For St. Louis-based hair stylist Kris Theohar, the joy of what he does can be seen every day when his clients feel great about how they look. After spending his high school Homecomings doing his friends’ hair, he’s turned his passion into a living.
What keeps you wanting to keep styling hair?
I love it. It’s one of those things where I wake up and am excited to go to work and to make people feel better about themselves. I’m transforming someone and it makes them happy, so that makes me happy.
How do you challenge yourself to be a better artist?
Staying current, trying new things and getting out of the Midwest bubble. I feel like if I stay stagnant, then my clients will be stagnant as well.
You used the word stagnant. What keeps it from becoming business-as-usual?
I think being open-minded and taking in different techniques. Trends are so different across the world and you have to open your mind up to all of the possibilities and not just focus on one thing. Certain trends aren’t for everyone, but they can always be tweaked and edited. It doesn’t mean you have to have bright pink hair, but you can still play with color. I don’t think there are “age appropriate” things anymore. I hear “I’m getting older so I need to cut my hair short” or “I need to go without color.” I try to encourage people that there are no rules anymore. You do what makes you feel right.
What inspires you?
I get the most inspiration from fashion. I feel like somehow, in the fashion industry, my spark comes from seeing the new designs and new clothes. That’s where my process starts.
What I do changes people’s day-to-day. It takes them out of what’s going on in their life and makes them feel empowered. When I get a text message from a client who says they love their hair, that’s what I love. I love when they get up from the chair and are proud to show their hair off. They do a lot of promoting for me because they’re happy.
Where would you like to see this go?
In baby steps, the dream was being my own boss and being independent. I didn’t have the dream of being a salon owner with people working under me. I love personal styling, photo shoots and the independence of creative styling. The constant change is what I love about what I do. I can be working at home in St. Louis on a Tuesday and then styling a photo shoot in New York on Wednesday. It’s a dream job for me already.
Photography by Eric Pietrangolare