PHOTO BY ANNA GOODSON
Syd Curry is a nice guy. “Of course I’m nice, I was raised by rednecks.” And “redneck” is a term that Syd finds endearing. After growing up in California and having a fabulous career there, he has returned to his roots.
“My father was from Batesville, and my mother was from the Delta. I spent my childhood visiting Mississippi.”
Syd wasn’t the best student in school, acting out and purposely doing things that would get him suspended. But his mother, ever a Southern belle even in California, never missed her weekly hair appointment. Syd would often accompany her, and what the stylists were doing made sense to him. His parents made a deal with the troubled boy: finish high school and they’d pay for beauty school. And that’s exactly what happened. “I started hair school at age 16 and when I was 17, I moved from Simi Valley to Hollywood.”
His career began in a salon, but eventually Syd became a hairdresser to the stars. It began in the 1980s, styling hair for catalogs. “Back then, that’s how models made the most money. I learned how to style hair for the camera. It was a great experience, working with models like Jerry Hall, Janice Dickinson and Gia Carangi, all supermodels in their day.” The real game changer for Syd was working with Cindy Crawford. “She was the biggest model in the world. That took my career to a whole new level. Photographers didn’t ask to see my portfolio after that, they’d just hire me because of working with Cindy.” Fate put him together with Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga, two performers he worked with many times, as well as President Bill Clinton.
“You know, when you’re in beauty school, you just never dream that one day you’ll be styling the hair of the President of the United States!”
After doing the hair of actresses, singers, models and other stars in Hollywood for most of his career, Syd Curry is now styling the hair of women in Jackson, Mississippi. “The women here are no different than the celebrities I’ve worked with. The celebrities are just women with cool jobs. They still have the same insecurities–they don’t like their skin or their hair or whatever. My job is to make them look and feel good. I’m still doing that same job, but I’m doing it with the women of Jackson, and I’m loving it!”
Syd moved back to Jackson in 2008 so his mother could be closer to family. She passed away in 2009, and Syd purchased a home and opened a salon in Aberdeen. Three years ago, he called Suzanne Moak Maczka at SMoak Salon. The two had met when he needed a haircut and his mom was in the hospital. He told Suzanne he wanted to move to Jackson and she gave him a spot in her Fondren salon.
“Moving to Jackson is one of the best things I’ve ever done. I had a great life and a great career for over 30 years, but it was stressful. I found a real home here. I am getting to know my family here better, and I really feel their support. I love working in a salon again. I enjoy the people I work with. We are a great team.
A big believer in “pretty,” Syd has enjoyed getting to know his clients and making them feel great. “Trends come and go, but I don’t care where you live, pretty is always in style!”