Dean Banowetz is the American Idol hairstylist.
He gave Glamour an article recently. Here's an excerpt of it:
How much time do you have to do each personâ€™s hair per episode?
About 30 minutes. Youâ€™d think once the contestants get booted, weâ€™d have more time for the rest, but itâ€™s always like there are more things to do.
Got any shortcuts for readers?
My biggest thing is, do not skip a proper blow-dry with a round brush, because then you donâ€™t have to curl it and you donâ€™t have to flat-iron it. When in doubt, hair accessories like wraps and headbands are genius. I hate to use her as an example, but when Paris was in court, she had a ponytail and a headband on. It honestly doesnâ€™t get any more simple than that. Anytime a celebrity goes to court, they are clean and simple, which I just think is hysterical.
Sanjaya was the most fun for me because heâ€™d let me do crazy things to his hair. Heâ€™d say, â€œI wanna do a Mohawk,â€ and Iâ€™d say, â€œPonyhawks are new and fresh; Mohawks blow.â€ I always said it was a 50/50 style: 50 percent will love it, 50 percent will absolutely hate it but 100 percent of these people will always remember it.
Was there ever a contestant who didnâ€™t want you to change his or her hair at all?
Well, I had many discussions with Chris Richardson about growing his hair out. But he didnâ€™t feel comfortable with it, so he would shave it himself. He still looks great. And when itâ€™s time for him to change, heâ€™ll change. I also told Chris Sligh, the one with the really curly hair, â€œI would love to straighten your hair,â€ but he was like, â€œNo, I donâ€™t feel comfortable,â€ and that was cool.
So, how do you get everyoneâ€™s hair so healthy- and shiny-looking?
My go-to product is the K-PAK system. Thereâ€™s a conditioner and a reconstructor, which makes hair strong. I use them all the time, and if I could, Iâ€™d use it on my dog. It depends on your needs, but once a week is good.
What did you think of that whole controversy when you mentioned on a radio show that Haley was reusing Katharine McPheeâ€™s extensions?
Itâ€™s so not a big deal! You wash them and you sanitize them and you move on. Extensions are expensive; I have probably like $40,000 in extensions. Iâ€™ve also used some of the extensions Iâ€™ve used on Leeza [Gibbons] on Kellie Pickler.
What would Ryan look like if you didnâ€™t do his hair?
He has this wavy texture right in the front of his hair, and it stresses him out. Iâ€™ve done his hair for seven and a half years, so heâ€™s not really used to doing his own hair. When he does try to do his own hair, it makes him crazy. He has his natural color right now, and everybodyâ€™s like, â€œWhere are the highlights?â€ and Iâ€™m like, â€œWe donâ€™t have time.â€
Do you do Simonâ€™s hair too? Why does he part it down the center like that?
Iâ€™ve had so many hair interventions with that man itâ€™s not even worth it anymore. Simonâ€™s a handsome guy. I always say this is his Donald Trump. Simonâ€™s so known for his hair, and his tight T-shirts. Itâ€™s recognition, and I get all of that. He has this whole blow-dry thing that he does himself. Iâ€™ve just done the same haircut every two weeks for the past six seasons. Every single time I do his hair, I always mess with him, and Iâ€™m like, â€œSomething new today?â€ and heâ€™s like, â€œAbsolutely not!â€ Simon doesnâ€™t feel comfortable changing, and who am I to change him? I mean, itâ€™s gotten him this far.