If Edward Scissorhands could have tools for hands, why can’t real-life hairdressers? Well, there is this particular hairdresser from Fort Myers, Florida, who does have claw-hands. Of course, in his case, the claws are, detachable, but impressive, nonetheless. Sicilian-born Valentino LoSauro has claw-like finger extensions made from hard plastic and responsive elastic. Inside each claw, a razor-sharp stainless steel blade is inserted. This way, all that Valentino needs to do is run his hand through a customer’s hair and voila, a zigzag look is created. This device, he claims, can be used to cut hair twice as fast as normal shears. He’s already sold about 30,000 of his clever inventions, Clawz, as he calls them.
Valentino had been in the hairdressing business for 25 years before it got too boring for him. He was just about ready to hang up his shears when the idea for Clawz came to him. He realized that scissors cut at straight angles and blades help to create a layered look. But there was nothing to create zigzag forms. That’s how he dreamed up his unique invention. The concept behind Clawz is that just like beating an egg makes it fluffy, a zigzag cut gives hair a fluffy and vibrant appearance. It’s just another tool in a hairdresser’s kit, according to Valentino, and it won’t replace scissors or blades. “It closes the loop,” he says. The hard plastic finger extensions that encase the small stainless steel blades were designed by an engineer he hired. But the idea itself came to him by watching a classical guitarist with picks at the end of each finger while playing the instrument. A keyboard player himself, he treats the use of Clawz as nothing short of a performance, combining a light-fingered touch with his styling. “So the Clawz were born as a simple idea to bring musicality to hairstyling,” he says. “When I cut hair I use methods I call ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ and ‘Zap’.” While the first prototype of Clawz was launched in 2001, it took him about two more years to become proficient in their use. But now, he can cut hair faster than using scissors.
Valentino cuts hair on a stage at various hairdressing conventions, demonstrating the use of his product, and selling Clawz. It’ all about the technique, he claims. Even so, it isn’t always easy to convince other hairdressers that he has a product worth looking at. “They think they know everything,” LoSauro says, smiling. “They don’t expect it from a guy of my age.” Designing Clawz has set Valentino back by a few hundreds of thousands of dollars, and he even sold his salon at Edison Mall in Fort Myers to fund his pet project. It took him three years to complete his design and today, production is happening in Taiwan. To pay the bills, Valentino has taken up a job managing a different salon. It costs him $15,000 to $20,000 to perform at each convention, along with a team of five models and cashiers. Each set of four Clawz sells for $100. Valentino also holds $100 one day classes in Fort Myers to teach hairdressers his techniques.
Even though Valentino’s Clawz have yet to become a worldwide success, he is already busy inventing another product – the Fringey. Priced at $20, the Fringey is meant for consumers who cut their own hair, so they can cut their bangs. If Valentino’s unique inventions do become successful, it looks like he might just change the way the entire hairdressing industry works. As far as the customers are concerned, he agrees that people are reluctant at first. “Most customers are a bit apprehensive at first when they see my smiling face with my razor-sharp fingers. But at the end of their haircut they are stunned by the quality.”
via Daily Mail