Popular Dallas Hairstylist Paul Neinast Found Dead in His Apartment

Photo courtesy of Martha Tiller.

Paul Neinast, a popular and internationally renowned Dallas hairstylist, was found dead in his home today. He was 58. Neinast was born in Denison,Texas in 1953. He attended Hillcrest High School. According to the Neinast Salon website:

When Paul graduated highest in his class in 1973,Dallas was just beginning to come into its own as a center for fashion and beauty.  His well-meaning friends and colleagues told him he should move to the well establish hotbeds of LA or NYC to gain notoriety but Neinast insisted on staying in Dallas.  He believed if he was good enough the fashion magazines would seek him out.  He accepted a job with Sligman & Latz, working out of their salon at Sanger Harris in Preston Center for two years.  At a time when beauty salon hair cuts and sets in Dallas cost $7-$10, Neinast charged $50 for the first premium hair cut and style, the same as his counterparts in New York City.  He was told he would never make it in Dallas.  But after only 6 months he began to develop his valued Park Cities clientele and was steadily booked two weeks in advance.  He was promoted to director of the salon and soon was asked to open and act as assistant manager and style director at the new salon in Sanger Harris at Valley View.  As Paul predicted, the fashion magazines came to him. Neinast was the first Texas based hair stylist to be interviewed for articles in the national and international press.

His clients included President George H. Bush, Rene Russo, Tommy Lee Jones, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Liz Carpenter, Anne Rice, Charlie Rose, Lisa McCree, Lizza Gibbons, Olivia Newton John, Bruce Jenner, Abigail Van Buren (Dear Abby), Sandy Duncan, Susan Howard and Linda Grey of the famous TV show Dallas, Rock Hudson, Jim Nabor, Van Johnson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Cheryl Ladd, Leigh Taylor Young, Mary Martin, Stuart Margolin, Jan Strimple, and many local TV celebrities and news anchors. Susan Howard, was an especially devoted client of 20 years. Neinast created all of Howard’s makeovers and traveled with her for promos and appearances through out her legendary career on the hit series Dallas

Neinast fought cancer. He completed chemotherapy in early 2011. I contacted one of his best friends and clients, model Jan Strimple. She just lost her mother and is in Miami preparing for funeral services. She was gracious enough to tell me what details she knew of Paul’s passing.

“What we know so far is that he was at a Christmas party last night and came in after 1:00 am his normal laughing and happy self. When he didn’t show up to work today his assistant couldn’t reach him so she called his building and ask them to check on him. Cynthia said he was in bed when they found him. If there is anything comforting that would be that whatever occurred he died in his sleep. I took Paul to dinner a week ago and know that he was in a calm and in a good space in his life. He was happy with its balance and looking forward to kicking in the marketing of his product line now that he was feeling energized and in good health again.

“That’s what I know for now, Nancy. Say a prayer for Paul as his spirit hovers. Knowing him, it will take him a few of our days to settle a few accounts in this lifetime to move forward unencumbered. He was moving that way in his spiritual studies in the last couple of years and he was becoming a lighter being. That was joyous for him and was great to witness. He left in a happy time and maybe he finally settled some of his demons and it was OK for him to transition. I know he was in a really good place mentally and spiritually and that thought makes me smile a little through the pain.”