Viewers from all over the continent tuned into the new season of "American Idol" last month, but the search for the next star began this past summer, when the show held auditions in San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Denver and Greensboro, Kentucky.
As the fifth season took shape, not only were the judges looking for talent but the show's hair stylists, along with make-up artists and fashion stylists, plotted how to make their own mark. This is exactly what Dean Banowetz, head hair stylist for the "American Idol" talent and personal stylist for Ryan Seacrest, had planned as he prepped his team for one of the country's most watched television shows.
As the auditions unrolled, Banowetz decided to brief his team on the latest hair trends and products, with the help of Erica Jemsion, an advisor for Joico.
The training began in Banowetz's homebased beauty studio, where MODERN got a taste of what it takes to style the hair of multiple contestants for a live show with more than 30 million viewers.
Since "Idol" is a live show, it is crucial that Banowetz's team members work in sync with one another, using the same techniques and products for the same effects. On the show, it is extremely common to see three or four hair stylists working on the same head. Carrie Underwood, last season's winner would often have four people curling her hair at the same time to achieve her famous textured blonde tresses.
To that end, Banowetz asked Jemsion for an intensive product-knowledge class, including Joico's Vero Color, Vero Blue and the K-Pak Collection, along with Joico styling products and trend techniques. Banowetz wanted to use the company's wide range of formulations, including semipermanent, demipermanent and permanent color, to guarantee his team maximum flexibility.
He may be a "Hollywood hair guy," as he asserts on his website, but Iowaborn Banowetz is a practical, salon-savvy hairdresser who knows how to build the biz and has a plan for this season. "My goal is to have at least two or three contestants with a curl or wave texture," he says.
"With the amount of viewers watching "Idol," it is no longer just a show"it becomes a trend vehicle. I know if I have curl texture on the show, people are going to go into salons all over the US, Canada and other countries asking for curls!"