Some of us spend our lives trying to figure out what we want to be when we grow up, but Kevyn Robinson of KevynR Salon knew at age five that he was destined to be a hairdresser.
“My mom was a hair dresser,” said Robinson, as he applied a few streaks of bleach to my hair after trimming the sides with the clippers.
I had been in need of a haircut and style for a couple of weeks and was fortunate to run into Robinson at a Balance Tampa Bay Masquerade party in Ybor City. He asked me to visit him at his studio in Tampa, but I only agreed to do so if he would dish about his career and upbringing. He agreed.
“I was raised in the salon,” Robinson shared of his youth. “After school, my bus would drop me off at my mother’s salon and I would help her sweep and hand her bobby pins as she did her work. She had lots of country singers visit her chair over the years.”
At age 14, Robinson moved to Hermitage, PA when his stepfather was transferred for work.
He went on to get his stylist’s license in Ohio and spent three months in both Paris and New York to learn the trade and become certified.
“Is your mother still in the business?” I asked as he painted lilac dye onto my bleached hair with my head resting comfortably on the edge of the sink.
“No, she lives in Lakeland now and no longer cuts and styles hair,” he replied.
Robinson has spent 35 years cutting, styling, and coloring hair, proudly following in her footsteps.
He came back to the Tampa region in 2001 and opened a salon in St. Petersburg, where he rented booths to fellow hairdressers.
In 2014, he moved his business to 3403 S MacDill Ave in Tampa, Florida, where he now occupies a space next to his partner, Preston, who owns a separate massage business.
“The majority of my clients followed me across the bridge to Tampa,” said Robinson as he rinsed the dye from my hair.
“Who is your ideal client?” By now, I was back in his chair and he was snipping away at my hair.
Robinson answered, “I work with everyone, including both men and women, but I especially enjoy doing color and highlights.”
Robinson works seven days a week. I asked him if he ever takes the time to relax and unwind. He replied, “We work hard to play hard!”
He also supports several local LGBT organizations, including Balance Tampa Bay and Equality Florida and attends various LGBTQ nonprofit events.
After a little over an hour in his chair, he snipped the last piece of hair from my head and I spun around to check out my new hairdo in the mirror. Streaks of lilac peaked from the front of my hairline and the sides were trimmed tight.
I loved it! I felt sexy, sassy, and sophisticated.
I snapped a few photos of my new ‘do and a few of his gorgeous salon, then gave him a giant hug. “Thanks for the sexy look,” I exclaimed.
I’ve had many stylists throughout my life, but Kevyn Robinson is definitely at the top of my list, if not my favorite.
Plus, if one is going to spend over an hour with someone buzzing around their head, it’s a bonus when that someone is as handsome as Kevyn!
To learn more about KevynR Salon or to book an appointment with Kevin Robinson, click here.
Here are a few of the photos I snapped while visiting the Tampa-based salon.