For l'étoile magazine
A Troupe of Hairstylists Tours the Country with Their Invention, Perfect Putty
By Emily Chang
The perfect hair putty is here, and it’s touring the country.
This weekend, the team behind Brooklyn-based hair care line Fatboy Hair came to Minneapolis’ BANGbang Salon as part of a national tour to teach styling classes with their invention on hand: Perfect Putty, a matte-finish pomade that founder Tyson Kennedy initially cooked up on the kitchen stovetop of his Lower East Side apartment.
The Fatboy Hair team’s three-week-long romp in the Midwest begins with a trip to BANGbang Salon, where the tight-knit group of five friends, who all met while working at Cutler Salon in Manhattan, partake in what they call Fatboy Sunday Sessions. Together, they style hair, create looks and photograph them. Usually, they're at home in New York City, but today they're in Minneapolis, styling Jacob Mullis and Amy Trinidad Hager of electro-garage-pop band Fort Wilson Riot just 24 hours before the class.
Tyson Kennedy, Fatboy’s founder and energetic lead singer of the Grammy-nominated group Steriogram, styles Amy and Jacob on the opposite end of the salon. The focus is on the small white, round container that hairstylist Pamela Gonzalez keeps dipping her fingers in and using to rub through Mullis' thick, dark curls.
Perfect Putty is all hold and no shine. Kennedy invented it out of the frustration that no product on the market could volumize hair with the matte texture he wanted and still stay soft and lightweight. Kennedy spent eighteen months perfecting the recipe on his kitchen stove, and it’s what now allows people all over the world to sculpt hair more organically, ditching the greasiness and over-coiffed look that comes with most products.
“It's a three-hour class that we've picked to do it at nighttime,” said Kelsy Osterman, a Minneapolis native who moved to New York City two years ago. “We're serving beer and wine, and we're playing loud music. We want it to be more of a jam session or more of a hang. We treat ourselves more like a touring band. We have a different take on what the hair industry means, and we're there to sort of spread the word.”
"Our main goal is to have fun and hopefully see the world," said Kennedy. "It's about hanging out with your mates. And at the same time, we've got this Fatboy product that makes it all make sense. Without it, we'd be running around the country for no reason."
Fatboy has already been through Dallas, Charlotte and Wilmington, and they plan on touring five or six more states by RV for the next couple of weeks.
"When we went to Charlotte and Wilmington, people kept asking us if we were a band, you know, and would take photos," said Kennedy. "We said we were Pearl Jam. We don't know if anyone believed us, but yeah.”