Kirby Keomysay

Founder | Creative Director

From sweeping floors and folding towels, to managing the receptionist desk at his Aunt’s salon in Bellevue, Nebraska, Kirby Keomysay has always had his hands on hair. When he wasn’t practicing on mannequin heads, Kirby began to master his craft by styling his classmate’s hair in his parents’ basement. It was there, where his dream was born. After graduating high school, Kirby enrolled at cosmetology school at the Capitol School of Hairstyling and Esthetics in Omaha.

Upon graduating in 2006, Kirby was encouraged by his mentor and famed Nebraska stylist, Lyal McCaig, to compete against the nation’s best at the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). At age 19, Kirby placed first in the student category at NAHA. After returning to Bellevue and working in his Aunt’s salon for two years, Kirby opened his own studio in Aksarben. But it wasn’t long before Kirby was back in the nation’s styling spotlight.

In 2012, after making it to the final round of Bravo’s Shear Genius, Kirby was invited to compete on Oxygen Network’s hit show, Hair Battle Spectacular Season Two. After winning the competition and taking home the cash prize, Kirby used that money to fulfill his childhood dream of opening his own salon. At age 25, Kirby opened Kontempo.—where he and his team have become Omaha’s premier style destination in creating a modern you.

As one of Omaha’s most in-demand stylists, Kirby’s dedication to style trends is evident in everything he does. His work has been featured in Modern Salon Magazine, and many local publications. Kirby has been in the winner’s circle as Best Colorist for Omaha Magazine’s annual Best of Omaha publication. Adding to his list of achievements, Kirby was chosen by Lilliana Vasquez—style contributor for the TODAY Show—to style her hair for the Golden Globe and ALMA Awards. Kirby makes it a priority to pass this knowledge and experience onto his team and plans to continue having a positive impact on the Omaha community for years to come.

How many years have you been in the industry?

I have been in the industry since my family moved to Omaha in 1997. I spent much of my time at my Aunt’s salon in Old Town Bellevue helping out with towels and sweeping hair. In high school I started doing hair in my parents basement and after graduation I started cosmetology school at Capitol School of Hairstyling, graduating in 2006. After graduation I worked for my Aunt again for a couple of years and finally, in 2009, Kontempo. was born!

What inspires you or feeds your creativity?

I am hugely inspired and influenced by celebrity stylists. Not only am I in awe of their talent and hard work that has paid off allowing them to work with celebrity clientele, but also of their strong following of other artists in the industry that look up to them and thrive off education from them. It is my hope that I too can inspire and educate artists that are not only up and coming or new to the business, but also ones that have been at it for much longer than myself.

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

A lap dog! It think it would be incredible to live the life of a {luxury} lap dog that belongs to an extremely wealthy pet owner! Who wouldn’t want to catered to 24/7?! From filtered water to homemade food, spa days and weekly grooming sessions…spending afternoons by the pool and traveling the world would be “just another day”! All of this is really appealing and of course the constant attention, unconditional love and affection wouldn’t be so bad either.

Why Kontempo. ?

I choose Kontempo. because I feel it’s my it is a vision of mine that I have had for so long that has evolved into this unique brand that has evolved with me throughout my professional career. It represents my growth as an individual, a business owner, a stylist, and also the amazing relationships I have been able to build both personally and professionally. It embraces and attracts like minded individuals that each bring a unique quality to the #KontempoFamily. I realized surrounding myself with motivated, caring, and creative people while constantly trying to continue my education allows me to have confidence behind the chair and in my ability to share my passion and knowledge with other entrepreneurs and artists in this industry. It is so important to me that not only am I able to share my experiences and knowledge that has allowed me to get to where I am today, but also to continue to learn from those that inspire me to be a better person, business owner, and artist!

What is your absolute favorite place or space?

I would have to say at home lounging {with a full tummy} listening to music, watching a great movie or TV series. I would say that OR in another city, resting in a luxury hotel room {again with a full tummy} with no agenda or alarm clock!

What is ONE industry product you can’t live without?

My fanout texturizing shears. When I won my NAHA award in 2006, I was awarded these shears backstage and I feel like I haven’t put them down ever since! If I had to guess, I would say I use(d) these shears on about 90% of my clients.