Monte Durham says he’s ready to go back to television, but it could mean an end to his days cutting hair.
It’s been more than two years since Durham opened Salon Monte (210 S. Union Street), and during that time he’s worked to jumpstart a new show. Earlier plans to film a reality show in the salon didn’t pan out, he says, but that hasn’t stopped him from pursuing more opportunities.
“I’ve been approached by a production company out of the U.K.,” Durham said. “From the conversations I’ve been having, I would go back to wedding consulting.”
The former co-host of “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” Durham was filming “Say Yes to the Prom” in New York City when the pandemic struck in March 2020. With an expired contract and the network having gone temporarily dark, he went back to his roots as a hair stylist and opened the salon in September 2020. It’s been a serious commitment of time, energy and resources. After all, with his business named Salon Monte, everyone wants him to cut their hair.
“I call them one-hit wonders,” Durham says. “Folks will buy their wife or relative the gift of having me cut their hair, and we have five fabulous stylists, so if they want to save 30% with another stylist, I encourage them to do that.”
Durham, 65, lives with his husband in Belle Haven, and says he’s in the salon nearly every day.
“It’s different [from] traveling and staying in nice hotels, hanging out and meeting great people on red carpets,” he said. “The salon has been very good for me.”
He says both his parents died in quick succession — with his father dying less than two weeks before the salon opened.
“It kept me driven and kept me from wallowing in my sorrows,” Durham said. “We started out new. Everything was new: the towels, the faucets, the flooring, the ceiling, the lighting. In that chaos of the world shutting down around us, here we were with this little gem in the heart of Old Town.”
If it works out and Durham does get back on TV, he says that the salon will stay open.
“Our biggest accomplishment has been consistency,” Durham said. “I have set some things in motion, and I feel confident that we can do it. I have great bookkeeping support, ordering support and excellent staff.”
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