Kennewick native featured in front-page Wall Street Journal Story on ancient hairstyles

February 8, 2013 

A woman who grew up in Kennewick was featured Thursday on the front page of The Wall Street Journal for her work researching and recreating ancient hairstyles.

The paper dubbed Janet Stephens "a hairdo archaeologist," telling of how her research is "sticking a pin in the long-held assumptions among historians" about exactly how the intricate Roman and Grecian styles were formed.

"Basically," says the WSJ article, "(Stephens) has set out to prove that the ancients probably weren't wearing wigs after all" and instead had coifs secured by needle and thread. (Read the story at tinyurl.com/janetstephens.)

Stephens, 54, works as a hair designer at Baltimore's Studio 921 Salon & Day Spa.

She told the Herald on Friday that it was a thrill to see the story of her off-duty research on WSJ's front-page.

"Everybody has their own little obsession. To have it be validated by a greater world (was exciting)," she said, adding that she "would do it whether it got any attention or not."

Tri-Citians might know Stephens by her maiden name, Janet Scott. She lived in the area until she was 15; the family moved away when her father, Arthur Scott, was transferred to Battelle's headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, she said.

Her dad now lives in Cle Elum and her mother, Virginia, has passed away. A brother, Jim Scott, who lived in Kennewick, died about six years ago.

Stephens said she has fond memories of her childhood in the Tri-Cities, recalling, for instance, catching glimpses of the annual summer hydroplane races from her neighborhood.

She told The Wall Street Journal that her interest in hair has roots in her hometown. As a little girl, she cut the hair off her Troll dolls and then began fashioning costumes for them when she realized the locks wouldn't grow back, she told the paper.

"Whatever you're most passionate about when you're 5 is what you should do for the rest of your life," she told the paper.

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