• KAPA Magazine

“Life is more beautiful when you meet the right hairdresser.” Peter Coppola

Updated: Jun 13

Welcome to KAPA’s Industry Professional segment, where we highlight a hard working, local professional who just happens to be making things happen, not only for our performing artists but for all locals here in the 808 state.

They say....A good stylist is cheaper than a good therapist....

This round we will highlight one of KAPA’s favorites, Shawn R, a local hair stylist that works out of the Paul Brown studios at Ward Center!



Shawn started apprenticing with Paul Brown at the Paul Brown studios in 1989. He has had an interest in hair design and styling since he was just 17 years old. This is his second round at Paul Brown studios and has been there for ten years this time around. Shawn was freelancing out of Marys prior to working with Paul.

Much loved by his regulars and well known in the 808 state styling community, Shawn has styled for fashion shows, photoshoots, headshots and of course is always available for a regular hair wash and cut over at his chair in the Paul Brown Salon.


“I have got to meet some really amazing people because of my job. I’ve styled some people who have become very close friends and come to know others who have provided me with wonderful opportunities. I'm always grateful for those moments.” Shawn told us whilst on location of an 'in studio' photoshoot KAPA had booked him for.


We asked Shawn what was popular at the moment with his younger clients and he was full of

very interesting information. He has been watching hair trends and styles come and go in the islands for decades and of course is privy to all the popular new styles, as well as the classic haircuts that we have been loving here in the islands all this time. He told us that the iconic stylings from the 70’s are very much back and with a passion. The wavy, soft and beachy bohemian free flowing look has been most requested a lot more of late in his salon.


“I have noticed, especially when I first came here from Utah that Hawaii was always doing it's own thing as far as trends or styles go. We often were a season or two behind, but nowadays that's not necessarily the case. We have caught up with the styles of the mainland and even Italy and other places of style. Hawaii is becoming more chic, but in it's own way.”


It has always been important to Shawn that his clients feel comfortable and confident all the while, making new strides and taking on new looks. There is nothing like a fresh haircut or a new dress to lift your spirits, and it's so important, especially these days to move with confidence and happiness throughout our day to day lives. As Hawaii grows, Shawn reminded us at KAPA that we have to move at the pace of our clients, between the daring and new and feeling exposed and uncomfortable is a fine line we must tread on lightly. His clients satisfaction is number one, though this won’t stop him from checking in on new looks or styles one may want to try. For example, many Polynesians and other curly haired folks have been requesting a return to a natural curly look. There are alot more one can do with crazy beautiful curly hair and those looks are being explored in Shawn’s salon chair.

Shawn has been taking on these new looks with joy and excitement as a lover of the natural and ambitious. He loves working with natural textures in ones hair and loves to bring out the raw beauty ones hair can highlight and frame.


“The salon is my heart,

Hawaii is my heart.

I love my clients and the culture I get to style and design everyday.


I also however, love working on projects outside of the salon. There I get to meet new people who could offer new opportunities to help me grow both socially and with my work. It can be very inspirational to be on location, and see models being photographed right here in front of me.” told Shawn. He finds inspiration everywhere in the Aina. The sunsets and even rain clouds inspire color. A’a and pahoehoe lava rock inspire texture or layers. The beauty of Hawaii has kept Shawn busy and in touch with his values, or helping his clients and Hawaii to shine and be the best it can be.

He also tracks on some social media platforms for crazy out of the box ideas being done around the world, for him to apply and make work here for his clients in Hawaii. He also finds inspiration in historical hair stylings all the way back to the roaring 1920’s.

While he spoke about the importance of staying relevant and utilizing social media, digital distraction has spread along with the growing influence of social media and technology. He was quite clear about staying grounded in ones truth, culture and the natural organic parts of life. Technology isn't everything.

“My mission is to learn as much as I can and to be as happy as I can, and then to spread what love and knowledge I have to all of those around me...Community is very important... I know Hawaii will stay true to its roots and values. It's so exciting to see this new generation take up their Hawaiian identity and have pride in their culture and feel beautiful in their natural skin with their natural hair. Hawaii has exposed me to many different kinds of cultures, and I can't wait to see them get stronger, together.”


Shawn, Kapa, would like to give you big HUGS and Happy Birthday wishes. Thank you for keeping KAPA models happy and beautiful!!!

KAPA loves you ------