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Karyne Tinord posing in her studio

Source: Vonecia Carswell / Vonecia Carswell

In a time where protective styles reign supreme, it pays to have a go-to braid stylist to count on. You get bonus points if you have a braid instructor or specialist on standby. Let’s be honest, some stylists are known for snatching our edges, hopes, and dreams while braiding. Most of us have long wondered if tight braids come with the territory or if there’s a way to score a gorgeous style without the pain. This is where braid instructor and artist Karyne Tinord shines.

Like most of us, Karyne dealt with her share of painful hair braiders. As a result, she took matters into her own hands and started braiding hair as a teenager. Later, she became a well-known braider in NYC known for her soothing technique and growing hands. In fact, Karyne decided to up the ante and became a braid instructor to teach aspiring stylists her techniques via the Better Braid Academy.

Karyne Tinord teaching student Semline Orelien

Source: Vonecia Carswell / otherAlthough Karyne has done exceptionally well in her specialty, the pandemic took a toll on every aspect of her life. After going through trials and tribulations, she decided to turn her pain into powerful creativity. Most people utilize traditional therapy methods to resolve their issues, but Karyne turned to her love of braiding. She instantly decided to fuse her three passions into one: braiding, hair, and fashion. Thus, Kay de Trés, a wearable art brand made of braiding hair, was born.

At HelloBeautiful, it’s not enough to marvel at the talent. We love to get inside the minds of Black creatives. We had the pleasure of speaking with Karyne about her painless braiding technique, her journey with creating wearable art out of braids, and advice for aspiring stylists. Here’s the full scoop.

HB: Why was it so important for you to learn how to braid at such a young age?

KT: It was about independence when I taught myself how to braid my hair. I was 11 years old and going into Junior high school, and I just couldn’t let my mom continue to do the styles she was doing for me while in Elementary. I didn’t want to get picked on.

HB: Talk to us about your Painless Hair Braiding through your school, Better Braid Academy. How has the program influenced braiders?

KT: Since starting Better Braid Academy, I have learned that many of my students have been braiding with the wrong fingers and were finding it difficult to braid without causing pain to themselves and their clients. After having them unlearn their ways and learn the painless way of braiding, they could work faster and easier with more confidence.

HB: Aside from offering painless braiding, you have other courses that include customer service, color theory, precision braiding, and more. As a business owner and entrepreneur, what advice would you give folks looking to follow in your footsteps?

KT: Learning the painless braid technique is essential for a better braider. Understanding the importance and the know-how of customer service, color theory, precise braiding, and even product knowledge allows for the growth of the braider and their clients’ hair.

Karyne Tinord posing in her studio

Source: Dwight Duval / Dwight Duval

HB: You’ve transitioned from braiding clients hair to creating wearable art in 2019. Where do you get inspiration to create your pieces?

KT: Being broken and losing almost everything was the reason behind my AH-HAH moment. I believe God just wanted me alone to whisper the idea to me. While sitting in an empty house, ready to throw all my leftover cheap extensions away, the idea of turning the hair into a bra came to me. I was like, OK, I have nothing else to lose, so I did just that. Five years later, in 2019, I started to pour into the creative idea, and it brought healing and a way for me to focus and release all my frustrations. It pretty much was born out of a dark time for me in 2014, and somehow I found the light.

HB: You currently have 40 pieces available to view at your gallery, Kay de Trés. Do you have future plans to create pieces available for purchase?

KT: As an artist, I was so nervous to sell my pieces. I decided to start creating more affordable pieces that can be purchased, rented, and commissioned. Items can be purchased online on my Kay de Trés website, my Boston partner BOGOSPLIT, and Brooklyn Partner Boutique DA SPOT NYC.

Models posing in Kay de Trés designs

Source: Woodline Dorcin / Woodline Dorcin

HB: Whats next for Kay de Trés?

KT: The next thing for Kay de Tres is to take over the world. I am working on releasing Season 3 of my docu-series Braids in the City, pouring more into my podcast “The Art of Braids,” currently on Spotify, Apple, and iHeartRadio. So, there are so many things in the works, and I can’t wait to share them. I’m truly excited to be one of the first to merge the world of hair, art, and fashion. 

Keep up with braid instructor and artist Karyne Tinord via Instagram.


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