Stylesbyzeno has done the work to earn his title. Even still, he continues to reacquaint and refine the skills that set him apart.
When Charles Zeno returned to Atlanta, Georgia, a city he had already grown to love, he set out on a stylish rampage to make a name for himself and his brand.
“I lived in Atlanta before and I really enjoyed it. But I hadn’t really begun to build a career, so I moved back home and went to cosmetology school,” says Zeno. “But after I worked for a few Regis salons, where I really focused on my skill set and product knowledge, I felt like the time had come to go [back]. I wanted to be a celebrity stylist for A-list celebs. I wanted to be a trendsetter and a television and film hair stylist, and I knew Atlanta was the ticket.”
Stylesbyzeno began as Zeno the Shear Stylist. Zeno clearly set himself apart when he arrived and quickly began working in the right circles to achieve his goals.
“I started working for a local celebrity stylist as soon as I arrived in Atlanta. It was instant for me. I chose the salon based on the fact that everybody looked like they were in a Hype Williams video. All of the stylists were sharply dressed in white, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
Rise to the top
Zeno’s ascent in the field is glittered by not-so-humble beginnings. His first celebrity job was part of an Atlanta-based play called “A Gift Of Love.” The cast boasted Q Parker of R&B singing group 112, Lil G of R&B act Silk, and the incomparable Ruby Dee. Zeno then really fell into his practice, working on high fashion shoots for the likes of Steve Harvey and avant-garde editorial shoots for acclaimed photographers, such as John Glenn, Leo Marshall, Shoni, and Drexina Nelson.
An artist now coming into his own, Zeno does not take his creativity and inspiration for granted.
“In the beginning I styled by taking direction. As I got better and more confident, I started listening to the hair gods. I know it sounds funny but there’s an energy that we as stylists tap into, I believe.”
Zeno discusses his work— his art— in a way that connotes his knowledge is ever-growing. This seems to not only keep him honest and fresh, but also places him ahead of the competition.
“I started working for a natural hair care salon. There I found purpose, learned structure, precision, time management, style, chemistry. It’s really a science… I love it. I consider myself a sponge of knowledge and I’m always open to new information and am willing to learn.”
Finding balance in flexibility and self-assuredness
In a field where it is easy to find an open window and stay there, Zeno continues to grow, seeking out the opportunity to create diversity, to be the diversity.
“I’m a master cosmetologist. And I wanted my license to match my skill level. So I became transparent and put myself in positions of diversity. Sometimes I was the only Black male in a salon of all Caucasian stylists and clientele.”
That ability to adapt has paid off for Zeno and his clients alike. Working in different environments with an ever-sharpening set of tools at his disposal, Zeno uses all of this experience to his advantage.
“I’m currently working on a set that requires many different skills sets: pageant hair, period hair, avant-garde hair. I’m not at liberty to tell you what sets. But my IMDb page will be updated very soon.”
With that nod toward his future, we invite you to take style notes from Charles Zeno. He has done the work and stays inspired. Looking ahead, the brightly burning star dishes on new looks to expect from next season.
“My favorite looks are in fact classics. The classic bob never goes out of style. Natural textured looks are taking over the African American community. And the shag is back, baby! With a new added touch, a shaggy bang will be the look through fall with the ever popular high & low lights; but keep on the lookout for more hand-painted color for a more customized look.”
Keep your own timeline fresh by following Stylesbyzeno at the links below:
Facebook: Charles Zeno