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Last updated: October 14, 2019

How A Hairdressing Icon Landed A Movie Role In Tarantino’s Latest Film

Jim Markham Quentin Tarantino Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Sharon Tate Margot Robbie
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Instagram via @brycescarlett & @sharontatefile

How Jim Markham is Influencing Tarantino’s Latest Film
Okay, so we KNOW you’ve seen the trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” (unless you’re doing a complete internet detox 😂)—which stars some pretty iconic actors like Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie (our personal fave!) among a long, “A-list” of celebs. But did you know that celebrity stylist, ColorProof Founder and CEO Jim Markham played an important role in the highly-anticipated blockbuster? Cool, right? And we’re sharing the BTS story on how Jim’s history with his mentor, celebrity stylist Jay Sebring, influenced the film to depict an authentic memory of celebrity hairdressing in the ’60s. Just keep reading!


The Backstory: A Hollywood Love (Of Hair) Affair
In the late ’60s, Jay owned a Hollywood salon on the corner of Melrose and Fairfax that quickly became the beauty spot for SoCal’s most glamorous. His young, cool vibe attracted a lineup of celebrity clients like starlet Sharon Tate, who later became his girlfriend. He had also developed his own line of self-titled hair products. “I was interested in what Jay was doing,” shares Jim. “I had read in Playboy magazine that he was charging $50 a haircut and was completely intrigued! I wanted to get into product distribution, so I called him and asked if I could distribute his line.”


Jim Markham Quentin Tarantino Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Sharon Tate Margot Robbie
Instagram via @sharontatefile

Jay Sebring and his former girlfriend, movie star Sharon Tate. 



After connecting with Jay, Jim flew to Los Angeles and shortly after, he became not only a Sebring franchisee in four states but also Jay’s protégé, collaborator and close friend. During their time together, the duo perfected scissor-over-comb barbering and Jim developed his own celebrity clientele consisting of names like Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Frank Sinatra and many others.


“I quickly learned Jay’s products and his haircutting methods extremely well,” says Jim. “He told me that if anything ever happened to him, no one but me could take his place.” And in the summer of ’69, he would have to—Jay and former girlfriend Sharon lost their lives when they were both murdered by Charles Manson and his cult members in Benedict Canyon. Following the tragic events, Jim took over his mentor’s business as promised. He carried on Jay’s legacy and eventually made the decision to convert Sebring hair products to an exclusively professional beauty line. This would inspire Jim’s lifelong career in innovative product development!


Jay Sebring and Jim Markham.


Jim’s Role On Tarantino’s Movie Set
“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” visits Los Angeles 1969 where a television star and his stunt double (played by Leo and Brad) navigate the quickly evolving film industry. The movie’s backdrop is painted with storylines revolving around the Manson “family” murders—like the gruesome attack that took the lives of Sharon and Jay, played by Margot Robbie and Emile Hirsch. Jim served as a technical consultant on the film and played a crucial role in set decoration, ensuring the authenticity of the props like the Sebring product line, cutting tools and grooming tools. He also helped with bringing the recreation of Jay’s Hollywood salon to life.


This summer marks the 50th anniversary of the Manson murders and the film pays tribute to the final moments of Hollywood’s golden age. When “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” hits theaters, we’re excited to see how Jim’s role both celebrates and pays tribute to his mentor and hairdressing in Hollywood in the ’60s.


Jim Markham Quentin Tarantino Once Upon A Time In HollywoodSPOTTED: Jim celebrating the film’s debut at Cannes Film Festival! 


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