After I was badly portrayed on 20/20 interview due to network’s selectively chosen footage in order to mislead, I was contacted by Behind the Chair magazine to clarify my industry and my name. Hopefully the interview bellow will put everything in perspective.

There is nothing like a controversial news story to set opinions and hearts ablaze, especially when it involves one of our own. Recently, ABCs 20/20 broadcasted a segment called Confessions of a Hairstylist, which revealed the unpleasant goings-on of some salon practices.Hair Colorist Ilona Shine was interviewed for the episode and came under fire for negatively representing the salon industry as a whole. But according to Ilona, her intention during the interview was far from what was included in the broadcast. So we asked Ilona to give her side of the story, and to bare the facts that she says were left on the cutting room floor.

BTC:How were you approached to appear on the show, and what was the angle of the initial story and interview?
Ilona Shine:The premise, as I was told by the producer, would be to reveal what sometimes happens behind the scenes. It was supposed to be about what consumers can learn to make better choices so the industry can benefit.

BTC:Can you tell us the interview you initially gave and what you thought would be broadcast?
Ilona Shine:At the beginning of the interview I clearly stated that the references I was making were not geared toward any particular salon or specific person. I love my industry and love what I do. I want to see it become better more evolved, successful and thriving. One of the reasons I agreed to do the interview was to inform viewers so they can make better decisions as consumers. Without our clients, we would not be in business. If our clients are educated, they will be asking for more and better services, products and talents. Then, we as professionals can elevate our standards and provide them at the highest levels possible. Then everyone wins. With great success comes great responsibility. And we are responsible for our clients.

BTC:Did 20/20 cut out any of your original interview? If so, what did they leave out? Would these omissions have changed the overall message of segment?
Ilona Shine:The actual interview lasted about 45 minutes to an hour and it was reduced to five minutes of a heavily edited and incomplete-sentenced version. It did not represent the original intention of the interview and generalized the hair industry as a whole. Boy was I sorry to undertake such a liability!

BTC:What would you tell those stylists who feel that you made blanket statements about the industry that gave the profession a black eye?
Ilona Shine:The original interview was not at all harsh generalizations. It was geared toward educating consumers to choose wisely. But when you take responses out of context it skews the whole thing.

BTC:Do you, personally, gossip about clients, charge for services based on the appearance of wealth, or engage in any of the activities you discussed in the 20/20 interview? Do your co-workers? Please explain these comments.
Ilona Shine:Our responsibility to clients comes in many forms: keeping everything clean (dirty brushes, combs), keeping clients testimonials confidential (not sharing it with others), and not judging by appearance. Every salon I worked in has been clean and followed federal cleanliness standards, including the salon I work in now. Have I been a witness to some negligence? Yes, I have. Does it happen across the board in every salon? No, it does not and it does not happen at my current salon. Do I personally adhere to the above? I try my hardest to. This part of the interview never made the final edit.

BTC:Would you like to add anything additional, or make any statements to those who are upset over the interview that aired?
Ilona Shine:Great customer service has always been my goal followed by growing and sharpening my skills as a professional. That idea was always a priority and a driving force in my evolution as a professional. Never in my mind did I intend for such an outcome. My intention was to educate, not to eradicate nor put hair professionals down as a group. My apologies to everyone who felt attacked by what they saw on 20/20, it did not at all reflect the original intent of the interview.


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