The Cutting Edge with Zxyro

The Cutting Edge with Zxyro

A native Calgarian, Zxyro’s background in art and fashion not only exudes the city’s cosmopolitan-meets-casual vibe but also informs his work as a stylist; his approach to hair is technical and immensely artistic. “What I am most excited about is getting back to the roots of why I wanted to get into hair in the first place, which is the artistry, the creativity, and the fashion of it all,” he says. Zxyro shares a little about himself and his interdisciplinary approach to hair in this latest GOAT feature.


GOAT: Hey Zxyro. Welcome to GOAT. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi, my name is Zxyro J., and I am the newest addition to the GOAT Shop. I am a native Calgarian hailing from the east side of the city. Zxyro is actually a take on my legal name. A friend spelt it like that for a substitute teacher once, and it kinda just stuck, and I have used it as my artist alias ever since. I have been doing hair for a solid 8-9 years now, I believe, and alongside that, I partnered with my best friend to launch a clothing brand in 2021. The brand is called Homomilk Estudyo and is our way of merging Canadian and Filipino clothing concepts into high-end street fashion.


GOAT: When did your love for hair begin? Was it around the same time you started getting interested in fashion? 

I actually pursued art, and I believe that is where everything started. I was cutting my own hair and some friends in high school, and before I decided to go to art school, I was like, “I should cut my hair better,” so I went into hair school before art school, and that was roughly around 2014. It was while in hair school that my best friend and current business partner kept asking me to do hair for her photoshoots. So I became immersed in editorial and session work for hair, which actually sparked my interest in the art of fashion and creating concepts. So, I added some fashion courses to my art design and marketing programs. I find that working with hair is technical, but still so immensely artistic. I have been able to incorporate it not just as a way to pay my bills but into my other fields of interest and aspirations.


GOAT: Does your interest in fashion inform the way you approach hair?

I find that hair, fashion, and art not only correspond but constantly intersect with one another. We as consumers always look to trends, celebrities, art, fashion, and beauty magazines to determine the next look or what is currently in. Working in fashion spaces, editorial shoots, and session work, you’re gonna have this habit of a finely detailed approach as you are potentially creating those future trends. What is the concept? How does the overall look connect? How can you elevate it, make it bolder or more avant-garde? Is it a direct view, 90 degrees straight on the camera, or is it 360 degrees in a video? How’s the flow, the fall? There are so many things to think about and question that you can actually take all that and bring it to the salon and use that approach as well. It's definitely a bit more toned down compared to the energy of chaotic fashion space though. Fashion influences everything that I do. I look at the trends, but I also go deeper into their context to understand where it’s coming from. That's what inspires me the most.


GOAT: And what have you been looking into right now?

In terms of trends right now, I’m feeling South America when it comes to hair. The creativity coming from Chilean men’s barbering and colouring is just insane to see. Alongside the amazing hair treatments and techniques, places like Brazil are also garnering so much attention. I like to look outside of North America for new innovations and trends in hair, as having a global perspective is such an important thing to have in not only an artistic industry but a highly technical one as well. With fashion and hair, whether your presence is global or local, you can turn heads. I’m interested in taking fashion looks to someone who is like a university student or someone young and artistic. I find they’re the ones who have the ability to step outside the box and push these trends from the streets into everyday life. There’s that element of moving forward that they exude, as well as an unapologetic energy about fashion and viewpoints that I just love.


GOAT: What are you most looking forward to as you begin your time at GOAT? 

I believe what I am most excited about is getting back to the roots of why I wanted to get into hair in the first place, which is the artistry, the creativity, and the fashion of it all. I feel like I have grown my technical side of hair very well and appreciate all the years and effort I’ve put into it, that now I can put that aside and focus back on the creative side of hair and content creation. This new season at GOAT allows me to be more creative, return to those roots, and almost fall back in love with the industry all over again. Sometimes, we tend to stray away from the original path or goal along the way due to comfort, but I don’t think those aspirations ever go away; in fact, I feel like they stay rooted in you. I feel like I don’t have to necessarily follow the path that everyone says I should follow. I believe if you find a path that works for you and is more fulfilling, then that’s the one you should pursue.


GOAT: As a stylist, tell us about the kind of work you enjoy doing.

I am Japanese trained, and through that, I find that it is not only highly technical but has this universal approach and understanding of hair that can be used for almost any situation. I look at myself as a universal stylist, but I would definitely say my main focus and specialty includes dark and Asian hair, colouring/bleaching, and texture manipulation. I am a treatment technician and colourist through and through. I love bleach-outs with fun, cool colours that take 8-10 hours, but in that regard, I also focus on treatments and other services to keep the hair as healthy as possible so that we can achieve those intense colours. I take the time to do things properly and thoroughly because the results will be there. I don’t believe in the trend of doing things fast. That doesn’t exist anymore. High-quality services and results need time and patience to achieve because that feeling at the end, that “WOW” moment, is so satisfying.


GOAT: How do you approach styling new clients? What does the initial consultation look like?

 My overall approach is that I look at everything. I look at your hair, your face, personal style, lifestyle and even your environment. I take everything into account to find not only what works for you but also what elevates you. Sometimes, the trendiest look will not work for a single mom of 2 or a corporate business person. In that consultation, I find something that will work for someone and is still in trend or a take on it, still fashionable but manageable. I ask a lot of questions. I try to limit technical vocabulary to something more simplified. I’ll ask what you like and what you don’t like. I will be as completely transparent as possible to give realistic expectations. The holy trinity of questions in this industry is almost the same as in other industries: time, money and expectations. If I can be as thorough as I can be, then we will be on the same wavelength without any miscommunication.


GOAT: Where do you see yourself in the future in terms of your career in hairstyling?

 For me, the future is not something I want to see; it’s somewhere I want to be. I think the future changes so quickly that seeing myself in the future doesn’t make sense. I just want to be there. I want to grow, learn and evolve. Realizing you’re already there is way better than envisioning it. I’m most excited about the refresh of my career. Starting anew and branching out. It’s evolving. It’s accepting new things and just enjoying the journey. The finished outcome isn’t finished until I feel like it, and right now, I am far from being finished.


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