An Interview with the Hair Guru of Charleston—Butch Jones

Andrew C. Petersen




"Whenever a client would ask for a hair referral, there was always that one name on the tip of my tongue."


For the past 15 years, I have had the pleasure of doing and teaching makeup with the most amazing women in Charleston, as well as having been honored to be the artist for so many beautiful destination brides. There is one thing has always been constant throughout the years, and that is that I cannot count the number of times I have shown up to do makeup to find that I am to be working next to the Hair Guru of Charleston, Butch Jones, Artistic Director at Stuart Laurence Salon. This always thrills me because I know that the client is in the best of hands. 



Whenever a client would ask for a hair referral, there was always that one name on the tip of my tongue. Whether it is for routine service or for event hair from Stuart Laurence Wedding, Butch is your man. With the hot humid weather upon us, I know that the Grit readers could use a little advice on how to maintain their locks. Also, as with makeup, we all get in a rut with our hair from time to time, so I knew that sitting down with Butch and getting some pointers to share would be beneficial for all.


So, let your hair down, enjoy the interview, and, if you are getting your wedding plans in order, dial his number as fast as you can! 



What is your background?


I have a BA in Fine Arts. I’ve been a professional hairdresser for 22 years. I have been an educator for Bumble and Bumble and Ouidad for many years, in addition to being a Board Certified Master Colorist.


What are some current trends in hair color and cuts?


Babylights, which are reminiscent of the soft, sunkissed strands that take you back to your childhood. Marsala and Merlot are earthy wine tones—great for all-over color or as an accent to add dimension and richness. Ombre is still going strong but evolving into less contrast and more subtle gradation.

Cuts are all over the board…short, medium and long lengths are all popular. Anything goes—straight, wavy, and curly. Textured, lived-in hair was HUGE at Fall 2015 Fashion Week!



What was or is a trend that you love, and one you are not so fond of?


I personally love how ombre has evolved with subtle color gradation and highlighting for a little more connection and sophistication. Not a huge fan of the dark root shadow technique on blondes.


The who’s who of Charleston seek you out, how do you keep such a loyal following?


I try very hard to not only provide the best hair services and techniques that I can, but to also connect to each client on a personal level. I try and discover their interests (ie. movies, books, fashion, restaurants, travel, sports…anything).  Then I make it my point to learn more about their interests before the next appointment. In doing so, I grow personally and become more informed. In the end… it is really about forming a relationship.


A word of advice on wedding hair?


Trial runs are very important in deciding on a hairstyle for the bride. The trial run allows the opportunity to discover what will work or not. Whatever type of hairstyle a bride chooses, it needs to last 6-10 hours. She must be comfortable with the hairstyle—own it.

Just remember, if your hair doesn’t hold curl normally…it won’t hold curl on your wedding day. If your hair tends to be fuzzy and the wedding is outside in Charleston in the summer…there is a good chance it will be fuzzy. 



What is the best product to beat the humidity?


I believe a Keratin Smoothing Treatment is the best solution to humidity. Now we are able to customize the Keratin Smoothing Treatments to the individual. This allows us the ability to offer this treatment to almost anyone and any hair type that suffers the effects of humidity.


What should every woman focus on when it comes to their hair?


That it is one of the easiest ways to make them look younger and more vibrant. A new haircut, color for richness, adding highlights/lowlights for dimension, glazes for shine or a smoothing treatment can make a big difference in just a few hours. Your hair is the BEST return on investment.



What is the one thing they should stay away from?


Stay away from the archaic rule that when women reach a certain age they MUST cut their hair short! 


Why are you passionate about hair?


My passion runs so much deeper than hair. The world of hairdressing is the catalyst that enables me to meet people, have opportunities and experiences that I never dreamed possible—all while doing something I love.


What are a few of your favorite products and why?


1. Bumble and Bumble Don’t Blow It. It is a cream that enhances texture and body for the perfect air-dried style. Just put in and let it dry naturally…perfect for Charleston.



2. Malibu Swimmers. These are little packets that you can use to remove chlorine build-up from hair without stripping your color. If you spend any time in chlorine, this is a must.



3. Rene Furterer Naturia Dry Shampoo. It is an aerosol spray that is great for volume. It also absorbs excess oil and odors from the hair. Great for the gym or a long day at the office when you don’t have time to shampoo.