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An Interview with Beth Minardi

BETH MINARDI elevates hair color to an art form. With more than 20 years' experience, Beth is recognized as the world's leading hair color authority. Her creativity, artistry and chemical knowledge have led thousands of image-conscious women and men to her salon located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Celebrities including Sara Jessica Parker, Brad Pitt, Christie Brinkley, Faye Dunaway, Uma Thurman, Renee Russo, Julianne Moore, Willem Dafoe, Evan Rachel Wood, Edie Falco, Kevin Bacon and Hope Davis have all turned to Beth when perfect hair color was what they desired. Beth has now partnered with uber stylist Sam Brocato to open Studio B Hair in midtown Manhattan.

Q. How do you interpret a client’s personality through their hair?

A. From my point of view, I see correctly shaped and colored hair as an art form. Although a great haircut may reflect almost everything about the wearer, color is the final accent that enhances and completes the effect of the shape. Light and color bring the shape forward; deeper tones bring the hair into the shadow. And color supports texture. Beyond “covering gray” or making a person a blonde, brunette or redhead, the correct color brings the gorgeous shape into focus. It accents the skin, eyes and personality. Color and cut combine into wearable art and, unlike makeup or clothing, it is the one accessory a person does not take off.

Q. Do you find inspiration in contemporary culture and lifestyle elements?

A. When it comes to personal expression, there are so many elements that factor in. Music, food, design…it’s all intuitive when it comes to the creative process as I experience it. But take music for example. Where do I draw inspiration from? The sounds - diverse though they may be of composers and musicians/performers like Philip Glass, Mozart, Pachelbel, Chopin, Satie, Debussy, Lennon/McCartney, Elton John, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams, Mick Jagger, Keith Emerson, David Sanborn…Artists of another sort too - painters - Jackson Pollock, Picasso…But art - an artist’s expression of their inner thoughts, their creative motivations - that’s what is constantly exciting to me. To be honest, art in any form I find sparks creativity. When it comes to color I turn to Matisse, Monet, Frank Stella. But the thing is at Studio B, from the simple clean lines of the space to the ever-evolving mix of the music, we create an environment that truly fosters individuality - from every member of the staff to every look that walks out of the salon.

Q. When it comes to nurturing your clients - after all so many stay with you for so very long - what is your secret?

A. In a word, Trust. To my clients, I am a confidante, they share so much with me and in turn, I hold close all their concerns and from this knowledge I build, helping them achieve the image they desire. I love that my clients feel secure in the space at Studio B and I could not appreciate more the beautiful exchange of trust that occurs.

Q. How do you constantly stay creative? What keeps you evolving and growing as an “artist”?

A. Creativity never stops when you completely understand and love what you are doing. Freedom results. You are able to draw outside the lines with confidence - and yes, passion too. Color to me is a symphony, one that always has new shades of meaning, always inspiring it resonates continuously spurring my sense of invention. Like a composer who adds or subtracts notes to make a piece of music just right, so do I add or subtract elements, shades, depth of color to make sure the pigment is calibrated to achieve the perfect effect. It’s all about balance in the end, balancing my client’s sense of self, balancing the elements that make up the right color, balancing the tempo of the times to create a color statement that is relevant and right.

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