A Hair Sculpting Experience on the Footpath of Paris:
Really? The Hair Cowboy of Hollywood? The last thing we expected to do in Paris was to have a haircut on the footpath of the French capital! We walked past Kanu yesterday afternoon and his interesting style of cutting hair caught our attention. Today, as we walked past him again he noticed my interest and persuaded me to give him a try, which I did.
Tony needed a haircut as well, but he was much wiser. He wasn’t going to let a total stranger cut his hair without knowing anything about him. He quickly disappeared into the Kilo Shop.
An Interesting Character
Kanu Muringi is a native of New York, but he grew up in Zimbabwe. He is not a hairdresser as he does not shampoo, blow-dry or colour hair. With only his comb and scissors in hand, he “sculpts” the hair of passers-by and also regular clients. He operates just outside the Kilo Shop in rue de la Verrerie. It seems that he has been operating from this location for seven years now.
You have to trust the guy
As he combed and snipped at my hair, I was a bit concerned as he did take quite a while and I couldn’t see what was happening to my hair. Deviously, I asked Kanu why he didn’t have a mirror, to which he replied that he preferred clients to be surprised by the end result! I didn’t tell Kanu what I wanted done with my hair as he said to trust him. Standing on the footpath and having my hair cut was a source of amusement for passers-by. Kanu’s hair sculpting style was quite unique and many watched with interest. I could see that some of the young women were highly interested as well. When Kanu had finished sculpting my hair, he invited me to go into Kilo Shop and take a look in the mirror there. Much to my relief, the result was pleasing.
Tony has a go
When he thought it was safe to make an appearance again, Tony resurfaced from the shop. Little did he know that Kanu had plans to snare him for a haircut. Yes, my haircut turned out very well and he felt reassured to give Kanu a go. When his session was over, he too was asked to take a look in Kilo Shop and was happy with the result.
Why the Hair Cowboy of Hollywood?
In his past life, Kanu was a model and he also featured in a 1990s French sitcom “Hélène et les Garçons” (Helen and the Boys). Kanu played the drummer of the boy group. When that episode ended, he returned to New York where he discovered the art of hair sculpting. He later moved to California where his unique style of hair sculpting earned him the nickname of Hair Cowboy of Hollywood.
Kanu returned to France in 2011. He thought there was the possibility of an acting role in the sequel to “Hélène et les Garçons”. When that did not materialise he took his comb and scissors and started his hair sculpting career. He first operated from a bar in the Bastille district and then in front of the Kilo Shop store in rue de la Verrerie. Through word of mouth and calling on passers-by, he appears to have a constant stream of clients.
Art has a price
Kanu has been known to charge between 60 to 100 €uros for a session. But when he found out that we were poor Aussies, with a much devalued currency, he very kindly charged us much less.
If you’re in Paris and want your hair sculpted by the Hair Cowboy of Hollywood, you’ll find Kanu outside the Kilo Shop at 69-71 rue de la Verrerie.