Colin Lively has only improved with age. When Cleveland Magazine featured the “society hairdresser” and owner of Today’s Headlines salon in Cleveland Heights in 1984, he did the hair of “anyone who was anyone” in town, from the local anchors on all three Cleveland networks to the wives of CEOs and old money.
When we called to ask him what’s happened in the 23-plus years since that article appeared, he answered in a funny and dramatic, typical Colin Lively way: “I’m even prettier now,” he laughs heartily.
Lively, who also had salon branches in Rocky River and Fairlawn, sold Today’s Headlines in 1990 for a dream job at the prestigious Kenneth Salon in New York City.
Then the salon burned down.
“What I thought was going to be a glorious beginning of my career in New York ended in tragedy with this fire,” Lively says. “So I ended up at Lord & Taylor.”
After three years there, the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon on Fifth Avenue hired him. “I was back where I felt I belonged,” he says.
He also got in with the city’s best image consultants, who started sending him business. Three years ago, he went out on his own as a freelance hairstylist and consultant.
“I have become a fixture on the social scene,” he says proudly.
Just like in Cleveland.
And, just like when he was here, he can rattle off the socialites and famous whose hair he does now: Debbie Bancroft, Tinsley Mortimer and Eve Ensler of “The Vagina Monologues” fame.
“There are many things about Cleveland that I really miss,” he says. “I had beautiful gardens and a magnificent home, and I drove a little red Mercedes. Now I live in a very tiny studio apartment on West 57th Street. I live a block from Central Park.... There are times that I wish I had not left, but then I show up someplace like the Broadway opening night, and I’m like, Oh, this is why I left.”