Bernie Safire to Host Cut-A-Thon

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Hairstylist Bernie Safire at work at the 22nd annual Cut-A-Thon that took place at the Malibu Country Mart in 2005.

Senior Olympic gold medalist, celebrity hairstylist and restaurateur Bernie Safire will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of his fundraising efforts on Saturday, Sept. 27 with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Malibu at Cure Spa and Salon.

Safire, the eclectic and renowned celebrity hairstylist, has been helping raise money for various charities and causes for the past 30 years. This year, it’s the Boys and Girls Clubs of Malibu that will be the beneficiary of Safire’s fundraising efforts.

Safire, now 84, never envisioned a career spanning more than 55 years as a hairstylist.

“I was born in East Los Angeles and grew up in Boyle Heights,” Safire shared. “I was in the Korean War where I served in the Coast Guard as a hot shell-man on a five-inch gun. Afterwards, I was living in Palm Springs doing swimming and diving acts when my friend Gene Shacove convinced me to go to beauty school in 1959.”

Safire later opened up his own salon in Beverly Hills where he became synonymous with celebrity hair. His list of clients includes Marilyn Monroe, Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando.

“Steve taught me how to ride motorcycles, and Marlon used to have some of his evening acting schools in my salon … we were really good friends,” Safire said.

When the child of a friend was diagnosed with cancer, Safire wanted to help.

“Cancer wasn’t mentioned back in those days. A friend of mine had a child who lost their hair and wouldn’t come out [in public],” Safire said.

Safire took a regular wig, cut it down and styled it for the child. When the Associated Press covered it, department stores began clamoring for Safire to make a dedicated children’s wig.

“That gave me the idea to start a fundraiser to help raise money for different charities. Every year, I would [choose] a client with a different purpose,” Safire, who has since helped scores of charities, said.

Former charities he’s worked with include the Malibu Lifesaving Foundation, the Special Olympics and the Los Angeles Jewish Home.

Safire then closed up his salons and moved to Hong Kong to design and manufacture wigs.

Besides hairdressing, Safire’s other talents include gymnastics. In 1991, Safire won eight gold medals in gymnastics at the U.S. Senior Olympics, and he was also very involved in the gymnast scene in Southern California.

And if that isn’t diverse enough, Safire has also been a prolific restaurateur.

“I had a restaurant called Bernie’s in Westwood, I had another one called The Whale Watch and one called Sunset,” Safire said.

Safire is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his hair-Cut-A-Thon fundraiser at Cure Salon and Spa on Sunday, Sept 27. All proceeds from haircuts, complimentary spa treatments and the silent auction will go to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Malibu. The minimum donation will be $25 for a haircut.

For tickets to the event or more information, visit malibuyouth.org or call 310.457.1400.