beauty billy lowe

Interview with Celebrity Stylist Billy Lowe

Tuesday, September 23, 2014 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Life can take us on many paths. Often, as young people, we tend to do what society/our parents/culture deems as in our best interest when it comes to following the path into adulthood. Yet, there are more and more people today following their dreams and doing what feels right in their heart. Rather than worrying about what society has to think, find the strength in yourself to do what you know is right. One individual in particular who has done just this throughout his life and has seen tremendous success is stylist and entrepreneur: Billy Lowe.

This golden boy in the beauty industry has worked with the celebrity elite and still makes it a point to connect with his regular customers and provide to them products that make them feel like celebrities in their own light. His latest product: Gloss & Toss - a simple hair serum developed by Billy Lowe to use on the sets of Hollywood.  Lowe's initial thought was that he needed a light-weight serum or styling product that would speed up styling time, hold up to a long production day, and keep actors and models' hair looking gorgeous and shiny without weighing it down.  He and his team soon realized that Gloss & Toss® shine serum was not just a product that celebrities needed, but something that should be made available to everyone - everywhere. Read on to learn more about Billy and his journey along with some great tips on upcoming hair trends and cuts for the season. 

Halfstack: Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

Billy Lowe: Well when I was a little girl - he says jokingly - I always wanted to style hair. My grandmother was my favorite person in the whole world and I remember this old white brush she had - and she loved for me to brush her hair. I must have been 6 or 7. I grew up in rural Georgia - you know - where all the boys want to be hair stylists - NOT. My father is a minister and ther ejust wasn't much room for hair and makeup for young boys growing up in the 70's in rural America and my (biological) mother absolutely refused to allow dolls for me. My Grandmother - being who she was - bought my first set of dolls for me at a very young age and said 'Now don't tell your dad and we'll just keep these at my house.' That was the beginning of my career. Since I couldn't go to beauty school and was strongly discouraged from doing so, I took to classical piano performance and played and competed professionally for many years. I went to college to begin a career in music and ended up with a degree in Secondary Education (BA Spanish Secondary Ed) and moved to LA in the late 90's to pursue music w/ MCA Records, but went right away into the world of beauty.

HSM: What makes your brand and your standing as a stylist truly outshine the rest of the fierce competition in this industry? 

BL: To me it's all about the reveal. There's a split second when you turn the client around in the chair and that magic "hair-gasm" expression happens and you see it. Not for myself - but I live through the eyes of the client and I come alive when I see their expression of awe - joy - and OMG - I FEEL BEAUTIFUL. It gets better and better with every turn of the chair. 

HSM: What inspired you to create your own product line such as gloss & toss and can you tell us a bit about the product development process? 
BL: As a hair stylist on the sets of Hollywood - and as a master colorist, I started paying attention to hair results. I noticed in many of my salon clients a build-up on hair and time and time again I would ask what they were using. 9 times out of 10 when I noticed a certain waxy/residue feel on the hair it was always the same answer - a department store "snit-frizz" serum. It builds up on hair and color doesn't penetrate and is next to impossible to get quality results iin professional color when this product is used. I also noticed that at the end of a long production day, actors and models hair was often heavy and weighed down and I wanted something that would work in my kit, would help my productivity (time) on set, and stand up to a long production day. GLOSS & TOSS SHINE was born.

HSM: Have you faced any obstacles on your journey, if so how did you overcome?

BL: I grew up in Georgia in the 70's during a lot of heated issues in the south. There were huge cultural battles, socio-economic differences between me and the other kids at school and I was the victim of extreme bullying all throughout grade school. I was called names that I didnt' even know the meaning of so I grew up thinking I must be a horrible person. I went to 9 different schools grades K-12 and just remember nothing feeling "normal." We moved around every year or 2, my parents were each married three times and I just thought "wow, if I ever make it out of here - I'm going to create a solid, stable life for myself where I feel great about myself - and one where i help others feel great about themselves as well. So the mission was born from early childhood, obstacles I've faced, and things I've overcome. With that I say to anyone out there that if I can overcome what seemed impossible stumbling blocks of bullying, social pressures, broken families, constant moves - I say to anyone out there IT DOES GET BETTER. We have to stay on the boat, lock arms with those around us, and look to the horizon.

HSM: What have been some of your most successful moments as an entrepreneur? 

BL: Wow - successful moments. While I'm a southerner at heart - I've really taken to California. I've often reveled in features and placements in magazines and news articles around the world (too many to name) and I realized that I didn't want my career to be about mentions or accolades - I wanted it to be about service to others and helping everyone walk through that door called I FEEL BEAUTIFUL ABOUT MYSELF. Easier said than done. We all come with stores of the past, things we hold onto, ghosts we chase. I'm personally trying to live more in the moment than future or past. Carly Simon wrote "THESE are the good ol' days." and as I grow in my career - I recognize that today will be my tomorrow's "good old says" so I am trying to make the most of them. Each and every day. Certainly working as a brand ambassador for many beauty brands has been a huge hit for me as I've just about seen it all; product launches, work with celebrities, reality tv, etc.

HSM: What does it feel like to have the acclaimed title of "celebrity stylist" - is it stressful working with top names/celebs or does the job come with its own ups and downs just as any other position may?

BL: To us here in Hollywood - "celebrity hair stylist" gets lost among many. But when I realize that the client at home in Boise, Idaho or Greenville, SC is reading my beauty content - I have to step off the red carpet for a bit and try to produce content relevant for my readers and fans.

HSM: What are your go to products as a stylist? 

BL:THE PERFECT ROUND BRUSH AND LOTS OF HAIR SPRAY. We're in the process of adding a series of styling brushes to the line as well as the most amazing wet/dry brush for every hair type - perfect for wet or dry styling and use. There's nothing that you can't fix with a little hair spray.

HSM: Any tips tips for women who are looking to find a great stylist and keep the relationship going?

BL: BE LOYAL. Don't expect too much on the first visit. COMMUNICATE. Take look books and talk about what you see. Bring tear-sheets and write words beside what you see. This helps the stylist see and hear what you're describing. Be open to change. And RUN from the stylist who insists "I'm the artist here" or "You're in MY chair." In the world of beauty, ego has no place. It's a very uncomfortable situation to be in the chair of a hair stylist who wants to have his or her way only.

HSM: What are the 3 hottest hair trends you see for fall/winter 2014? What are some to stay away from?

BL: Depth of color - it doesn't require changing a lot. Just ask your salon professional to add some lowlights to your current color or natural tones. Braids - still a hit. Get creative - not too neat - lots of space in the style creates a more fashionable/relaxed look and feel. The California curl will always be a hit. This look is super easy to get as well either by twisting hair when wet an diffusing dry, or by wrapping hair around fingers, clipping to the base area and allowing to air dry.

HSM: Can you provide a couple of tips for women on how to best maintain their cut and color after the salon visit? 

BL: YES - BEFORE LEAVING - BOOK YOUR NEXT APPT. This is critical for every gorgeous cut or color. Stay on time with your appts, don't do it yourself and don't try to color or "preserve color" in between visits. There's no such thing as cheating when it comes to your color.

HSM: Can you give our readers a few tips on best practices for the at home blow out?

BL: The biggest thing - remove 80-90% of the water PRIOR to even using your styling tools - dry root area first. Add Gloss & Toss® SHINE serum (of course) prior to your blow-dry to help speed up drying time, control fly aways and add shine. Use larger sections (since roots are dry) and with your round brush direct hair down - keeping brush and dryer moving at all times. Never "park" the hair dryer on any one section of hair - keep it moving always.

HSM: Finally, where can we learn more about you, your services and your product line?

BL: Please visit to learn more about Gloss & Toss and to purchase your own "Celebrity Shine in a Bottle™" products. Follow us socially @glossandtoss

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