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Our favorite stylist

TOC reader and host Kelli Zink loves Charles Lord at Taylor Reese
Photograph: Nick Murway
By Jessica Herman |

Street cred “I’m an advocate for women,” says Charles Lord, who started cutting his mother’s hair as a 12-year-old and kicked off his career at age 17 working in Minneapolis for the creator of Aveda (back when the brand had only five shampoos to its name). In the following years, the Zion, Illinois, native bounced among New York, London and Paris, doing everything from assisting Frederic Fekkai to styling Belgian aristocracy, before moving to Chicago in 1999. Now 40, Lord has made a name for himself as a celeb stylist; when he’s not at Taylor Reese, he’s on photo shoots in Miami, flying to awards shows in Los Angeles and, until recently, doing hair for Harpo when stars like Taylor Swift and Salma Hayek came to town to appear on Oprah. Still, Lord insists, he remains equally loyal to all his clients. As for his style, he says he’s been pigeonholed as the long-hair stylist and prefers a “fucked-up rock & roll [look]…something that can translate into the work environment but is still on the edge. [The amount of time] I’ve been doing this [and the high-profile work I’m doing] is what allows me to have people come to me and tell me to do whatever I want. That’s getting the best out of me. That’s when you get your money’s worth.”

Why we love him “I can’t take credit for finding Charles two years ago,” host Kelli Zink says. “My colorist Alexis at the same salon was the one responsible for bringing us together. He thought my ‘high-maintenance’ hair needs—extensions, big blowouts—would be perfect for Charles, who had worked with actual celebs [like] Naomi Campbell and understood what I was looking for. No matter how hard I try to duplicate Charles’s blow dry, it doesn’t come close.” Insider tip from Zink: “One appointment with Charles and you’ll most likely be given his cell; he genuinely means it when he says, ‘text in case of hair emergency!’ ” Cuts by Lord at Taylor Reese (6 W Maple St, 312-640-0700) start at $250 for an initial cut and $150 thereafter for women, and $85 for men; blowouts cost $100.­

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