next to go?

April: Brian. He sort of got lucky with that no elimination thing. I think he would have been gone a while back. It’s sort of hit or miss though. Some of it is the luck of the draw.

HOTB: It seems like Mathew and Janine are the two to beat right now.

April: Yeah, you could sense that from the first minute meeting them. They were in this to win it, and they had a lot invested in it. They identified a lot with each other–their temperaments, their way of thinking, their commitment to hair. I think Mathew even more so, has a gigantic commitment to hair, which is admirable. He has sort of a die hard attitude. It reminds me of that guy in Inglourious Basterds. Like, I am in this and no one is going to stop me! And I was like, whoa dude, that’s intense. (Laughs.) I was scared. Like, oh my god, what have we got here?


HOTB: What did you think bout Brig?

April: Brig had everything in the kitchen skin in her bag. She would be making things–making me wallets and purses and making a costume at two in the morning. I was like, you are out of your mind; I love you. I had the opportunity to bond with her. Out of everyone that was there, she and I would sit on the bed and talk about relationships and girly stuff at night. But, I’ve got to tell you; she knew how to play the game.

HOTB: It seems like she knows how to do reality television very well.

April: Oh yeah. I remember one night it seemed like it had finally beaten her down a little bit. She’d finally put the bathing suit and the roller skates away. I told her: Don’t give up on me now, baby. Where’s that bathing suit? It was the thing about her that made me crazy, but I also didn’t want to see her give up on it. I wanted to boost her back up and tell her not to give up on entertainment. She was amazing and the fact that she was thinking this through and giving it on every level was so admirable. It’s not my gig, but I definitely admired her for it.

Thanks, April!

Check out my interview with Shear Genius front-runner Janine Jarman and eliminated Shear Genius contestants Amy Michleb and Faatemah Ampey.

And for more on Shear Genius, visit