Iles Formula Hair Talk welcomes Kiki Tobar from Kashmir Extensions, based in West Hollywood, California.
Kiki Tobar is the Founder of Kashmir Extensions, a boutique salon in West Hollywood focusing exclusively on custom high-end hair extensions and color.
Born into a family of hairdressers, Kiki moved to Los Angeles in 2018 and learned the Natural Beaded Rows® Hair Extensions method. She now offers this service exclusively to her customers due to its customization and damage-free approach. Within a year of learning NBR® Kiki became a National Platform Artist, and is now leading classes as a Trainer for NBR® and BMS (the Business, Marketing, and Sales portion of the company).
When Kiki isn’t transforming guests, working on her business, and training students she is spending time with her husband and her daughter, Kashmir, listening to music, spending time outside, and traveling.
1. Tell us what you think is the biggest challenge in hairdressing today other than Covid-19?
The biggest challenge I see in hairdressing today is gaining credibility and respect as not only an artist in the industry but also a business professional. So often artists are not taken seriously in their craft by clients, their families, and even other artists. Operating your platform as a business and marketer first and an artist second gains respect and success behind the chair.
2. What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?
The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing tears in my client’s eyes when I’ve given them the result they never thought and have been told they could never have. It’s a feeling that’s rewarding like no other!
3. Why did you choose the path of hairdressing and was it easy to fall into this work?
Hairdressing was so natural for me. I was born into a family of hairdressers, my mom owning a successful hair academy in Provo, UT. I’ve always been surrounded by the beauty and education Industry and I love seeing how it can change so many lives on both sides of the hairdressing chair.
Hair by Kiki Tobar
4. If you had not made the decision to be a hairdresser what would you have been?
If I wasn’t doing hair I would definitely be working as a stylist in fashion or running a global brand on something beauty-related. I love working for myself and leading teams in the business.
5. What is your greatest strength?
My greatest strength is influencing others and leading by example. I love to help others see their own powers and strengths to change their own lives.
6. Your favorite hairdressing tools?
My favorite hairdressing tools are my beads, string, and pliers. It’s incredible what we can add to someone’s image and confidence by stitching in some instant confidence.
7. Tell us about your relationship with Iles Formula. How you discovered us and which formula is your favorite?
ILES formula is our foundation brand at Kashmir Extensions. I discovered them in my previous salon and become loyal after seeing their results shine through in comparison to the other lines we carried. Being exclusively hair extensions at Kashmir means we need a brand that creates a lightweight and incredibly soft finish. Our favorite product is the Curl Revive Spray for its silky moisture and heat protection which is perfect for extensions.
8. What was the most challenging job you ever made?
The most challenging thing I’ve done in my career so far was moving from an established clientele in my hometown to Los Angeles with zero connections in the industry. It was very mentally challenging but so rewarding because with constant dedication and consistency I was able to go from nothing to an entire clientele, 3 team members, and a salon for myself in less than 3 years in Hollywood.
9. What was your worst hair moment and why… privately or on set/stage or in the salon?
The worst hair moment I ever had was my first time on stage at the BTC show in front of 5,000 people. I was styling my model and I accidentally sprayed high-hold hairspray all over her roots before her blow-dry thinking it was root volume spray. It was such a sticky mess and I was mortified!
Hair by Kiki Tobar
10. If you could style anyone’s hair, who would it be and why?
If I could style anyone’s hair it would be Jennifer Lopez because she is always pushing the boundaries with her styles, she seems so relatable, and she wears extensions often!
11. Where do you pull hair inspiration from?
I like to pull hair inspiration from classic and expensive fashion campaigns. My guests always desire to look high-end and youthful.
Hair by Kiki Tobar
12. Who is your icon?
One of my icons is Yves Saint Laurent. He came from literally nothing and worked his way up through all the fashion houses and created his own brand. He stuck true to his own style and vision and didn’t let others determine his path.
13. Your advice to young hairdressers starting out?
My advice to young hairdressers starting out is to be extremely intentional and laser-focused on their vision and purpose. Don’t listen to the lies the hair industry will tell you the way it has to be. Follow those who are truly having success and study WHY. Find the ones who will reach out their hand to help you. And remember nothing will come without hard work and consistency every day.
14. How has Covid-19 changed your vision of the hair industry today?
Covid-19 has proven to me that I am in the most resilient and strong industries out there. Through every shutdown in California, my business thrived and even grew BIGGER. Hair will always be a priority to most because it affects the way we FEEL, even when we are home alone.
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