Kim Berry had just done Prince’s hair at this salon in Rome when he shot photos of the paparazzi shooting photos of him.

Kim Berry is the personal hair stylist to Prince and other mega stars, but she was ambivalent at best about following a career in hair when she signed on the dotted line for a beauty school in the Crenshaw district of Los Angeles 25 years ago.
What was the real reason she was in classes to become a stylist? Her mom had given her an ultimatum: go to school, go to work, but “you can’t lounge around the house.”
Well, fortune had bigger plans for Berry. After telling her beauty school instructors for nearly a year that she was only in class because her mom insisted, she won first place out of 200 students from throughout California in a two-day hair styling competition. She went with a pixie at a time when “no one was wearing short hair,” long glamorous gloves, big gems and locks colored like the fur of a cheetah. That victory convinced her that, perhaps, there was more to her ‘chosen’ path than she’d imagined. You can meet Berry and hear all the details at the Phenix Family Reunion, June 1-3, at the Paris Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
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Berry went on to work for her stylist sister in-law, then built her own clientele in a commission salon before renting her first booth. Then came what she now calls the “holy hookup.” She was friends with a bodyguard for Prince. Through him, she became friends with Prince’s stylist. Whenever the entourage arrived in L.A., they’d call Berry to join the party.
More than a great time to party, this was a place to learn. “I started studying her table. Whatever was on it, I read it, I started buying what she had,” said Berry. After all, this was the personal hairstylist to one of the greatest performers of the generation.  Then, Prince’s stylist left. “I’d studied everything she had, I duplicated it, so when she left, I was ready. My kit was already built.”
Berry recalled walking into a club after Prince returned to L.A., having just learned that he needed a new stylist. “I was waiting for him. I met him at the club, put the portfolio on the table.”
Not long after that, she got a call. “Can you travel? … the plane leaves in an hour. We’re sending a car to pick you up.” All the way to LAX, she was screaming with excitement. She was in Minneapolis for Christmas, Miami, then New York, Atlanta and back to Los Angeles.
That was about the time that Prince did “Purple Rain.” Said Berry, “I ended up travelling the world with the  artist for 25 years … he became my brother and my friend.” One thing leads to another and Berry has in that time done hair for other stars. She recently added Singer Joy Villa to the cast of her salon. Villa made a big splash at the Grammys with her orange plastic fence dress. Berry did Villa’s hair for the red carpet appearance and follow-up interview.
Where did it all begin? Maybe at that beauty school in the Crenshaw District but Berry recalled a lesson echoed by her father: “success is when preparedness meets opportunity.” That and the ultimatum from her mom that pushed her out the door and on to success.