The Shockingly Effective Results of Just Being Nice
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The Shockingly Effective Results of Just Being Nice


In the beauty industry and beyond, Claybaugh’s name has been practically synonymous with success since as far as back as 1983. He’s worked with Paul Mitchell as their national motivational expert (a title he invented) and been something of a spiritual leader for their company, despite never having been trained or worked as a hairdresser. His reputation as a wizard of branding and corporate cultures has also allowed him to do consulting work with Vidal Sassoon and Southwest Airlines, among other companies.

Claybauh’s Profile

Claybaugh has been a business owner for going on three decades, although many don’t know his unorthodox beginnings. After a brief musical career and a number one hit song in South America in April 1981 (of which deep internet searching turns up nothing), he decided to take his money and begin investing in hair salons. Before long, he was able to grow his businesses and eventually pitch himself to Paul Mitchell, where he has been working ever since.

In general, people know Claybaugh not only as a savvy businessman but also as a nice guy. Of course, Claybaugh himself would surely glow at this description since he preaches in his motivational book, Be Nice (Or Else!), that being called nice is “the ultimate compliment.” The book describes a base-level philosophy of genuine kindness to others and gratitude for what we have as a pre-requisite for getting what we want. Call it simple if you like, but his message seems to resonate: his book has received endorsements from various high-title members of the beauty community and even has a foreword penned by Larry King.

So Much More than Hair Care

But what makes Claybaugh inspiring, beyond business enterprises and personal victories, is his humanitarian spirit. Over the past 10 years, Paul Mitchell has organized an annual three-month long “FUNraising” campaign to raise money for charity, a complete list of which can be found at their website [LINK!]. For all those charities, Claybaugh has helped to raise over 11.2 million dollars.

Under Claybaugh’s leadership, the company has made an effort to do more impromptu charity events as well. In 2010, they helped raise funding for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, generating an additional $83,000 to donate. More recently, he has been spearheading campaigns to fight sex trafficking in the United States.

All of these accomplishments have not gone unrecognized. In 2004, the North American Hairdressing Awards (NAHA) named him as the youngest person ever to grace their Hall of Leaders for the industry. More recently, LA’s oldest recovery home for women, Friendly House, named him their Humanitarian of the Year.

Still, Claybaugh’s advice isn’t just for those in recovery. Honestly, wouldn’t the world be a lot easier to manage if we all lived the Winn Claybaugh way?

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About Author

Ryan Aliapoulios is a freelance writer and editor. He also hosts Dad Bops, the world's first intersectional vegan comedy podcast about dad music, available on iTunes and Soundcloud.