Gabby Douglas' superstar performance at the London Olympics was almost overshadowed by the controversy surrounding her hair, but the Olympian has found the perfect fix for that - a new celebrity hairstylist who charges $950 a pop.
The gymnast's team reached out to Ted Gibson, who counts glamorous stars like Angelina Jolie, Anne Hathaway and Gabrielle Union as clients, to work with the 16-year-old. Gibson chatted with The Daily Beast about his new partnership with Douglas and his take on the criticism of her coiffure.
During the Olympics, Douglas wore her own hair slicked down with heavy gel, along with an added ponytail made of human hair. Twitter lit up with comments about her hairstyle, many from women who called it "unkempt" and unbecoming of an Olympic champion.
Gibson was floored by the trash talk.
"I couldn't believe it and still can't,'' he said. "You have this young girl doing amazing things, and the conversation becomes about her hair? It was ridiculous and shameful."
The stylist said he'll have a unique challenge with Douglas' hair because most of his clients are older, and he doesn't have much experience working with teenagers.
"It's tricky because Gabby is 16 and I don't want to do anything to make her look 25 years old,'' Gibson said. "Together with her vision, I hope we can create something that's easy and looks great no matter what she's doing or where she is."
He'll be working with Douglas as she continues her tour of the television circuit, which recently included an appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno alongside First Lady Michelle Obama.
Gibson's high-end, costly cuts draw celebrities and fashionistas alike to his salons in New York's Flatiron district and his newest location at the W Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He also does extensive work for magazine photo shoots.
That magazine work is what brought Gibson into contact with Jolie.
"I met her on a day where she was shooting covers for both 'Marie Claire' and 'Cosmopolitan' more than five years ago,'' Gibson said of Brad Pitt's fiancé. "It was a crazy day with a lot going on, but we bonded quickly and got it all done. She's such a generous spirit and kind person. She was exactly what and who I thought she'd be."
Gibson added that he hopes African-American women in particular will embrace Douglas, as the subject of hair is a particularly touchy one for that demographic.
"Women of color spend millions and millions of dollars on their hair to look good, so we know how seriously we take the issue of hair," he said. "Oprah Winfrey told me once when I was on her show that 'our hair is our crowning glory.' I have to say I agree with Oprah."
Speaking of Oprah, Douglas will appear on Winfrey's show "Oprah's Next Chapter" for an interview with her mother, which is set to air Aug. 26 on OWN.