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Kiyah Wright: From Doing Mary J. Blige & Faith Evans’ Hair To Launching Her Own Company Muze|Hair

January 25, 2022

Read the full interview on SheenMagazine.com!

If you’re at all interested in becoming a hairstylist, look no further than Kiyah Wright. The celebrity hairstylist and hair colorist is a true inspiration. For the past 25 years, she’s worked with all the celebrities under the sun, including Tyra Banks, Brandy, Gabrielle Union, Jennifer Hudson, Kerry Washington, Ciara, Niecy Nash, Tamar Braxton, and Laverne Cox.

But what is she most proud of? Being the CEO of her own company, Muze|Hair, owning her own salon and collection of premium wigs, hair extensions, tools and hair care products. Being a salon stylist at heart, Kiyah states, “I’m super passionate. I love touching real hair, treating real hair, growing real hair. I also specialize in wigs, extensions. I’m a business entrepreneur. That’s really my thing too: sharing business resources, tips and tricks to stylists and everyday people.”

Regardless of who her client is, Wright prides herself in setting the foundation for females to feel sexy, successful, and empowered. Additionally, she posts tutorial videos on her Youtube page to help the everyday female learn how to install a lace front wig while recommending her favorite products that won’t break your bank.

Sheen Magazine caught up with Kiyah via Zoom, curling her hair (very on-brand). Read below as we discuss her roots on the East Coast, getting her start with Puffy and Bad Boy Records, launching her own company Muze|Hair, installing a lace front wig, hair trends for the new year, growing her Youtube, goals, and more!

Where are you from originally?

I’m originally from Washington D.C., by way of New York, and now I’m in Los Angeles.

What was it like growing up in D.C.? When did you fall in love with all this?

Well, D.C., my celebrities were the drug dealer girlfriends. [laughs] If I’m honest. Those were the girls that had the money, the style. They were trendsetters. Those were the women I wanted to work with. “I want to do her hair! I want to do this one’s hair….” Because they had the money and they were fly. That was my early beginnings of working with celebrities locally. I just wrote a book called The Business Of Beauty, and I talk about that: when I was first starting, all my little crazy escapades. You have to read it all in the book, but it was a start to becoming an entrepreneur and working for myself. Being a businesswoman very early on, I was 17 or 18.

Growing up, who or what led you to do hair?

It was a natural gravitation towards doing hair early as a kid. I gravitated to hairstyling very early on. I was sneaking people into the house, and I was getting into trouble for it. My mom was like, “what’re you doing sneaking people in the house doing hair?” Lady, I’m trying to make some money. [laughs] Real talk. It really started then, me trying to hustle to make money. I was trying to make money to become something, have money to spend to buy cute clothes and keep up with the trends. [laughs]

How was it working with Mary J. Blige and Faith Evans so early in your career?

I worked with Faith first because that was First Lady of Bad Boy Records, then he managed Mary J. Blige. She was on Uptown Records. Then it spiraled from there. I started touring with Bad Boy artists: Biggie, 112. I really was a part of history. That picture of Faith and Biggie in the car, I was her hairstylist during that time. When she’s in the car with the bangs and the little updo, those are iconic moments for me. I was there when they met. Coming up in the Bad Boy days was iconic for me. I worked with lots of celebrities back then.

What does it mean to start your own company, Muze Hair?

Stepping into the entrepreneur role for me started really early on. I never really had a job working for anybody. So I started out on commission when I was about 17, turning 18. This was 1992. I graduated from high school. By the time it was 1996/97, I was already moving to New York, starting my career as a celebrity hairstylist in New York City. I remember working for these guys, and they were marketing geniuses. They wore neon outfits, spandex. They were showing, Walking up Georgia Ave. in Washington D.C.

People would walk up the street like, “What the heck? Who’s this?” We attracted so many clients: younger, older. We were the hip-hop salon in Silver Spring, Maryland, in the late ’90s, coming into the 2000s. I remember going to them saying, “I’ve been there two years. I want a good commission.” I had already prepared that I’d leave and go down the block if they said no. That was really going to be the beginning of being on my own. They, sure enough, said, “No, we’re not going to up your commission.” It was something like 50/50. I wanted a booth to rent, and they said no to booth rent. Well, I’m going to leave. So I went to this quiet salon not even a block up the street. I built my clientele from that moment on, and that’s the beginning of being a real entrepreneur. I was about 19/20. 

Talk about launching your Youtube channel and the videos you post.

It’s all about giving tips, tricks, DIY‘s, personal stories, and a little inspiration. Right now, I’m moving a lot into the business aspect of the beauty business. I have a book coming out called The Business Of Beauty. The book is inspired because many stylists don’t make much money and don’t understand how to start their businesses. That’s a massive part of the beauty industry: understanding how to diversify our portfolios to make money and bring in income. That’s always a big thing for me, too: being a salon stylist wasn’t enough. How do you maximize your services without physically having to be there? I really wanted to focus on that as well. When I’m not in the salon, I have to maximize this business—selling wigs, selling products, finding a product to sell, and finding your niche first. A lot of stylists now are being homegrown on Instagram. I really want to encourage them to take that step further, go to cosmetology school and make it a career.

Goals for yourself as an artist at this point in your career?

My God, I have a ton of goals. This year I plan on being more visual, having a TV show. I’m working on a podcast.The Business of Beauty is a big priority, really getting out there with this book tour and spreading the word to other stylists about financial literacy and awareness. Take back your finances and get a better understanding of how you bring in and make money, how you can have that long-lasting brand. I’m 28 years in, still relevant. That’s a big deal. [laughs]

Anything else you’d like to let the people know?

Go out, get the book, follow me on YouTube. Continue to support me, Muze Hair. I have a lot of information for you guys. [laughs]

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