Kirsten Patterson may be one of Dallas’ most chic hairstylists, but she wasn’t always keen on the area she now calls home. The 29-year-old moved to Frisco in 2000 from the coastal city of Durban, South Africa, just in time for high school.

The cross-hemisphere move wasn’t easy. Her tomboy tendencies didn’t exactly mirror those of her new peers. “I came from the beach,” she says in her part-South African, part-Texan accent, “and in Dallas all the girls were wearing Clinique makeup and had on Tommy Hilfiger stuff.”

Patterson lived in Spain for six months after high school. But she couldn’t leave Dallas behind. Her mother encouraged her to come back to North Texas to try her hand at hairdressing. After graduating from the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy in Carrollton, Patterson worked at Osgood O’Neil for seven years before moving to the Uptown salon Halo. She got an agent then, too, to help with booking editorial fashion shoots and building her portfolio. 

Eventually her busy schedule got the best of her, and Patterson took a yearlong break. It was then that she met her husband, who reminded her how passionate she was about hairstyling. Patterson went back to work, this time at Larc Salon, where she’s been for three years. She no longer has an agent but continues to thrive in the editorial world, styling hair for PaperCity and other local blogs and magazines.

“I think your hair is the best accessory you have,” she says.

When it comes to her own look, Patterson ranks comfort above most everything. “I wear a lot of neutral and dark colors and unisex clothes. I don’t wear a lot of patterns or any shiny bling. But I love rust-textured jewelry, and my hair is usually very undone-looking. I like minimal and geometric. Honestly, the way that clothes fit is the most important thing.”

Finding the right fit is a mantra that extends from her style to her clients. “I really believe in authenticity and being genuine,” Patterson says. “I want to have a connection in order to have a relationship with them.”

She knows that Dallas has made those connections possible.