Beehive show highlights hair

Beehive Cut & Color put on a show in its specialty, with about three dozen models showing off stylish looks at Red Monkey Downtown Lounge.

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Beehive Stylist Kate McCaw puts some finishing touches on Courtney Litchfield's makeup prior to Saturday night's cut and color show at Red Monkey Downtown Lounge.

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Model and Beehive stylist Luna Acker walks the runway, which was rented and set up over the Red Monkey dance floor.

WALLA WALLA -- Ever since the Beehive opened nearly a decade ago, owner Gail Waetje has wanted to let her stylists loose to show off cutting-edge techniques for cutting and coloring.

"This show is different than what we do every day," Waetje said, explaining that customers don't usually go for the chic and vogue styles fresh out of Europe. "It is letting us stretch our wings a little bit. And that has been really fun."

As Waetje stood outside the Red Monkey Downtown Lounge on Saturday, six hours before her first hair show, she looked a little stressed, and her voiced cracked from a cold. But the big hair show would go on. And there would even be some big-hair styles.

The show opened with a model dancing along the runway with Cher-like hair that draped to her waist. It was actually a wig, Waetje confided. Then out came the scissors, and chop it was gone, then thrown out to the crowd.

There was also a beehive hairdo that looked a yard long. But for the most part, the styles that were displayed to more than 100 spectators lining the runway were short, pert and very colorful.

"We wanted to stretch ourselves as far as being creative and to show the styles that are being worn right now," said Beehive stylist Kyle Waetje, who is also Gail's daughter.

Gail Waetje said she would have done the show long before, but the timing was never right. And there were other things that were right over the years.

When the Beehive first opened, it was a full-service salon -- though Waetje proudly boasts that in her 9 1/2 years of business she has never used the word "salon" in her business name -- offering everything from nails to massages to hot wax. But three years ago, she decided it was time to cut back, thin out and turn the Beehive into a place where all they did was cut and color.

After three years of doing less, Waetje said it was time to add an extension to the name: Beehive Cut & Color.

"This is also a kickoff for our new name and our new vision," Waetje said.

When it came to finding models for the show, Waetje relied on customers, stylists and people who had previously filled out a modeling solicitation card. But in Kristy Vickroy's case, she was a complete stranger, or a "tap," Kyle Waetje explained.

"This is the first time I have ever had my hair professionally colored. And it's been two years since it was professionally cut. I usually had my friends cut it," the 24-year-old said.

A tap, Waetje explained, is a model who was chosen by Beehive stylist, who went around town looking for people with interesting hair. When they found one, they tapped the person on the shoulder and asked if the candidate wouldn't mind being in a show, in exchange for a free cut and color.

"I was really surprised. To have someone come up to me and say they liked your hair and, 'Would you be in our show?' I was really surprised," Vickroy said.

All in all, 35 models were used for the hair show. About 10 were men. And none looked over 30.

"I'll be darned if I am not a little bit out of that age group," Waetje joked.

The show lasted about 20 minutes. And the audience seemed very entertained throughout.

Hair cuts and colors were done Thursday and Friday and all Saturday afternoon they were busy as bees at Beehive, as 35 heads of hair were styled with the latest fashions, except for that yard-long beehive.

"It is a whole lot of work and effort for not very long, but that is the way runway shows go; it's a lot of work," Kyle Waetje said.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at alfreddiaz@wwub.com or 526-8325.

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