Destined for Style
Local entrepreneur Jim Markham helps keep Orange County's hair well styled.
Veteran hairstylist and local entrepreneur Jim Markham’s career was born out of love. But it wasn’t a love for hair – it was love for a girl.
At 15, he got married. With a baby on the way, he dropped out of high school to support his young family. And became a barber.
“It was my mother who originally suggested I consider barbering,” says Markham. “She said, ‘Uncle Clarence always did well as a barber.’”
By 17, he was a father of two. And as his family grew, so did his skills and passion for barbering. Though his marriage eventually ended, his career did not and he knew he had found his calling in the world of hair as a stylist and later an entrepreneur, owning several hair care companies, including Sebring International, Markham Products, ABBA Pure and Natural, Pureology, and his latest, ColorProof Evolved Color Care, which is his third Orange County-based company. Having sold his other endeavors, ColorProof is now his sole focus.
“When I introduced Pureology back in 2001, it revolutionized the industry as the first luxury line exclusively designed for color-treated hair using sulfate-free, salt-free formulas,” Markham says. “In 2012, we launched ColorProof, which filled a tremendous need for new innovation in color care… What is revolutionary today, however, won’t be in another 10 years, so it is imperative that we anticipate, continue to evolve and seek out the next generation in ingredient technology to stay at the forefront of the industry.”
Markham took some time from his busy schedule to answer some of our questions about his life in the hair world.
How did barbering lead to styling?
After finishing barber school, I began cutting hair for $1.50 a cut. From there, I took several hair styling courses and began styling hair. I found that I had a gift for styling in addition to cutting and began entering various hair contests of which I kept winning… Along the way, I started teaching others my method for cutting and styling and realized that the fit between using the right products together with the right technique is essential. That is where my love for product development first began.
During your years as a stylist, you had some celebrity clients?
My very first celebrity client was Paul Newman. I like to say I started at the top and worked my way down! Paul became not only a client, but also a good friend and life mentor to me. Some of my other celebrity clients included Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, Johnny Carson, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, and Wolfman Jack, to name a few.
How does ColorProof stand apart from other lines catering to color-treated hair?
ColorProof products take color protection to the next level by offering significantly improved next-generation surfactants that are far more gentle and effective. Our products also contain more effective color and heat protectants, superior moisturizers, better proteins to strengthen and repair hair, and superior polymers to protect color and improve styling and finishing performance. Also very importantly, every product in our line is exclusively designed for color-treated hair from start to finish, including shampoos, conditioners, stylers, and hairsprays, so we provide layered color and heat protection to prevent color fadeage.