The zodiac chart features one of many typical Gemini’s who goes by the name Mark Anthony Parker Adkins also known under the pen name Mark Metropolis. His hairstyling career began in 1998 in Atlanta where he worked for the top Aveda concept salon in the nation. In the year 2000, after frantically surviving Y2K, he realized he needed to move to California to pursue his all his dreams… acting in films, writing books, hairdressing for the stars, and studying Teaology! Like many California dreamers though, he found himself working full time in a salon.

He did however go on to do hair for the long running game show Jeopardy as well as MTV’s True Life and a few other reality shows. 2005 found Mark acting in the award winning indie film “Souvenir.” In early 2008, Mark appeared as a featured Colorist on the new Bravo show “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.” He went on to pursue one of his original dreams as writer by self-publishing a collection of 6 poetry books. And in 2009 he and his long time partner (Hairstylist and NAHA nominee) Richie Roman had their 1st daughter, Tallulah, via surrogate. When not with clients and taking a break as full time Daddy, Mark sips his tea and finds excitement writing for The Hair Nerds!

After seeing the splendid trailer for the all new, yet somewhat familiar Ricki Lake Show that starts this fall, I couldn’t help but do a search on the likeable Princess of Talk Shows.

I wanted to see her hairstyles throughout the 90’s (post “hair-hopper” Tracey Turnblad in the original Hairspray) and compare her to hair from then to today.  Like many viewer’s I didn’t realize she had so many different hairstyle transformations. But today as I look at her body of work from “back in the day” I see she changed her hair quiet often. Nothing too severe, but enough to keep everyone interested. From Bangs to Bobs to Long to Short, she consistently yet subtly reinvented her look.

Funny thing about putting her Talk Show in the search engine, I also realized that Talk Shows heavily fed into the frenzy of Reality Shows! Now I know the 90’s are on the verge of a huge comeback and fashion designers are working hard to send “Around The Way Girls” straight down the runway. While Fashionista’s everywhere are eyeing Nelly Furtado’s Big Hoops video and gearing up to change their long loose waves that’s tousled past their shoulders  to a shorter darker cherry cola color and slip into a Blazer over a Bustier.

But what exactly really defines the 90’s? Was it the clothes? Was it the makeup? Was it the hair? Yes, yes, and definitely yes… But I believe the definition of that decade is Talk Shows and Reality TV! The 90’s is when all these shows started dominating the airwaves. In turn, Reality Stars started becoming the major influence of hair, makeup and fashion. People began taking notice to the new trend setters who starred on the 1st official reality show, MTV’s ”The Real World.”

I don’t think that cast even knew the profound influence they were having on the way people looked but they definitely defined a stylish decade. Realizing this, today’s reality stars (excluding the cast of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo) know that the hairstyles and clothes they wear on their shows are as important as the red carpet updo’s and gowns seen at the Oscars.


People now see a model wearing a garment on Project Runway and they want that outfit. They see hair extensions draped down the back of a woman on The Housewives of “Any City” and they quickly make an appointment with their stylist to get length added to their mane. And I don’t even have to mention the major influences the Kardashian’s had circa 2010-2011.

 So it’s pretty safe to say, that the reality of Reality is people have always looked to the REAL  people on television for style influence,  dating all the way back to the original televised reality show, Miss America 1954.

As I write this, today’s most influential hairstyles sporadically pop from my mental rollerdex such as “America’s Next Top Model,”  “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” “The View,” “The Voice,” “Braxton Family Values,” “Bad Girls Club”  “The Wendy Williams Show,” and let’s not forget “The Ricki Lake Show”…regardless of which decade we’re watching her  in.