This is posted on the AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Salons are hotbeds of drama and gossip. That’s why shows such as “L.A. Hair” and ‘Cuttin’ It in the ATL” have flourished.
BET is giving Atlanta entrepreneur Ramsey Shepherd his moment in the spotlight with “Ink, Paper, Scissors.” He runs Salon Ramsey, which isn’t a traditional salon but more like a home for solo hairstylists, nail technicians and tattoo artists to congregate and do their work. It’s 5,300 square feet and bustling during a recent weekday afternoon.
In an interview at his salon, Ramsey said he arrived in Atlanta eight years ago as a barber with an eye to do something bigger. Over time, he opened multiple shops and began raking in the bucks, he said.
“I give people the freedom to be who they are,” he said. “Everyone is their own boss. I don’t push to hard. Pay your rent and you’re good. I don’t micro manage. I try to make it a fun atmosphere.”
But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to intercede when there are tensions among hairdressers who sometimes steal clients from each other.
“I’m always down for a good battle,’ said Silas Brown, one of the saucier hairstylists featured on the show, which was shot over the summer.
And celebrities get their hair done there, including hip-hop legends Doug E. Fresh and Da Brat. Bobby V and Yung Joc pop in, too, based on the trailer.
After seeing his friend Nas do a documentary about himself, he wanted to do something similar with “Ink, Paper, Scissors.” BET picked it up.
“It’s not as messy with all the fights and throwing drinks” compared to some other reality shows, Ramsey said. “Everybody has a good storyline. Mine is competition. I have a business partner. He built another salon next door as direct competition. It’s crazy.”
About 10 people are featured on the show. I spoke with a few of them who were there when I visited:
Coco Griffin, hairstylist, dubbed the “bombshell beautician”: “We are No. 1 for hip hip and fashion. Hair and makeup, that’s the thing Atlanta is known for. People love anybody from here.” She is a bit nervous about how she was portrayed in the trailer, especially since she has a young son. “My mom’s freaking out,” she said.
Silas Brown, hairstylist, called “Commander in Shade” He’s been doing hair for 13 years going back to high school in St. Louis. He came to Atlanta a year ago and also works part time being the ‘house dad” for strippers at Blue Flame, prepping and styling them. They found him, he said, on Instagram. He likes the way Ramsey operates: “He gives you the opportunity and foundation to be your own boss in a sense. You can build your own brand without the overhead.” He considers himself the goofball of the group.
Donald Perry, hairstylist who clashes with Silas and is called the “cutting edge Prince”: He began cutting hair seriously three years ago. He started as a barber in a hole-in-the-wall place but moved to Salon Ramsey and began working with celebrities. He has done some styling on BET shows. He said he’s done hair for Young Thug, Kirk Franklin and Donnie McClurkin to name a few. His philosophy: “There’s no monopoly on a great haircut. It’s about charisma and bringing back clients.” He believes “I’m the pretty boy in the salon.”
Danni Lenior, dubbed the “queen stylist” by BET:. She said Ramsey scouted her while she was still in cosmetology school. She actually came back to this location to film the show. She considers herself the “main character” and the “queen of the salon.” She doesn’t get along with Coco or Baby Girl, another stylist.
Ahjahnae Smith, nicknamed “Baby Girl.”: She said Danni gave her that nickname. She is only 22 but grew up in hair salons since her mom is a hairstylist as well. “I have a lot to prove,” she said, “but I make it happen.” She’s buds with Coco. She admits she may come across as the “snooty girl” but she’s fine with it “as long as the checks get bigger and bigger.”
“Ink, Paper, Scissors,” 10 p.m. Tuesdays, BET