Back in February, before the year 2020 literally blew up in flames, laughter was heard coming from the second floor of an apartment building in the Arts District of Los Angeles.
It was Johnny Wright’s infectious laugh as he bantered with his To Catch a Beautician cohost, Tamar Braxton, as they filmed its premiere season.
It’s not the first time Wright has been tapped by producers to lend his incredible talent to the reality TV genre. With hands that have styled the tresses of daytime talk show host Tamron Hall, Regina King, Janet Mock and even former first lady Michelle Obama, it seems producers knew what viewers are sure to find out—Wright is reality TV gold with quitty one-liners that rival the Real Housewives of Atlanta.
But if it wasn’t for our forever first lady, Wright wouldn’t have said yes to the call after styling hair for more than 30 years.
“The one thing I loved about this show is that it was a format,” the hairstylist told ESSENCE on the set of To Catch a Beautician earlier this year. “I had gotten approached tons of times for reality shows and docuseries. The one thing that stuck in my mind was the first lady telling me that [it] wasn’t a good idea and not to do something like that because it’s not good for your career.”
And when Mrs. Obama gives you advice, you’d be a fool not to take it. And Wright isn’t foolish.
“I took heed to that advice and I made sure that I would not do something that [would jeopardize my career],” he continued. “This felt safe and it felt right in my lane of education and hair and I just loved it.”
To Catch a Beautician sees Wright and Braxton helping clients, who are dissatisfied with their hair, confront their stylists. Before getting a mane resolution, Wright retrains the stylists and the clients eventually walk out of the salon feeling beautiful and vindicated.
For Braxton, the VH1 series is also a welcome reality TV show reprieve from co-starring with her family. She told ESSENCE she was thankful this show was “not about my personal life.”
“Drama was always going to come, right, because it’s in everyone’s life. When your hair fall out that’s drama, okay?” the singer continued. “At the end of the day, we all want resolve and we all want to be beautiful and feel beautiful. It’s not about tearing each other down.”
Wright added, “It’s all about redemption. It’s all about second chances.”
To Catch a Beautician airs Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Vh1.