Samson was powerless without it. Women worldwide spend billions on it. Hair — it’s as important to one’s look as any accessory. Of all the beautiful people in Charleston, Kenneth Hyatt and Lily Slay arguably have the “Best Hair.”
MONSIEUR POMPADOUR. We first spotted Kenneth Hyatt’s perfectly styled coif in a short film produced for Charleston Fashion Week. With the flick of the wrist and a twirl of a curl, his long locks transformed into his signature rockabilly ‘do. And really, that’s all it takes for his perfect hair, no products or bobby pins needed. Of course, he’s had some time to work this out. Hyatt’s mother was a hairdresser in the ’80s (she still cuts his hair) and he was already voted “Best Hair” in high school. Perfection comes with the small price of some interesting monikers — Flock of Seagulls, Jimmy Neutron, and a few references to Elvis have been bestowed upon Hyatt. His unique look definitely elicits looks in a sea of side-parts and buzzed heads.
SUBTLE STYLINGS. Hyatt works as a freelance prop stylist and says, like his work, his style is an “exercise in creativity.” He pulls from the ’50s, ’80s, and current trends to pull together a unique, contemporary look. Hyatt is soft-spoken and his style is subtle at times, but the hair alerts you that there’s something to study there. He’s always wearing an interesting accessory or has a great story behind the vintage cardigan he’s sporting. And though he wouldn’t tell us his secrets for thrift shopping in Charleston, Hyatt is constantly working to expand his closet.
WIGGING OUT. You can usually spot Slay on stage at the Pour House or other venues around the Lowcountry with her band, The Royal Tinfoil (she rocked it out at the Best of Charleston party). Her self-described “grunge-diva hoodrat streetwalking cowgirl realness” style is hard to miss, but her locks are unmistakable — no one else in Charleston is sporting a bouffant of crimson curls. And she owns it so much that she destroyed her hair in the process to reach perfection and rebuilt a phoenix of fiery locks and different looks using wigs. “The bleaching, coloring, cutting, blow-drying … became so cumbersome it started to feel like my hair owned me and not the other way around,” she says. In an effort for her fans to recognize her signature red hair while still maintaining a daily brunette or occasional purple, she did what most women would find unthinkable: she “Bic’ed” her head. That’s right, Slay is bald and it still works for her. What else would you expect from someone who lists Rupaul, Dolly Parton, and “Bugs Bunny in drag” among her style influences?
INSIDE OUT. Instead of the “exhausting cycle” that left many of her dresses stained “mildly pink in the sticky summer weather,” Slay now simply decides which wig she wants to wear (or not wear) on a daily basis. Rather than fixating on her locks, she tells us, “To me, hair is fashion. It’s an art form, but it comes and it goes. Style is who you inherently are. It doesn’t dull and gray, it doesn’t fall out, it doesn’t get all weird and burnt up and curly when you lean too close to the campfire. Style is forever, baby.”