Beauty Experts Say On-Air Hair Faces Long Road to Recovery | HumorOutcasts

Beauty Experts Say On-Air Hair Faces Long Road to Recovery

September 12, 2017

ATLANTA.  When Debbie Crabtree first saw the damage wrought on the southeastern United States by Hurricane Irma, she was moved to tears.  “It was horrible,” says Crabtree, a stylist at Cuts 4U, an eight-chair beauty salon in the Poncey-Highland neighborhood.  “I had never seen such devastation before in my life, and I’m almost thirty–don’t put that in the paper.”

“A $155 foil frost job–gone forever!”


But after she recovered from the initial shock, she went right to work, tending to those hardest hit by the Category 4 storm; on-air newscasters whose hair bore the brunt of the epic natural disaster.  “We have TV reporters who’ve lost everything,” Crabtree said as she examined the roots of Cheryl Lynn Oehrke, a weather reporter for Channel 4 in Tampa.  “Color, hair extensions–gone.”

Time-lapse footage of Irma’s devastation.


Crabtree and other volunteers created a pop-up “blow dry bar” in an unused hangar at Tommy Nobis Regional Airport, which was closed to private planes due to high winds.  “It’s the least we could do,” she says with self-effacing modesty.  “With an introductory low price of $34.99 we’ll barely break even, but God knows it’s for a good cause.”

“A few lucky reporters have generators to fuel their hair straightening irons.”


The storm hit female on-air talent hardest, but male reporters reported damage as well.  “This was a ‘sculpture’ cut,” says a bitter Rod Lord, who worked back-to-back “storm watch” shifts as he runs his fingers through wind-tossed hair.  “I was hoping to hand it down to my son, but without federal hair insurance I don’t know if I can afford the mousse it would take to rebuild it.”

Ready for a Nor’easter!


Some saw the damage wrought by Irma and hurricane Harvey in Texas as a form of karma, comeuppance for the South’s long-standing addiction to high, unstable hair styles.  “Hurricanes in New England don’t do one-tenth of the damage that they do down South,” said Polly Endicott of Chatham, Massachusetts, whose greying hair is held in place by a “preppy” plaid head band.  “Our hair looks like a bulkhead entrance to a storm cellar, which also keeps our men from getting any ‘frisky’ ideas.”

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of two novels (most recently "Making Partner"), a baseball book about the Red Sox and the Yankees ("The Year of the Gerbil"), ten published plays and 45 books of humor available in print and Kindle formats on My latest book "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" was released by HumorOutcasts Press last year. My humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and Barron's, and I am working on a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player for Oxford University Press .

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One Response to Beauty Experts Say On-Air Hair Faces Long Road to Recovery

  1. September 13, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Tragedy hits us all in so many ways?

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