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Thursday, May 05, 2011
Kyan Douglas, born as Hugh Edward Douglas, was the grooming expert on the American television programme Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
Douglas was born in Miami, Florida but was raised in Tampa and Tallahassee. After high school he moved first to Dallas, where he studied philosophy at Brookhaven College and first became interested in religion and the healing arts. He then moved to Austin, where he had initially planned to pursue his interest in acting by studying drama at the University of Texas at Austin.
In his mid-twenties he moved to New Orleans, where he earned a degree in TV production and theatre studies. In 1996 three of Douglas' close friends were murdered in a restaurant robbery where both they and Douglas worked. The tragedy motivated him to leave New Orleans to start a new life.
Douglas moved to New York City in 1999 and started work in sales for Aveda, then helped them set up the Aveda Institute, a school for hairstyling and grooming. He then enrolled in its Cosmetology program, and after graduating at the top of his class, he joined the New York-based hair salon Arrojo Studio as a colourist. He also began working on the makeover TV shows What Not to Wear and While You Were Out. In 2002, a client at Arrojo told him about a makeover show that was being cast. Kyan sent a photo of himself and a short bio he'd written to the producers. They called him for an audition and quickly hired him as the show's 'Grooming Guru'.
As part of Queer Eye's Fab Five Douglas has co-authored a book and appeared on a soundtrack CD and accompanying DVD based on the show, as well as appeared on many magazine covers and TV talk shows. In 2004 he published Beautified, his own book on grooming for women, and became a spokesman and product advisor for L'Oreal.
Queer Eye won an Emmy in 2004 for Outstanding Reality Program, and received a nomination again in the same category in 2005. In 2006, Douglas was awarded the HRC's Humanitarian Award for his work with a number of charities, including HRC, DIFFA, and amFAR.
In 2009, he took over as host of the US version of Ten Years Younger.