Khady M'baye, 40

Khamit Kinks

Photograph: Beth Levendis

Who: Khady M’baye, 40
Where: Khamit Kinks (327 Gold St between Flatbush Ave Ext and Johnson St, Downtown Brooklyn; 718-422-2600, khamitkinks.com)
Services: Starter dreadlocks $105, lock grooming $90, braids starting at $275, weaves starting at $300

What are your areas of expertise?
Natural hair care. I do locs, all kinds of braids and weaves.

What makes your approach to hair different?
At Khamit Kinks, we do everything different. We always do a little extra for our clients.

What makes an experience in your chair unique?
I try to make people happy. Anybody who sits in my chair I try to make happy and make sure they keep coming back. All of my clients love me. My clients feel like family.

Why did you go into hair care?
I grew up in Senegal. My mom had a shop there. I had a lot of experience with braiding in Senegal. Then I came here and learned more.

How long have you been doing it?
For about 20 years, since I was 18 or so. My sister and I would go in my mom’s salon and help after school.

What style do you do best?
Everything!

What styles do people come to you for most often?
Sister Locs [very thin dreadlocks] are really popular now. Also Baby Curls [small twists] and weaves.

What styles are you tired of people asking for?
None. I love doing them all!

What style are you wearing these days?
Flat twists right now.

What kinds of things do clients do that annoy you the most?
Nothing really.

C’mon, nothing?!? It doesn’t bother you when they’re late for their appointments?
Sometimes they’re late, but you just have to understand. Sometimes when you start doing a new person’s hair, who doesn’t get their hair done too often, they keep asking questions: “Wait, how’s this going to look? I don’t think I’m going to like it.” But then when they see it done, they’re usually okay.

Who have been some of your most memorable clients?
I’ve been really lucky, I get to do all kinds of people’s hair. They’ve all been pretty memorable.

Any celebrities?
Oh yeah, lots. I did Stevie [Wonder], I did Angela Bassett, Roberta Flack, Res...

Where else have you worked after moving to the U.S.?
I used to have my own shop. I’ve been at Khamit Kinks for ten years.

Who does your hair?
My niece, my sister, or any of the other stylists at Khamit Kinks.

Interview by Dara Stewart

If you like Khady, try Nene Ngiaye (Khady’s cousin), also at Khamit Kinks.

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