camila alves shear genius host hair yellow dress

Camila Alves, perfectly coiffed for her new role as host of "Shear Genius." Photo:

Just three weeks after giving birth to her second child (with actor Matthew McConaughey), we were surprised to catch model and handbag designer Camila Alves awake, never mind more than willing to give us all the details on Bravo's "Shear Genius," where she has assumed the role of host.

The enterprising Brazilian beauty seems to possess that supermodel knack for taking on big projects just weeks after delivery.

This is Camila's first year in the "Shear Genius" role, formerly held by Jaclyn Smith of "Charlie's Angels" fame, and like Smith, Alves has the luxe head of hair to justify her place on the reality show's competitive salon floor.

Alves was eager to fill StyleList in on Season 3 of the show, as well as her leather handbag line, Muxo, diaper bags for Lucky Brand, all things hair (including whether McConaughey shares her products) and her post-baby body plan.

We told Alves we would keep our chat to "just a trim," allowing her to get back to daughter Vida, born on Jan. 3, and 18-month-old son Levi. So, we congratulated her on the baby and cut to the questions. Luckily, Camila was in no rush.

StyleList: You have a newborn, a toddler, a high-profile relationship, a handbag line and a diaper bag collection for Lucky Brand. How did you manage to fit "Shear Genius" into your life?
Camila Alves: I've been asking myself that very same question. For me, it was a huge commitment to take on the role as host. I worked some 19-hour days. I was usually the first on the set and the last to leave. One of the things I put on hold was my bags. We are coming out with a new collection very soon, but I didn't have as much time to work on the line when I was busy with the show. I don't really follow that rule of a "spring collection," and then a "fall collection." I have the line and I add new pieces when they are ready.

SL: Everything changes after a baby. Have you started your post-baby body routine?
CA: You know, I haven't. Where I come from [Brazil], we believe in something we call a 40-day break after the baby. You have to let your body do its own thing. You give it time to recover and let everything settle down. In a way, it is nice. There is not so much pressure. You kind of respect all the hard work your body has just done and give it a break. For these 40 days you really take it easy. By that I mean no sex, light, healthy food, no trips to the gym. Then, after 40 days, you are good to go. I confess, I am getting a little anxious to workout. I miss it. Not just to get my body back in shape, but for me, for my head!

SL: Since you are hosting a show where hair is the star, let's talk about your hair. Ever had a bad hair day?
CA: I have plenty of those. I have a lot of hair. It is curly and fine. So you take those three things and you can have a lot of challenges. I would not say I have "normal" hair, if there is such a thing. And I had to learn to take care of it myself. You can't be running to the salon everyday. Who has time for that?

SL: Any favorite hair products?
CA: I am a big fan of Morrocanoil, I use it all the time. It is great for control. I use Kerastase products. I like the line in the green bottle [Resistance]. I don't pay that much attention to the names. The Morrocanoil line also makes a deep conditioner I use a week which is just fantastic. And to straighten my hair, I am crazy about the Chi flat iron. The baby blue iron is the best. I swear by it. I get great results with that. And if you want something cheap you can just go to the drug store and get I am a big fan of the [Garnier] Fructis line -- really great things that are inexpensive

SL: We just ran a post about men borrowing makeup from their girlfriends and wives. Does Matthew [McConaughey] ever borrow any of your hair products?
CA: Uh, no, I don't think so. We keep that stuff separate.

SL: What beauty product do you always slip into the diaper bag?
CA: The Morrocanoil. I don't really go anywhere without it. And something to tie my hair back with.

SL: Has your hair changed since you had the baby? I lost hair after my kids were born and it got wavier. I looked down at the bathroom floor one day and was like, 'whose hair is that?'
CA: Oh, I know exactly what you are talking about. The texture has definitely changed a little bit. I am lucky it is thick because I am losing it more too. It is spooky isn't it?

SL: Ever have a disastrous haircut?
CA: I've had a couple and one I did to myself! When I was a kid I wanted a Chanel bob and bangs. My mom said no. I went to the salon anyway and they said, 'No way, we are not going to do that to your hair.' So I did it myself. Big mistake. Instead of my bangs going down straight they were sticking up like a cat. It was horrible. Then one time I went to the salon and I asked for something like Sophia Loren. Instead, I got Katie Holmes. And I don't think Katie Holmes has bad hair. It was just bad on me. Very bad. Short hair is not for me and I won't be trying it again.

SL: Have you always been a brunette?
CA: Mostly, I am so tan all the time so I think dark is best for me. The only thing I may do to change it up is add some highlights to lighten it a little, but I don't do the blonde thing.

SL: On 'Shear Genius,' did you have a favorite challenge?
CA: You know, that's a hard question. I think what was interesting to me was to see some very talented people - people who can already claim a celebrity clientele - put into situations that took them out of their comfort zone. This year we have an international group of contestants, but we gave them challenges that involved doing things they haven't done since beauty school. We have a romance novel challenge, where the stylists have to work in a barn. We are going to do a celebrity house call that is very interesting. And then, they have to do a look for a fashion show. A lot of them had done hair for fashion shows but...

SL: But it's totally different to have to do the show look?
CA: Oh, completely different. At this level, any of them were capable of being told how to style hair. But this was about concept. You've got to have vision. It turned out to be a real test.

SL: So, was there a contestant on the show who is going to get the honor of styling your hair?
CA: You know, there were a couple where I said, "Hmmm. I may have to book an appointment with you once this thing wraps. I was very impressed. I will probably be looking a few of them up!

You can catch Camila Alves on "Shear Genius" when it premieres Feb. 3 at 10 pm E/P on Bravo.

And check out this interview for a behind-the-scenes look at reality TV fashion.