Photographer | Kevin Roldan
When did you realize that hairdressing was your passion?
C: I was really young when I realized I had a passion for hairstyling. My mom told me I changed my hairstyle more than I changed my underwear (she’s big on mom jokes). I mean, I did change my hair a lot growing up and some of my favorite styles were my liberty spikes or my dreadlocks. Either way, I loved changing up my hair and I enjoyed doing it so much that I started to offer up my services in high school for cash. I gave fades and buzz cuts to my friends for $5 and even attempted to do their sisters hair. I wasn’t too good back then and I really had no one to teach me or nurture the idea. It wasn’t until I met my first mentor and celebrity hairstylist, Carlos Ortiz, that I really felt pushed to pursue it. He started by bringing me on his jobs as his assistant. It was nice to have someone believe in me and encourage me to continue on this path.
How has traveling the world influenced your style in cutting/styling hair?
C: It has helped me open my mind and my creativity. Being able to experience different cultures, beautiful landscapes and mother nature in all its glory influences the way I see hair. It’s not just hair, it’s a material that can be transformed into any shape, size, texture and color.
How does your work set you apart from the competition?
C: My work comes from my heart – a moment which really depends on my mood and feeling. Although I’m inspired by many of my colleagues, it’s almost impossible for me to copy something that has already been done. For the most part, I try to see what’s been done and do the complete opposite or even the evolved version of it. I like my art to be unique, sometimes a hybrid of different feelings and emotions all wrapped into one. In the end it always has to bring the best out of my clients. When I’m spiritually connected with a client, some of my best work comes to fruition.
Who do you look up to most in your life? How do they impact where you are now?
C: I look up to a lot of people in life, some I know personally and some I come across throughout my day. It can be the barista at Starbucks that wrote a nice note on my coffee cup or it could be Gandhi and his beliefs on civil rights and freedom. I look up to people that promote happiness, survival, spirituality, love and positivity. The stimulation from those alone will get me through any day and will push me to be the best version of myself.
What is the most fulfilling aspect about your craft?
C: Being able to create art that brings out happiness and confidence in someone. It’s almost like magic. People can live their whole life and not feel confident or happy. I can create something that actually changes someone’s mood for the better and then I feel fulfilled.
What is one thing you can improve on as a human being?
C: There’s always room for improvement and if there’s one thing I can improve about myself it would be my ability to not be offended by negativity and awful people. Being sensitive to people’s bad energy and negative vibe can really stop you in your tracks, distract you from your focus and throw you off balance. I’ve been working on protecting myself and my soul more as I grow, but there’s always someone out there that will try and steer you off your path. That’s why I surround myself with like-minded people. Those that lift others up, support those around them and come from a place of love. I can only hope the love, support, and positive light I give will inspire others to do the same.