Ted Gibson is known for many things: A career spanning three decades that’s seen the celebrity hairstylist doing what he does best during Fashion Week, in magazine editorials, and on some of the world’s most famous manes — including those belonging to Angelina Jolie, Lupita Nyong’o, Debra Messing, and Jessica Chastain; his role as hair maestro on TLC’s What Not to Wear; his STARRING by Ted Gibson Salon in L.A., where he commands $2,400 for a haircut; his pursuit of activism; and his fun-loving, generous spirit. But there’s so much more to know about this Texas native, who lives in L.A. with husband Jason Backe. Learn about how he stays grounded, why he takes selfies with a toilet, and his favorite Sunday afternoon napping partner.
In our new series, “A Perfect Sunday,” we spotlight our favorite tastemakers and their ideal Sunday vibe, life advice, and beauty and style must-haves. Here, Ted Gibson shares his routine.
“I am always an early bird. I have two Norwich terriers: Spencer, who is 12-years-old, and Orson, who is 11-months-old. They both like to go out around 6:00 or 6:30 a.m., whining and making a lot of noise, and they are hard to resist. I love the mornings — it’s my most creative time. I believe my spirit or God connection happens a lot for me in the morning. After I or my husband Jason take the boys out, it’s time for my morning practice and cup of joe. My morning practice is 15 minutes of meditation, 15 minutes of reading, and 15 minutes of writing. It helps me connect and live my authentic self. I am into gospel music, so depending on the time, we either watch CBS Sunday Morning or I turn on [renowned gospel singer] Mahalia Jackson and feel.”
“Sundays are meant for rest, unless it’s award season, so for me, it’s about taking a breath and chill. I have a house in Palm Springs, so if it’s not rented, I try to go there and swim in the pool and soak up some rays of light. There is nothing like the desert for soul cleansing.”
“My husband Jason is an amazing cook. And Sundays are for splurging. He will make a fabulous pancake with all the fixings — eggs, bacon, fruit. And I love a hotel brunch — Four Seasons, Polo Lounge [at The Beverly Hills Hotel], or the Waldorf [Astoria Beverly Hills].”
“I love a nap! I curl up on the sofa with one of the boys [Spencer or Orson] and chill. There are times, once a month or so, when it’s Sunday tea time in West Hollywood — go-go boys, gay friends, and girlfriends.”
“Sunday evenings are family time, for sure. Jason will cook a roasted chicken and a mean vegetable, and if I am a good husband, a mean chocolate cake. It’s also a time for us to watch 60 Minutes and find out things that are happening in the world that we have no idea of.”
“It’s all about getting centered for me, which means inhaling through my mouth for three [counts], holding for three, then exhaling for three. This helps me to calm my busy mind and relax. I also have a couple of prayers that I say before I go to sleep. Being grateful is a practice that I feel very strongly about. And I’m usually in bed around 10:00 p.m.”
More Ted Talk
What’s your astrological sign and do you fit the description of it well?
“I am a Scorpio and boy do I! My husband says I think from my chest down to my thighs.”
Ted Gibson fixing model on photoshoot set
Describe your style.
“I am classic with a twist.”
What’s a valuable piece of advice that one of your clients has given you?
“That I should move to Hollywood.”
What’s one of your beauty must-haves?
“I love NIVEA Body Lotion over any expensive body lotion on the market. I got introduced to it by a famous makeup artist when we were shooting an editorial with models over 20 years ago and have never looked back.”
What are you reading and watching right now?
“Reading The Power of Now, watching House of the Dragon with Jason and our good friends [fitness expert] Marnie Alton and her husband Josh.”
Tell us about the fabulous outfits you post on your Instagram page.
“I have been taking these full-length bathroom selfies at my salon on La Brea called STARRING by Ted Gibson and it’s been controversial because people have been saying, ‘Why are you taking a photo where there is a toilet in the background?’ I say that’s the whole point. I am wearing Balenciaga, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balmain, Stetson, Celine, Margiela, and many more. Making fun because it’s not taking fashion too seriously. It’s all a form of drag. it all depends on what character I am playing at the moment.”
What’s something you’re contemplating buying right now?
“I want to buy a house in Los Angeles.”
You’ve been in your career for almost 30 years — does it still do it for you?
“Every time I get to work with an actor or do hair for a runway show or TV, I know I am in the right place.”