An Interview with the American Idol Hairstylist
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 personâs hair per episode?
About 30 minutes. Youâd think once the contestants get booted, weâd have more time for the rest, but itâs 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 donât have to curl it and you donât 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 doesnât get any more simple than that. Anytime a celebrity goes to court, they are clean and simple, which I just think is hysterical.
Which eliminated contestant (I wouldnât want to sway the current vote!) have you really loved doing?
Sanjaya was the most fun for me because heâd let me do crazy things to his hair. Heâd say, âI wanna do a Mohawk,â and Iâd say, âPonyhawks 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 didnât 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 didnât feel comfortable with it, so he would shave it himself. He still looks great. And when itâs time for him to change, heâll change. I also told Chris Sligh, the one with the really curly hair, âI would love to straighten your hair,â but he was like, âNo, I donât feel comfortable,â and that was cool.
So, how do you get everyoneâs hair so healthy- and shiny-looking?
My go-to product is the K-PAK system. Thereâs a conditioner and a reconstructor, which makes hair strong. I use them all the time, and if I could, Iâd 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 McPheeâs extensions?
Itâs 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. Iâve also used some of the extensions Iâve used on Leeza [Gibbons] on Kellie Pickler.
What would Ryan look like if you didnât do his hair?
He has this wavy texture right in the front of his hair, and it stresses him out. Iâve done his hair for seven and a half years, so heâs 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 everybodyâs like, âWhere are the highlights?â and Iâm like, âWe donât have time.â
Do you do Simonâs hair too? Why does he part it down the center like that?
Iâve had so many hair interventions with that man itâs not even worth it anymore. Simonâs a handsome guy. I always say this is his Donald Trump. Simonâs so known for his hair, and his tight T-shirts. Itâs recognition, and I get all of that. He has this whole blow-dry thing that he does himself. Iâve 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 Iâm like, âSomething new today?â and heâs like, âAbsolutely not!â Simon doesnât feel comfortable changing, and who am I to change him? I mean, itâs gotten him this far.