I met Kylie at our mutual friend Brian’s party. Kylie and I were sitting by each other on the couch commiserating about our gluten free lifestyle. We were both eyeballing the cookies while making chit chat. She mentioned she was a hairstylist, and I reported I had just that week gotten my hair cut. I had my hair pulled back and also was wearing a hat. I dutifully showed her what I was feeling rather apathetic about and she responded by saying we should cut it! I agreed!
She cut my hair with regular scissors in the hallway at Brian’s house in the middle of a party. I love her spontaneity and her infectious laugh. She’s a warm and caring person who is now my new hair stylist!
Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Kylie: I was born and raised in sunny southern California, but now I choose to call Portland my home. I’ve been specializing in men’s haircuts for a little over eight years. I feel like the luckiest person alive because I get to make a living doing pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I also love to read; I have at least three books dog-eared at any given time. That’s right– books. The Kindle makes me nervous and doesn’t smell nearly as good as ink on fresh paper.
Jamie: Southern California and Portland, Oregon are practically complete opposites in some ways, yet really similar in others. What do you love about both places? And what do you miss most about SoCal? I’d love to know about some of your favorites places and restaurants too!
Kylie: They really are so different from each other. That’s what’s so nice about still having family in California. I get to enjoy for a few days and then come back to reality– kind of like playing with my friends’ kids. I love the warmth and smell of California. Maybe my olfactory system is super sensitive, but I think all places have a unique smell. I love that in Portland, you can walk to your neighborhood theatre and watch the Country Music Awards or just a basketball game with fellow beer drinkers. There’s such a strong sense of community here. What I miss most about where I grew up is the Mexican food! not many things are fried in lard up here in the northwest, unfortunately. I did find one restaurant that comes pretty close to SoCal- There’s a divey little joint on East Burnside called Ole Ole. The tacos are to die for and very affordable! Which is good, because everyone in Portland is either retired or working on their doctorate. Another place I love specializes in Ethiopian cuisine. No jokes, please. It’s called Bete-Lukas. The owner is a kick and the food is always fresh and delicious. And because I have three stomachs, I can’t forget about dessert. Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in the Buckman area is as out there as it gets. Incredible and interesting hand crafted pies and coffees. But, beware of the bathrooms- that’s all I’ll say.
Jamie: I thought I was a die hard paper book person too, but my friend Jill gave me a Kindle, and I was surprised how much I do like it! It’s been a lifesaver living in a small place. Haha! What kind of books do you read?
Kylie: I’ll read pretty much anything that I’m given or is recommended to me. I get a lot of books as gifts. It’s pretty interesting to see what people come up with. You can always tell what kind of person someone thinks you are by the books they give you. Chuck Pahlaniuk is my favorite author, so I’ve read all of his work. You may know him from such titles as, “Fight Club.” I’m really into science fiction and memoirs. I’m just fascinated by humans; I’ll read anyone’s story.
Jamie: You seem like a brave and fearless person. Does anything scare you?
Kylie: Turning thirty! No, but seriously, a few things do. I’ve always been deathly afraid of heights. Once I’m at 30,000 feet on an airplane I can relax–sort of. But skyscrapers…forget it. I also have a healthy fear of large dogs; it stems from some sort of childhood canine trauma, I’m sure.
Jamie: I used to love flying, but I like it less and less these days. I do like heights though. They remind me of dreams I have had in which I can fly. But let’s circle back around to the hair cutting thing: when did you get interested in hair cutting? And why are you specialized in men’s hair? What inspires you? Tell me all the things!
Kylie: Do you ever fall in your flying dreams? I heard that’s good luck! Hair cutting…let’s see. I’ve been fascinated with the entire beautification process for as long as I can remember. When my parents would have guests over, I’d walk around the room and paint everyone’s fingernails. I’m sure I did great work at four years old!
Whenever my dad would go in to get his hair cut, even if it was early in the morning, I’d go with him. I’d sit in the lobby and watch intently. I loved the sound of the shears snipping the hair and how effortless and graceful the stylists looked while working. Later in life, I was always the first in the house to notice when Dad came home with a fresh haircut. His face looked brighter and he seemed to have a spring in his step. Men’s hair holds my interest because of the precision involved in cutting, and even styling it. Women’s hair is fun to look at and play with, but the technician in me loves dealing with tight shapes and weight lines. It’s also fun to show a man that a good haircut really can make a difference in how he feels and even acts. I feel that the extra time and attention I’m able to devote to my clients gives them a certain confidence and dare I say…swagger?
I love to flip through cheesy magazines like US Weekly to see what the “beautiful people” of the world are doing with their hair. Since my shop is in a men’s clothing store, I also draw a lot of inspiration from expensive suits. I like to give my clients a haircut that will enhance their style and maybe even get them to switch from a polo to a nice sport coat.
Jamie: Would you like to share some internet links?
www.schedulicity.com (online scheduling.)
Thanks to Kylie for participating in my interview series! If you have any questions for her, ask in the comments below! (And go get a hair cut!)