In the last of our Inspirational Youth interviews, Philip Downing speaks to Kiki Tobar on the programme that helped shape her career.

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On our last FUSE SESSION with former members of the TIGI Inspirational Youth Team, Philip Downing talks to LA-based hairdresser, Kiki Tobar.

Kiki describes how she cried when she found out she was chosen to be part of the team and equally, how she felt she’d been “hit by a truck” on the first morning when she arrived, to find a room full of her hairdressing heroes.

For Kiki, the stand-out day was the Presentation Day when the team was put through its paces with Mary Rector from Behind the Chair and Anthony Mascolo watching. But most memorable was the photo shoot, which taught Kiki more than anything, what she did and didn’t know. She realised, she said, she wasn’t as good as she thought she was, but the learning process showed her how to tweak the look and impressed upon her the need to practice.

Kiki describes the final day’s show as an ‘eye-opener’. She realised she wasn’t going to be able to do exactly what she wanted on the model and that it had to be commercial. She said it proved stressful though it turned out to be “crazy and awesome”. From the moment she came off stage, she knew she wanted to do it again!

Kiki comes from a huge hairdressing family, her mum owns a hairdressing academy in Salt Lake City, Utah, but in 2016, feeling she needed to extend herself and her career, Kiki and her Californian husband moved to LA. Now fully into the LA lifestyle, she is renowned for her beautiful coloured extensions, part of an overall bespoke colour. She is also involved in education.

Still in contact with her fellow Inspirational Team members, Kiki says the best advice she can give to young hairdressers is to take as many classes as possible and keep up a desire to continually learn. Think we’ve heard that somewhere before?

Hear more from former TIGI Inspirational Youth members: