Product Guru

Choose Beauty: Steve Goddard

Pravana’s Steve Goddard.

For Pravana founder and 30-year beauty industry veteran Steve Goddard, it was the Beatles and a college sociology class that first triggered his interest in hairdressing.

“I was in a sociology class in college,” says Goddard. “We were all asked to stand up and share our goals. A guy in the back of the class stood up and said he worked as a hairdresser three days a week making $500—and this was 1970.”

Goddard decided to enroll in beauty school. After graduation, Goddard went to work in a small salon with a friend from beauty school.

“There was a job opening running the test salon at Redken, which at that time was based in Southern California,” he says. “She talked me into applying and within the week I had the job.” 

Goddard became obsessed with hair color, doing 14 heads a day and playing with swatches when he went home at night. At that time, Leland Hirsch was the creative director at Redken. He created a “Color Through the Decades” show and asked Goddard if he would play guitar.

“Thanks to my guitar playing, Paula Kent Meehan noticed me and I quickly moved to doing regional education seminars and then into marketing.”

From Redken, Goddard relocated to Spain as senior vice president of product development for Revlon and then back to California at the request of Irving Rusk to run his brand. In 1999, Goddard joined Wella, and in 2001 was named President of Sebastian.

“Throughout my career my primary enjoyment was creating new products,” says Goddard. “I saw the corporate structure becoming too restrictive and it was time to move on.”

In 2004, Goddard launched Pravana Naturceuticals. Although he has worked behind the chair and run some of the industries most successful brands, he says, “now is the most exciting time in my life in terms of work. To have the freedom and the responsibility to drive this business [Pravana] is fantastic.”