“The two most important days in your life are the day you were born, and the day you find out why.”
– Mark Twain

Choosing the right career path is not an easy decision. So it is pretty amazing when you know from a young age, what you want to do with your life.

Since the age of three, Kim knew she wanted to do hair. I believe she has the passion, artistic vision and personal style to become a brand within herself. Remember you heard it here first…

Here is a bit of her story.

Kimberly Labonté

Hair Stylist

Instagram:@coveredinhair

Texture Hair Salon | Ottawa ON

Let’s start from the beginning. You have always known you wanted to do hair – your grandmother being your biggest inspiration. What are some of your memories from growing up around the beauty industry?

My grandmother’s salon was located in her home, so from a very young age, I would go in there and look through all her hair books and play with her perm rods and hair clips. Every time we visited for the holidays I would spend evenings in there asking relatives, to come in one by one, so I could practice braiding, twisting with bobby pins and using all the products (hair sprays, gels) that were on the counter. I would often go for sleepovers and my grandma would let me play with her hair for hours – she loved getting head massages.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

Many stylists I know have had some sort of artistic influence in their life. You come from a family of artists, do you think this influenced your career path?

Yeah absolutely, we moved a lot growing up because my parents loved to transform houses into homes. My mom loves decorating and crafting and in every house we lived in, she made sure to convert one of the rooms into a craft room.

My parents used to get my sisters and I those coloring/painting kits almost every Christmas and we spend days coloring and drawing. My dad used to sit with us all the time and have us do coloring competitions and make us draw the craziest things – making us think outside the box. This definitely influenced me a lot with where I am today.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

You have a look and style that makes you stand out in a room. Have you always liked experiencing with hair color and styles?

It’s funny to think about this because I am a total introvert!

In a way, this is how I can express myself. I don’t think there is one color or cut that I haven’t tried in my hair. I’ve purchased and tested every type of hair extensions possible. I think the only thing I have not tried on myself is perm, but my hair is naturally curly.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

By constantly changing and experimenting with my hairstyle, I am able to better serve my clients. I think my problem is I get so excited with the constantly changing fashions that I want to try it all! Switching up my hair color felt like I could become a different person.

Now that I look back, I definitely regret some hair choices I have made but its all part of growing.

Being in the industry for a decade now, you have worked in different salon environments. Has each experience helped shape you as an artist?

Most definitely. The good thing about working in different salons is the knowledge you gain from other hair stylist. Being in the hair industry, everyone has their own way of doing something and by watching them, I was able to learn new tips and techniques.

It’s one thing to learn the basics at school but it’s nothing compare to actually working in a salon. I have worked with some amazing hair stylists that have given me many opportunities to grow and learn – inspiring me to go the extra mile and to even compete at a national level.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

I would not be who I am today without all the people that have helped shape my career.

In this age of Instagram, it is so important for Stylists to keep up with the trends and stay educated. How do you stay current in an industry that is constantly evolving?

I am involved in competitions every year. In order to compete you need to take courses on color and cuts to keep up with the current trends. I watch hair video after hair video, trying new style techniques and colors inspirations.

I also follow many amazing hair stylists on Instagram some of my biggest inspirations being @larisadoll, @domdomhair but there are so many more.

You have a bit of an unique story, you were exposed to hair competitions very early in your career. Did these early experiences help you prepare for bigger industry competitions like Wella TrendVision?

Absolutely. I was 14 when I got my first part time job in a hair salon. I went from sweeping the floor to receptionist to being taught how to style and cut hair.

The salon owner judged many hair competitions and gave me the opportunity to travel with her to Paris. That’s when I saw the creativity that went into them and knew I wanted to do the same when I was older.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

Is it important to you to have opportunities to do editorial work?

It is, because it gives me the chance to get creative and do stuff I don’t normally do in every day life. I’m the most proud of my work when I get to create hairstyles without restrictions to how I envision it.

Looking at your portfolio – you have a wide range of looks both cut and color. Do you always try to push yourself to expand your skill set?

Most definitely! I never try to recreate the same look twice. I love the challenge it gives me – there are no limits to how much you can create.

Often times clients sit in your chair not really knowing what they want, so giving them a few ideas such as adding a hue of pink to their toners or adding a pop of color somewhere is my favorite. Most of the time they love it so much they constantly want to keep trying new stuff.

The possibilities are endless.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

The lifestyle of a hair stylist is often glamorized, but often people don’t realize what it involves – long hours, working on weekends and holidays, standing on your feet all day. You really need to love what you do. What does being a hair stylist mean to you?

It is hard work but most of all its very rewarding. making people feel and look great is the best part of the job. It’s about creating great relationships

How would you describe your personal style?

This is a hard one. I’ve been asked this question a few times and have the hardest time describing it.

Just like music, I’m all over the place.

Some days I like to dress very girly, floral dresses and heels, and other days I’m wearing ripped jeans with an over-sized boyfriend tee and a cap. Most of the time I do wear black and play it up with makeup and hair.

I like to go with how I feel that day.

I am a bit of a beauty product junkie, but I have some favorite makeup products that I always have on hand. What are some of your make up must haves?

The one thing I never leave the house without is definitely lipstick. Not any kind, liquid matte to be exact. That stuff lasts all day! I have the biggest collection of lipstick both in my purse, at home and in my car. I always have to have some that’s handy! For some odd reason, I never feel complete without it on.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

Nail art — it seems to be an extension of your personal style. What inspires your different looks?

This is another reason why Insta is awesome. My girl Larisa Love is always on point with her nails. In the past I would go crazy with nail art, but seeing as my hands were constantly in water, they would never last. So theses days I keep it simple, since I don’t have the patience to go every 2 weeks.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

Most people have a story behind their tattoos – what were the inspirations behind yours?

Honestly, the first few I got don’t have much meaning. I was so eager to get tattoos when I was young, I just chose old school tattoos I loved for years. After a while I decided to work on my hair styling sleeve: a mirror, hairdryer, scissors and bobby pins. I knew it was risky dedicating most of my arm to hair styling pieces, but I knew this was my passion from the beginning and such a huge part of my life. I also have some from some travelling and a few friendship ones.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

You’re a bit of a foodie photographer – do you like cooking?

I love cooking so much! Most of all I love food. I’m constantly trying new recipes and trying to find “healthier” options. I can’t have any dairy so I try to create meals I love that don’t contain it or work my way around it.

Every week I meal prep meals for my week. Everyone knows that I don’t like spending money on food (other then groceries) because I know I can make something from home that taste just as good if not better.

Growing up my mother always cooked up a storm every dinner (she still does) and we rarely ate out. There is something about making home cooked meals and enjoy it as a family.

It brings back so many great memories.

Instagram: @coveredinhair

Finally what three words describe you best?

Artsy.

Friendly.

Ambitious.