Samantha Kirkby

Career History:

I was always interested in hairstyling. As a young girl, I would do my mom’s color, give classmates perms and cut my brother’s hair. I even had to take appointments during prom season to accommodate all my friends. After moving to New York, I became a Bb.U (Bumble and bumble University) demo model and was so impressed. I applied to the Aveda Institute where I received a Natural Talent Scholarship, graduated and worked with an amazing hair stylist in the East Village named Silvia Cincotta.  

I then joined Bumble and bumble as a stylist at the downtown salon. I’ve had the opportunity to do editorial work, work Backstage at NY fashion week for 8 years, taught at Bb.U in NYC and travel Nationally as a Bumble.LIVE Educator.  When I moved back to Chicago, I was the Regional Educator for the Midwest and trained hundreds of hairdressers in cutting and styling.  I also worked at Art + Science Salon in Lincoln Park and the West Loop.  I currently work as a freelance hairstylist and educator in the Chicagoland area.    

What is your craziest story from working backstage?

It was my first fashion week show actually doing hair and  I thought I would just be passing pins and products. It was 15 minutes to the show and they put a late model in front of me and said, “You have to style her!” After internally freaking out, I somehow did the style quickly. It was amazing to see her walk the runway and think, “I did that!”  Now I've been working backstage for 8 years.  

Where do you find your inspiration?

Mostly from people-watching. I draw a lot of inspiration from both Fashion and Music.  Working backstage during Fashion week has taught me the importance of telling a story.  Every detail including the hair, makeup, clothes, nails and music works together.  I try to use that when I am working with clients.  I want to create something that is special and unique to who that person is... I try to help them tell their story.  

What is your favorite era in hairdressing and why?

The mid to late 1960s and early 1970s. 

What is your favorite bad hair moment?

When I took my 8th grade picture, I argued with my mom that I wanted to wear the “fan bang.” We agreed that I would take two pictures… one with and one without. Until this day, she has the horrible “fan bang” picture on the wall. It’s my punishment.

What aspect of hairdressing do you enjoy doing  the most?

I love making someone feel good about the way they look. That’s a big job.