Tabatha Coffey’s new book — dis- pensing advice on how to succeed in busi- ness — is called It’s Not Really About the Hair. But oh, it is. The Aussie native, 41, wouldn’t be the star she is today if she didn’t get her big break on the Bravo real- ity show, Shear Genius, pitting hair stylists against each other in follicular challenges. Though Coffey was eliminated as a con- testant, her refreshingly brutal honesty won her fan favorite status and later her own spinoff, Tabatha’s Salon Takeover. In this show, the no-nonsense superblonde visits salons across the country helping improve sagging businesses, a la Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. We caught up with Coffey from her home of New Jersey, where she also owns a salon.
Why did you decide to write the book? I’ve had such an incredible amount of support from people. I’m very accessible on social media and get so many ques- tions that aren’t hair related. Young peo- ple want to know how I came out. Others ask how I got so confident. Is it learned? Others want to know how I am so tough with my staff because they have a hard time taking charge. I call it a memoir with life lessons.
Explain one of your main philosophies. I came up with an acronym, BITCH, which stands for brave, intelligent, tena- cious, courageous and honest. It came from being on Shear Genius. There were times when people would get under my skin and everyone saw my meltdowns or fights or discussions or whatever you want to call them. Everyone called me a bitch and I really didn’t think I was. I was just telling it like I saw it. I wanted to turn around that word and make it a positive.
You’ve visited a lot of salons. Anything stand out the most? This season in Provincetown one salon had a stripper pole and they encouraged clients to dance on it to have money taken off their services. Just when I think I’ve seen it all I get totally gobsmacked all over again.