Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - April 2, 2010

Making the cut

Pleasanton salon owner stars in Bravo's 'Shear Genius'

by Emily West

As the winner of Bravo's "Shear Genius" will be announced next week, contestant Arzo Nazamy is back to the pace of normal life.

A self-professed "hair geek," Nazamy spends most of her time doing something relating to hair. Most days she is at Vogue Hair Studio, the Pleasanton salon she's owned for nearly 16 years. Otherwise, she spends one day a week at a salon in San Francisco, where she now lives.

"A hair geek is someone who is obsessed with hairstyles and dressing and constantly trying to figure out ways to make it better," she said. "I'm always trying to figure out options and fill the needs of people with their hair problems."

Even during her "time off" she said she's usually teaching a haircutting class or attending an event to learn about new products and styles.

During her run on the popular cable channel show, she was able to show off her talents to the world and put the Bay Area on the "hair world" map.

Having loved the first two seasons, Nazamy said she wanted to be on the show for the sake of hairdressers and to expand her skills with other top stylists.

"Of course, if I would have won the money it would have been awesome, but I just wanted to showcase my work," she said.

After applying, she was one of the 12 chosen to be on the show. The process, Nazamy said, was very involved, with applicants having to do a hair cut and highlight their editorial work and celebrity clients.

"You couldn't just be a run-of-the-mill hairdresser," she said.

Her experience includes styling celebs like Rose McGowan and clients such as Bed, Bath and Beyond and MTV.

Nazamy praised Bravo's choices, confirming that they were high-caliber hairdressers. The friendships formed with many of the fellow stylists still remain and have become a highlight of her experience.

Despite being glad for the experience, Nazamy said she was disappointed with the show and would never do it again. She believes that her quiet and friendly nature likely kept her from being successful on the show.

"It's not based on skill or talent, it basically has to do with how much drama you can drum up," she said.

While she believes that she was edited and represented fairly, she said she was na´ve about how the decisions were made.

"I feel like my work spoke for itself, it was really great work," she said. "You can't make something look bad when it doesn't look bad. I was represented well, but it's just that the judges didn't judge; the producers really decide who wins or who doesn't."

Nazamy was eliminated in the second episode, after a challenge required the contestants to create avant-garde hairstyles based on a tasting menu at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel's Dakota restaurant.

"I don't think (my elimination) was fair whatsoever," she said. "My work stood up for itself."

She said she considers the experience to be less of a competition and more of just an entertaining TV show.

Since trading the bright lights of the small screen for the glow of the salon's lights on Sunol Boulevard, Nazamy is back to creating her signature styles for the locals and teaching her methods to others.

"Basically, I love the community and the area and wanted to run a great business for the community and the stylists," she said. "I'm really into what I do and I really love hairdressers."

To learn more about Nazamy, visit or call 417-1635. The finale episode is scheduled to air Wednesday at 10 p.m. For more information on "Shear Genius" visit


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