artist spotlight: KENZY ROBINSON
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Q&A With a Custom Hair Cuttin' Badass from Phoenix, AZ
This. Babe. Knows. Hair. She has a knack for creating unique styles that will make you feel like a living piece of art. I've gotten my haircut TWICE from this beauty and she truly brings imagination to life in the studio. But she's more that just a wizard with the scissors... she's got a beautiful mind and an authenticity that deserves to be shared!
Q: What is your earliest memory of fashion/hair? + Tell me a brief history of how you got into the biz.
A: My obsession with hair started when I was a little girl. I came from a middle class family with 6 kids and so my mom did a lot of “at home” hair care because she couldn’t afford to go to the salon. Her and I used to sit in the living room (when I was about 7 years old) and I would pull her hair through one of those highlighting caps and apply the color for her while we watched endless amounts of ER and Law&Order. And every time she’d always say thank you and that gave me some sense of purpose in her life. I’ll never forget those times.
On top of that I always was cutting my Barbie dolls hair off into bobs and one time even cut off my best friends pony tail when we were 6... needless to say her mom was not very happy with me after that. I would spend hours and hours in the bathroom playing with my own hair or my friends hair putting globs of gel in our hair and calling it a “cool hair style.” And when my mom would go grocery shopping I would ask to spend the entire shopping trip in the hair product aisle so I could read the back of all the products. I was quite the little hair nerd at a young age.
When high school came around I kept getting into a lot of trouble and my mom seemed worried I wouldn’t make it through high school. So she convinced me to go to a trade school called EVIT and get my license to be a hairstylist. I’ll forever be grateful for her pushing me to do that. Right out of high school at the ripe age of 18 I started my career with Toni&Guy as a haircut specialist and haven’t seemed to be able to put my scissors down ever since.
Q: What is your “specialty” or favorite part of hairstyling?
A: My speciality has taken a long time to grow into. I always tell new hairstylists that the first couple years of your career you spend your time learning how to handle people. Then the next couple years you learn how to be confident with your scissors and eventually grow into your speciality. I tend to produce work that is outside of the “average” persons comfort zone while still encompassing the modern trends. I always ad my own signature to the end product.
So I like to say that my speciality is Haircut Customization. Taking a look that someone loves and customizing it to fit their lifestyle, personality, fashion sense, and body type. Being able to create something to fit each individual that sits in my chair is incredibly gratifying and is definitely my favorite part of my artistry.
Q: When it comes to your everyday looks, life, & style, who or what inspires you?
A: I try to keep true to myself and my natural beauty I was given. I don’t like to pile make up on or make myself out to be something I’m not.
I love companies like Glossier and WEEKDAY that embrace individuality and self expression. We live in a world where everyone wants to clone themselves into someone else and I find that rather mundane and generic. I like to say I live a dual life. In the salon, I like to stand out as an individual and I don’t always follow the “hairdresser” trends with my clothing. I tend to wear more androgynous style clothing: non form fitting & baggy. I wear Adidas, Vans, and Nikes to keep it comfortable and fashionable while still making a statement. I tend not to fit inside the hairdresser box of “all black formfitting clothing with heels” stereo type.
I’ve always been inspired by Androgynous Monochromatic styling. I think it’s crispy and unique. Outside of the salon I wear a lot of comfy tom-boy clothing. Keeping true to my roots of spending my days outside getting into shenanigans, long boarding and yogi life. Comfort comes before all for me. My clothing helps me represent my passions and stay true to who I am. I like people to know the real me not a outfit I put on for work.
Q: What is your favorite hobby outside of hair? A: This is always a difficult question for me to answer because my hobbies range from snowboarding and hiking to cramming as many chicken wings in my body as I can while binge watching Grey’s Anatomy. I believe in trying new things and utilizing the world as our playground as much as I believe in having down time and hitting the restart button (in any way that makes us happy). They all help me keep my mind open and creative for my art.
Q: If you could give a hair cut to anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
A: Will Ferrell. 100%. I’ve always wanted to spend time with him. I feel like he’s the goofy uncle character I’ve always been missing in my life. Plus he’s got dope hair.
Q: What advice would you give to people who are interested in trying a new style or look but are nervous to take the plunge? A: First step: find a stylist that you can trust. Find photos you love without self judgement. And when you get there talking to them and see if they are honest and present you ideas. Second: HAIR. GROWS. BACK. Never forget that. That’s the glory of it all. Don’t take yourself so seriously and just have fun with it!
Q: How has hair and beauty impacted your life? + Share with me the importance of self expression, originality, and taking chances.
A: I've found that we hold a unique ability as hairdressers to truly transform someone’s life. We are a unique bunch of artists that not only express ourselves artistically everyday through hair but ON PEOPLE. It’s crazy! When you really begin to think about it we’re not far off from tattoo artists. We get to deeply connect with complete strangers, capture their essence as a person, and amplify their best traits both physically and metaphysically. It’s a special gift we’ve been given. Every person I touch I try to bring originality to their shape to help them express themselves. I never want to make anyone feel like they’re the same as the person next to them. When we hold ourselves to the standards of being like someone else, we often become overwhelmed with failure. I’ve practiced self expression over the years of by rocking many different styles from dreads to a shaved head to a mullet. And every time I get the same reaction from people,” I could NEVER pull off that hairstyle.” Well... I call Bullshit. Taking the chance to be true to yourself will hold you accountable to yourself. (That’s a mouth full).. but it’s important. If you take a chance, wear it with responsibility and courage, then you’ll be surprised what other doors of creative expression may open.
Connecting with Kenzy: INSTAGRAM - @hairofhumanity @kenzyrobinson
For Booking: www.toniguy.com/bookonline (Arizona - Tempe - Tempe Marketplace)