I'm obsessed with Bravo reality programs, but for some reason had never tuned into "Shear Genius." I was a huge fan of "Blow Out," which starred stylist Jonathan Antin (who now appears as a judge on "Shear Genius"), and was easily sucked into "Tabatha's Salon Takeover," so I clearly have an affinity for shows that revolve around hair and salons. That's why I figured it was about time for me to give "Shear Genius" a try. After Season 3's premiere episode in February, I was hooked. After all, as the show's beautiful host Camila Alves likes to say: "Hair is important."
I got a chance to chat up the Brazilian model/handbag designer, who also happens to be Matthew McConaughey's girlfriend. (When asked if the actor is a fan of "Shear Genius," Camila cracked, "He better be!") Since Alves had never hosted a TV show before -- and English is her second language -- she had her work cut out for her. Making things even more challenging was the fact that she discovered she was pregnant with her second child, Vida, about a week and a half before taping began!
"I couldn't tell anyone that I was pregnant and I was very sick the whole time," she shares. "We were shooting six days a week -- we had 17-19 hour days! [People would ask] why is there so much club soda on set? Why is there so much salt? The wardrobe department would be like, 'This fit you two days ago, now it doesn't fit anymore? What's going on?' It was very tricky. Everyone was getting suspicious."
Although her co-workers suspected something was up, Alves managed to hide her pregnancy well on camera. (She is a professional model, so it's hard for her not to look good!) And when you're starring on a show about hair, your tresses better be in tip-top shape ... especially when you're surrounded by hairstyling heavyweights on every episode like Orlando Pita, Kim Vo, and Jonathan Antin -- who was good about keeping an eye on Camila's locks during tapings. "Anything out of place and he would be fixing it to make sure it looked perfect," she laughs.
Of course, even Alves has a bad hair day every now and then. While pregnant with her now 19-month-old son Levi, Camila decided she needed a change and wanted to go shorter. "Big mistake," she confesses. "I went to a hair salon and said, 'Maybe we could go short like Sophia Loren, like Rihanna ... I got a Katie Holmes haircut instead. Now, there's nothing wrong with Katie Holmes' haircut at all, but it didn't work for me. It didn't work for me at all, so I had to wear extensions for a year or more."
While Camila isn't afraid to let any of the "Shear Genius" judges touch her long locks, would she be daring enough to allow one of the "Shear Genius" contestants get near them? Stay tuned. "Let's just say we may have a surprise on an upcoming episode," she teases.
It's actually a pretty scary proposition when you see some of the creations the competing stylists come up with. Challenges this season have ranged from designing an avant-garde hairstyle based on a tasting menu from the Roosevelt Hotel's famed Dakota restaurant, to applying hair extensions to both male and female models to create dramatic looks for a romance novel cover shoot. Still, Alves promises the best episodes are yet to come. "The next episode is an all-American, heartfelt kind of thing," she notes. "It's one that is so personal. We're dealing with military wives. It's beautiful."
Tune into "Shear Genius" on Wednesday, March 3 at 10 p.m. ET/PT to catch all the hair-raising drama!