A Conversation with Steven Noss | Local Vocal | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

A Conversation with Steven Noss

Steven Noss presents the art of hair-weaving through song and dance on television programs such as The Ricki Lake Show, and the Detroit-based Hair Wars; in fact, he's this year's recipient of Ricki's Golden Weave Award. The 37-year-old Latrobe native...


What exactly is a hair weave?
A hair weave is just hair you add on to you own hair by bonding it or braiding it. It's real human hair, that's been processed and colored in China.


What's a hair entertainer?

A hair entertainer is a person who takes the stage and turns hair into entertainment by showcasing it and entertaining at the same time. Instead of kind of walking out and saying, "Here's a hairdo," and that's it, you put music to it, or a dance routine, maybe a skit, play-acting, stuff like that.


What kind of music do you use?

I always use booty music, fast stuff, booty-shaking music, Miami, Florida-style.


And the dance?

Same thing. Booty-dancing, fast stuff. You gotta drop that thang a little bit, you know. What do they say? Drop it like it's hot.


How did you become a hair entertainer?

Some former residents of Detroit moved into my neighborhood, and they'd go back for visits and come back with the crazy hairdos. I was always curious. So one time they took me back with them to my first Hair Wars taping and I was like, "Wow! This is, like, so cool." It was just, like, "Ta-da!"


What did you do to win an award on The Ricki Lake Show?

I made the first-ever flying hairdo, called the "Hairy Copter." It's part braid, part weave with a motorized helicopter buried underneath the hair on top of the model's head. She was wearing a short skirt -- because I wanted to give a little bit of sex appeal. And I covered her bra with woven braids, that were cut out underneath, so that her stomach showed. The whole thing had a military theme so it looked like she had been fighting, and part of the costume was ripped. The whole thing was kind of wild. Anyway, I had the model come out, then I turned on the remote: The hairdo lifted up and I caught it. And there wasn't one person sitting in the audience; everyone was standing and screaming. In fact, when Ricki came out, she looked right at me and said, "That was totally awesome."


How many times have you appeared on Ricki Lake?

Four times. I did "Ricki's Hair Weave Wars" twice and didn't win. Then I did "Girl, Stop Hatin'! Walk a Day in My Weave," which was all about weave makeovers for conservative girls. The last one was "Ricki's Weave Wars Reloaded." That when I won.


You also made a hair weave that served as a tribute to 9/11.

That was on "Hair Wars." I made a set of American flags out of weave hair. Exactly eight pieces of hair with a U.S.A. theme, with [the model] dressed in an Air Force uniform. I talked about the tragedy of 9/11, then played Whitney Houston singing "The Star Spangled Banner," while I pinned pieces of the flag onto this extravagant huge hairdo that encompassed her whole face on both sides. It had hair that looked like flames shooting out the back and everything.


How long have you been a hairdresser?

I started doing hair in the late '80s. A long time ago, I modeled in a hair show for some guys, and I was so amazed by what they were doing with hair so I said, "I think I'm going to take a shot at this." I went to beauty school, and one thing lead to another. Most of my clients these days are black women who are professionals, so they come in for pretty conservative hairdos.


What's your next step?

The entertainment industry, all the way, like in Los Angeles or something. Entertainment mixed with hair. That's my dream, baby.

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