- salon pro
SPOTLIGHT ON: BEN MOLLIN
You might recognize this unique, creative talent from the former Bravo hit TV show, Shear Genius, where hairdresser Ben Mollin slid handily into the number-two slot, beating out thousands of accomplished artists across the country. But in our book, this multifaceted pro is actually Number One: An accomplished sax player and natural “cheerleader,” Ben takes to our stage with enough energy and enthusiasm to motivate an entire crowd of hair professionals. And when he’s done spreading the joi as emcee at our events, Ben’s busy doing tours and video work, or focusing his razor-sharp eye on clients at Ben Mollin Hair Education — his aptly named Chicago-area salon, where rock-star cuts and a hip vibe team up with cutting-edge trends in the industry.
Get to know Ben here…
BEN MOLLIN, Joico Guest Artist/”All Around Nice Guy,” Griffith, IN
Bragging rights: I was the runner up on the first season of Bravo’s Shear Genius, and have been a salon owner for 20 years. Plus, I can play many instruments and remember most jokes.
On my nightstand: Super old alarm clock, a random wicker basket with miscellaneous change, hair clips…and diapers.
Can’t live without: My wife, Angela Avorio, and my son, Marco.
What I’m eating when no one’s looking: Peanut butter and banana sandwiches on Wonder Bread.
If any designer (or store) could dress me: If Levis ever teamed up with Dickies, I’d be in wardrobe heaven.
What’s on my feet: Chuck Taylors.
My influencers: Vidal Sassoon, Angela Avorio, Pam Mezinger, Bobby “Slim” James, and the Beastie Boys.
Guiltiest pleasure: Serbian moonshine and Golden Girls reruns.
Biggest misconception about hairdressers: That we’re not genuinely interested in our clients. We actually enjoy being your sober barber tender and care about what you tell us while we’re making you pretty or handsome.
Why hair? When I was a kid, my Grandpa used to bring me to the barbershop whenever he’d babysit me. I remember sitting in a chair reading Highlights magazines while he was betting on Chicago sports teams. My mom and Grandma used to bring me with them to get their hair done by a women named Bev, at a place by my house called Haircrafters. One day, I told Bev I wanted my hair like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s in the movie Terminator. She gave me a spiky ‘do and I was the happiest kid in the world. I’ve just always really loved the environment of hair salons and barbershops. Then I started cutting my own hair at around 13 and the rest is history.
What I’m known best for: Taking the classics and making them unique.
Oddest job: I used to get hired to drink at clubs or bars back in the mid 90s, when owners wanted to make it seem like cool, tattooed people went there. It was a dream job…damn, I miss it!
If not hair: Music.
The hair I never want to see again: Feathered hair…and Ombré is a close second.
What’s been your most joi-ful professional hair moment?: Being on stage with Vivienne Mackinder and Trevor Sorbie, with my wife and son in the audience. It was the greatest career moment in my life.
This hairstyle/color will never bore me: The classic bob with Color Intensity undertones.
Best advice ever: “Know what it is you’re after.”
What’s playing in my salon: U2’s New Year’s Day
Tool/product I’m always reaching for: The tool I can’t live with out is my Dyson blow dryer. My buddy, Erin Nelson, let me borrow hers for a video project and — holy cow, this thing is just a whole new level of awesome! The product I can’t live without is Joico Hair Shake. It’s everything: I love the way I can create texture by simply spraying it and using my hands. Heat Set is also right up there, too — I use it when I’m going for a smooth blowout with no frizz. And I use Texture Boost every day on everyone, because it’s great for all different lengths and textures of hair.
FORMULA: Vero K-PAK Chrome RB4 for the base, with accents of Color Intensity Fiery Coral and Mermaid Blue.