In his more than three decades as a hairstylist, Larry Dunlap, a Raleigh dad, has fielded plenty of questions from parents about their children's hair.
He had the answers and saw a need, so he wrote "How to Cut Children's Hair," a book sold on Amazon.com, and launched a website of the same name. Dunlap regularly updates the website with tips and articles on everything from how to get bubblegum out of hair to how to cut bangs.
As a mom who has attempted many times to cut her own children's hair with mixed results, I definitely appreciate the detailed instructions and information (if only it existed four years ago when I first started)!
Dunlap and I had a conversation over email. Here's our Q&A. He'll address some common questions in a post tomorrow.
Go Ask Mom: Tell me about you. You've been a hairstylist for more than 30 years?
Larry Dunlap: I have actually been a hairstylist for 33 years. I have always worked in the Raleigh area. I decided to go into hairstyling because it seemed like a logical extension of my passion for art and because it offered a way to be creative and have a steady income. I still paint and draw, as well as doing the design work involved in creating my book and website.
During my career I have been president of the Raleigh Hairdressers Association, a teaching member of the National Cosmetology Association of North Carolina, part of the Graham Webb Southeastern Educational Team, salon owner and a freelance photo stylist doing hair and make-up for professional photographers, ad agencies and theater.
I am married and have a teenage daughter attending Millbrook High School. I currently work as a self employed hairstylist at the Salon at Salem Woods in North Raleigh.
GAM: Why did you decide to write this book?
Dunlap: Over the years, I observed how stressed out most parents would get over trying to pick up their kids after work and hustle them to the salon to get their hair cut. There were many times that small children would be so out of control during the appointment that I would have to stop and ask them to come back later. Several parents expressed that they would try to cut their kid's hair themselves, but that they didn't have a clue about how to do it
There were also many, many times that a parent would bring in their child after they or their spouse had attempted to give them a hair cut and had botched it badly. It just occurred to me one day that I had a unique set of skills to create a book that could teach someone to cut children's hair.
GAM: What is the biggest mistake parents make when cutting their child's hair?
Dunlap: Using too much tension! Gripping the hair too tightly while cutting results in an uneven cut that is much shorter than they intended.
GAM: What has been the response to the book?
Dunlap: Since I am self-published through Amazon/CreateSpace the response has been slow at first, but I'm seeing a gradual increase in sales as reviews are posted on the web and word of mouth starts to kick in. The reviews and comments have been universally positive.
Stay tuned for more tips from Dunlap tomorrow. He was kind enough to offer Go Ask Mom readers 20 percent off his book by clicking here. Just use discount code RNF77SQU for the discount.