Archive for September 13, 2019

Becoming a Video Star

Last weekend, I fell into the rabbit hole of curly hair care YouTube videos. It started when I got a mildly disappointing haircut that was made more disappointing by the cost of it nearly doubling. It wasn’t really a bad haircut, but it was just a simple blunt trim, no real shaping or layering, at the cost of what should have been a designer precision cut. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes, and that includes some waiting at the front with a glass of water, some chatting, the shampoo and hand massage, the cut, a bit of blow drying, and paying. But since my last haircut, the salon upped its prices, the stylist got a promotion so her rates went even higher, and they dropped the option of just getting a cut without the blow dry and style, even though I don’t really want my hair dried, and all that added up to doubling what I paid for my last haircut.

I started pondering the idea of cutting my hair myself, since it’s long enough that I can reach the back, and since it’s so curly, it’s pretty forgiving. Out of curiosity, I Googled it, and it turns out that cutting your own hair is a big thing in the curly hair world, since it’s so hard to find someone who does it well, and the specialty curly cuts run about $125, which is way outside my budget. I’m not normally big on watching videos. I’d rather read text to get information, but this is the kind of thing you need to actually see, so I started watching the videos. And that brought up suggested videos on related topics, like curly hair care and styling tips. I’d read the Curly Girl book, so I knew a lot of this stuff, but seeing it put into practice made it a lot clearer. I was already doing a lot of the things they recommend. I’ve had my hair blown straight once (the stylist more or less forced me — I’d have had to make a scene to escape), I never flat iron my hair and only blow dry on cool to remove excess water if I have to go somewhere within a few hours of washing my hair. I mostly use the right products. There were still some tips that, when I tried them, made a big difference — so big that I realized I’m going to have to let my hair grow out a bit because my hair is curling up more, so with this new cut it’s just a bit too short, coming at an awkward length.

But there was one thing I noticed in watching these videos. One of the people was reviewing some new product (which I was already using), and she mentioned that the company had flown her to Hawaii for the product launch, where their stylists had demonstrated the products. I guess she’s what they call an “influencer,” but it’s not like her videos were at all slick or professional. She was just a girl talking to the camera in her bathroom, not even with a good microphone or lighting.

And then in today’s newspaper, there was a lengthy article about the woes of the “professional vapers” or “vaping influencers” now that there’s the worry about health risks and a possible ban. There are people who make a living vaping on camera, doing tricks with the smoke or reviewing various pipes and liquids. Their videos get hundreds of thousands of views.

I really need to start playing with video, I guess. My degree’s in broadcast news, so I have the skill set. I don’t even care about hundreds of thousands of viewers or making a living doing it. But it would be nice to get several thousand views in a way that would raise my profile and maybe sell a few more books.

And if someone wants to fly me to Hawaii, that would be okay, too.

I really will have to start playing with that after I finish this book.