Ted Gibson and Jason Backe load up the truck to bring their scissors and famously expensive haircuts
Hair is often associated with reinvention. A new cut, color or style can reinvigorate a person’s life. But sometimes, reinvention is just as healthy for those cutting tresses too. After living for 20 years in New York, veteran celebrity hairstylist Ted Gibson is trying a new look on for size after moving his business to Los Angeles.
“We wanted to do something a little bit different,” Gibson said, adding that he and his business partner and husband, hair colorist Jason Backe, had recently signed a lease for a new salon. Located at 211½ S. La Brea Ave., the salon will be called Starring by Ted Gibson. The announcement was made late last month during an event for the hairstylist’s upcoming hair-care line, Starring.
Gibson, who has styled the hair of Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Debra Messing, Priyanka Chopra and Jessica Chastain, sent shock waves through Manhattan when he closed his 2,500-square-foot Flatiron District salon of 13 years in December 2016. At the time, Gibson and Backe didn’t have a plan, but they knew they needed a change. “We had this conversation,” said the Texas-born hairdresser, who once had salons in Washington, D.C., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. ‘‘We said, ‘What are we doing this for? It’s not making us happy. It doesn’t make sense anymore.’”
Gibson said he’d also noticed a shift in the beauty business where hairstylists preferred “an independent mentality” over working in large salons like the one he and Backe had previously owned.
Shortly after, the couple sold their apartment in the city as well as their home in upstate New York. They loaded a truck with their belongings and took a road trip west. Meanwhile, various media outlets began calling to inquire about their next move. “We couldn’t tell anybody, because we didn’t know what we were going to do,” Gibson said. “That’s when we realized, ‘We have to keep it a secret that we moved to L.A. until we have a plan,’” Backe added.