Brennaman's hair stylist shares his passion for his profession

ANDERSON TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Jeff Duckwall knew early in life what he wanted to pursue professionally.

"I have a younger sister," Duckwall said. "I used to get in trouble because when she would get a doll, I would cut off all of its hair off and shave it bald."

That was at the age of 10. By the age of 12, when the family would go on camping trips, Duckwall's mother would find him styling grown women's hair at the campground.

"I can remember in high school him telling me that this is what he wanted to do," said his mom, Nancy Crouch.  "Some people don't know how to accept that."

People like teenage classmates.  

"Yes, he did get picked on," Crouch said.  She was visiting Duckwall in his studio in Anderson Township while he colored her hair.

"Yes, I was bullied," Duckwall said. "I can tell you I'm not the most masculine in the world."

The now-father, husband and stylist then had to deal with taunting, ridicule and meanness because of his chosen career path.

"The funny thing is, it always bothered everybody else," Duckwall said.  "It doesn't bother me. I am who I am."

Locally, he cut Cincinnati Reds baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Marty Brennaman's and numerous television news personalities' hair — not to mention traveling to work in New York and Los Angeles for their fashion weeks.

"It was a hard journey for him, but he's overcome all of that," said Crouch with a crack in her voice and a tear streaming down her cheek.  "I tell you what, he's amazing."

Something else amazing: When Brennaman comes in for a trim, the men do not talk about baseball.

"You know, here's the thing, and I'm probably going to get booed tonight," Duckwall said with an upside-down smile and a sigh.  "I am not a huge baseball fan."

Duckwall explained that his lack of passion for the game that has made Brennaman a local celebrity, is the very reason the announcer has has been a client for more than 20 years.

"We don't talk about [his] work," Duckwall said.  "He comes in here and he's just a 'Joe Schmoe' who just walked in the door and we just talk about family. You know, I'm not the one asking for his autograph all the time, and he likes that."

Duckwall is proud of his background, family and clients, but do not think that the stylist sees himself as anything more than he is.

"It's just me. I'm just Jeff, a little old hair stylist here in Cincinnati," Duckwall said raising his eyebrows and nodding his head to the right."

Follow this reporter on Twitter: @tmironesWCPO

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