The late Dale Earnhardt Sr. is heralded as one of the greatest Nascar drivers of all time, but the Intimidator was also known for his iconic mustache. Steve Ellsworth of Kannapolis, North Carolina is the barber Dale Sr. trusted for over 16 years to ensure his hair and mustache were perfect on race day. He and Dale Earnhardt Jr. hosted the ‘Suave Men Heritage and Hair: A Discussion with the Icons of Speed and Style’ event at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, June 12, 2015. Steve Ellsworth was kind enough to join me for an interview to discuss the event, he also shared some fun stories about Dale Earnhardt Sr., and why it’s so important for men to use hair care products specifically for men.
Candace Rose: Dale Earnhardt, Sr. was not only known as one of the greatest Nascar drivers of all time, but he was also known for his iconic mustache as well. What was it like being his barber for over 16 years? Do you have any stories you can share with us?
Steve Ellsworth: “I’ve got lots of stories – everything from him coming in irritated with the races to being happy with the races to falling asleep in my chair because he didn’t get still very often. Trimming his mustache in the very beginning when I cut it too short and he got angry with me and told me Wrangler was going to fire him. I figured he would probably never come back again, but he continued to come back, so it was great.”
Candace Rose: You also teamed up with his son Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at the Michigan International Speedway on Friday, June 12th. Can you tell us about the event?
Steve Ellsworth: “Suave Men Heritage Edition are celebrating 67 years of men’s hair products. We’ve been doing the pit crew, cutting hair, styling hair, interviews with he and Regan Smith. It’s an exciting time.”
Candace Rose: You’ve been doing hair for over 40 years now. How have styles changed over the years? What are some of the most popular cuts in Kannapolis, North Carolina?
Steve Ellsworth: “We are doing anything from men’s flat tops to ponytails still. Actually, I do some ladies hair, also, but mostly men. A little bit of everything is going right now.
Candace Rose: Are mustaches still popular?
Steve Ellsworth: “Mustaches, beards and goatees – all types of shapes and sizes too, especially with the “Duck Dynasty” stuff going on.”
Candace Rose: How important is it for men to choose hair products specifically for men?
Steve Ellsworth: “It’s very important because most of the products today are designed with the lady in mind who has hair color and some perms. 90% of the products created today have women in mind. Also it has ladylike fragrances, so men need to choose products that are made and developed for men, they don’t have the extra conditioners and it smells like a man instead of a flower.”
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Steve Ellsworth: “Suave has for different shampoos developed for four different situations, they also have two body washes and they have two styling products and they have a couple more coming out within the year. If they want to check into that they can go to Suave.com. They can pick and choose their product in the store and purchase this at a wonderful price – the price points are great.”