The Cut Life X Anthony Cherry
When you talk about being a hairstylist in Hollywood, you’re likely to discuss the amazingly talented Anthony Cherry. He is without a doubt a man of many talents, originally from St. Louis, MO and professionally based in Los Angeles, CA. Cherry’s celebrity clientele ranges from K. Michelle and his cousin, Tiffany Foxx, both whom you’d recognize from past seasons of Love & Hip Hop: ATL to Claudia Jordan, Ciara and Lil Kim. Throughout the course of his career, he has achieved his accolades working from “rocks to locs”.
Having grown up with so many influencers of the hair industry, the ‘King of Hair’ discusses how he turned his life around for the best and took the industry by storm by being timely and diligent to his craft. Definitely stay tuned, the King of Hair has his hands in a few things and is excited to have some projects come into fruition as early as the top of next year.
The Cut Life: Your grandmother and your mother as well did hair, correct?
Anthony Cherry: Yes.
TCL: And I saw in an interview that you said your grandmother was the first person in St. Louis to do weave. Is that correct as well?
AC: Yes, you did your homework. She was the first woman in the city of St. Louis to do hair since 1955, that’s on my dad’s side.
TCL: That’s amazing!
AC: But my great grandmother on my mom’s side used to have this hair product called the Hair Wrap. I guarantee you that your aunt, your grandmother or anybody else older than you knows about this product. It came in a black and white can with a red top. My family sold it to Revlon after she passed but it’s still on some markets. I see it at the 99 cents store today.
TCL: Oh wow, that’s awesome! Do you feel like they were your biggest inspirations to want to go into hair? I know that you had other aspirations but you did go to beauty school.
AC: Yes, I went to beauty school. My grandmother was an inspiration but also my grandmother’s daughter. Her daughter, Zimmer Parham, she did hair too. She found out that I was in the streets doing things I had no business doing at the time. My story is basically from rocks to locs. She found out things that I was doing, came and got me and was like, “what are you doing? Your spirit doesn’t represent what you’re doing with your life right now. It’s totally a contradiction so I want to take you and put you in beauty school. If you need money and stuff like that, I’ll give it to you just so you can go to beauty school.” I did that and that’s how I got started but how I kept my inspiration was the fact that it was new. I love new things and new challenges and that was a challenge for me to actually learn how to do hair on a larger scale and more than just finger waves or sister curls or wraps at that time.
Laura Govan rocking fingerwaves styled by Anthony Cherry
TCL: Exactly. Having friends that go into beauty school, a lot of times it can be kind of basic but going out to explore you can have more fun with it. So, how did you become the ‘King of Hair’?
AC: I became the ‘King of Hair’ from just word of mouth. I did a photoshoot one time and I had 20 different TV personality women from video vixens to reality stars to singers and actresses and just hot people in LA. I did the shoot and they were like, “what is the title of the shoot going to be?” and my publicist at the time said, “King of Hair!” That’s how that came about and I just ran with it because it definitely makes sense because I know how to do hair from super short to super long and it never takes me long.
TCL: Right. I saw that one of your first industry jobs was at an Akon video shoot and you did 13 women hair really fast and nicely.
AC: That’s what started my transition from doing singing because I was actually with a record label at that time and it came to an end. With the Russell Simmons Music Group, I was signed under a guy named Dro From Watts and everything had fell out with that and it was at its end. When I moved out of the house we all stayed in, the first week I moved into my place, I got a call from a guy named Maxy who worked on the Nelly video in St. Louis – Country Grammar – that I had had a relationship with maybe for like a year prior to that. He called me one day and was like, “hey, we got 13 bitches down here with weaves. We need someone down here that’s black and knows how to do weave. We’re paying!” He never told me it was a video, but I said okay, I ain’t got nothing to do, I’ll go make some cash. I get down there and they’re shooting the Akon video, I Wanna Love You. If you look at that video, those hairstyles then are still competent in compared to hairstyles today. That lets you know how ahead of the game I was.
TCL: Do you have any hairspirations? Like can you say that any celebrity right now or in the past has inspired you as far as hair goes?
AC: Well one person that I would love to do that I haven’t done yet is Rihanna. Her hairstyles for the last 4 years really inspire because they were like ghetto girl hairstyles that I did in St. Louis back in the 90’s that Ursula, her hairstylist, revamped and brought it back current. I love that. To bring something old back to the new and people thinking that it’s new. No, it’s been done, it’s just never exposed because people thought that was ghetto but it had the right client and the right time to be put on Rihanna, to make it right. Also, Jennifer Lopez; I love glam plus sexy, unbothered hair like I just got up and I just did what I did and I just walked out of the house. Messy – done but not done. Halle Berry is another person because I love doing short hair. Her hairstyles are always rocking and kicking. Ciara is another person I work with but prior to working with her, her hairstyles always inspired me because she, once again has glamorous, soft, sexy hair that dances and bounces. There’s not too many other people that I can actually say that inspire me for their hairstyling but those people definitely step up to the plate.
Red carpet glam on Laura Govan by Anthony Cherry
TCL: Do you have any favorite hairstyles or types of hair to work with? I know that you do everything from extremely short to extremely long but do you have any style that you just love to play with?
AC: I LOVE, I love, I love to play with layered hair that’s definitely thick and I love short and sassy haircuts as well. It’s just effortless. You can curl it or you can lay it down which we call molding and you can run your fingers through it and it’ll pop up like a little pixie and that’s super dope. If the cut is right, you can never go wrong.
TCL: When it comes to maintaining short haircuts, I know sometimes without a perm, depending on the hair type, it doesn’t mold as well so what is some advice for someone who does want to cut their hair and wants to know about the maintenance?
AC: Definitely gel it down baby! It’s going to get hard, I don’t care if you have a perm or not. Perm or nah?! Also, if you have fine or coarse, brown gel will nail anything down but you definitely have to have a good cut, it’s the foundation. Period.
TCL: A lot of times, women get afraid of cutting their hair because they don’t know what they’re going to do after that and going to the salons are very expensive.
AC: Well, women either you’re going to spend a little money or you’re going to take that chance. That’s what it’s all about.
TCL: Absolutely. Would you have any advice for women contemplating cutting their hair?
AC: I would tell any woman that’s contemplating cutting their hair just to go for it! Your man might even appreciate it, you might even appreciate it, you may inspire someone else to do it because once again, there’s 365 days in a year. Be a different woman, it’ll grow back.
TCL: This is true, especially when you take care of it. It will definitely grow back.
AC: Right and if not, come to the King of Hair! If I weave it, she’ll never believe it. I can sew hair on a cat.
TCL: What is the biggest misconception about being a celebrity hairstylist that essentially you feel you work against?
AC: The biggest misconception that people have about being a celebrity hairstylist is that everybody that says they’re a celebrity hairstylist is not a celebrity hairstylist. Just because you work with one person or two people throughout your career, that doesn’t make you a celebrity hairstylist, it just means you work with somebody who’s an entertainer. For me, I don’t like calling myself a celebrity hairstylist. That was something that was given to me from people who made blogs or posts when I do red carpets. I work for people in the entertainment business at this point in my life but other than that, I’m just a hairstylist. Another misconception that people have about celebrity hairstylists is they got a lot of money. I mean we make nice money but none of us, unless you have different brands or you’ve been saving forever and ever because you’re trying to live up with a lifestyle – I don’t do that, I just like nice things and if I can buy it, I will – they ain’t got the racks like you think they do. When you’re a celebrity hairstyle you work mainly between one to three people and sometimes those checks get held back sometimes depending on if it’s a production or when you work with a person just about every day, you’re either put on a retainer or you get paid per situation. Sometimes you work with someone that goes on breaks. You want your money but if you look like a starving artist who just wants money, sometimes that client will just cut you off and you work from gig to gig. You’re only as good as your last job and as hot as your next.
TCL: Outside of hair, what else are you passionate about? I know that prior to going to beauty school, you wanted to be a singer. Where are those aspirations now?
AC: Wow, yes. Right now I’m turning the transition to go back into television, more on the producing side as well. I want to do some singing but I want to do it on a platform of a television show, where I can do television and still have singing as a thing. I would love to make an album or a couple of great singles. I don’t have to be like this big branded star but who knows what the universe actually has for me. I’m not the best singer in the world but I can definitely hold a note and I can definitely captivate the audience’s attention, I’ve been doing that for years. My other aspiration is to be a motivational speaker as well. I like to inspire people to live their lives and change and cultivate their minds to be the best that they can possibly be and beat the odds that are set against you. GOD always sent me people with really broken stories, like the hardest but to whom much is given to whom much is required. I’ve always been able to break through. I love helping people. I love cooking and I love fashion. I have an online store that I developed like two years ago and I’m going to get back into that really, really hard so I’m just waiting for that moment. You know how J. Lo and Beyonce normally does it, when they hit, they strike all chords? Yes, but I feel like this is something that you have to actually naturally do or have done prior to your moment coming. I do have a hair line that I’m starting as well, it’s called Beautiful Bundlz. So there’s a bunch of different things that I’m working towards as of right now.
TCL: When it comes to you wanting to do motivational speaking, who will be your target audience? I know that speaking of self-esteem is something relevant to the masses and everyone can benefit.
AC: I don’t want to put myself in a box. I’m a very well-rounded individual. I’ve lived in 13 different states, traveled abroad four times so I’m well-traveled. I’ve been able to talk to and inspire every genre, all types of ethnic backgrounds and every type of demographic so I would say anybody that’s someone from newborn because I love children and I’m always in people’s lives when they have children and I feel like I’ve been an influence on those children just by the presence of my spirit and even up to elderly because I love talking to older, elderly people. I love just complimenting them, telling them they’re beautiful and listen to their stories. That can be healing for them. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be motivational speaking but listening and lending an ear to somebody who sometimes other people wouldn’t give an ear to. I really, really care about people.
TCL: It’s all a part of the process and all a part of GOD’s plan. Do you have any last words that you would like to say to The Cut Life readers?
AC: I would like to say to The Cut Life readers, live, love, laugh and stay inspired and the best is still yet to come.