Tommy Rizo, hairstylist at Cost Cutters, beat all other Greeley hairstylists in a category that got the most votes and the most nominated entrants at 67, to be Greeley’s top hairstylist of this year.
Rizo started styling his hair in high school, but he knew from an early age how much he loved the hair. He started using color boxes from Walmart and leaves from his grandmother’s kitchen to experiment with dyeing his friends’ hair.
After graduating from Northridge High School, Rizo says he didn’t do much with the hair. Four years ago, her grandfather was diagnosed with throat cancer. Rizo started caring for his grandfather full time. During this period, he began to style his hair again.
âIt was just something I would do next to. My grandfather saw my friends coming and he said to me: âYour girlfriends, when they come, they look scary,â laughs Rizo. âI told him, ‘You can’t say that about my friends. ‘He said, “They look scary when they come and when they leave you make them so beautiful.”
“He always told me that I was blessed and that my hair is part of who I am.”
Rizo ended up caring for his grandfather for four years, during which his grandfather constantly asked him why he was not following his dream and his passion for hairdressing.
âWhen I think about it now, back then, he wanted it more for me than myself,â Rizo says. âI didn’t believe I could go back to school and do whatever I wanted to do.
A routine operation to change a feeding tube at the hospital resulted in the death of her grandfather.
âFor three months after his death, I had no sense of direction. No drive, âsays Rizo. âThree months passed and one day I woke up and everything came to me. I knew what to do.
Rizo enrolled and was accepted into the IBMC Cosmetology program. With his grandfather’s voice behind his back as motivation and motivation, Rizo completed the two-year program in 14 months.
“Whenever I didn’t think I could do it, I would remember a verse from the Bible that my grandfather would read to us that basically said, ‘Call me and I’ll answer’.”
Straight out of school, Rizo was able to travel to New York and Philadelphia to work with amazing stylists and salons, including MOB Salon. The salon owner had seen his work on social media during school and paid Rizo and her husband for a six-month internship. With the ambition to become a celebrity hairstylist who traveled the world, Rizo curtailed her dreams of integrating her husband and their two children.
He’s been with Cost Cutters for three years and says he loves waking up and working with his clients, including former Miss Rodeo Colorado.
Rizo continues to work to build his customer base and his brand, Slay’d by TJ. TJ stands for Tommy Jr. He also gives back to the community in the best way he knows how: through haircuts. Twice a year, he gives free haircuts to children of single parents who receive any kind of help.
âIt doesn’t matter if they have one or 10 kids, they all get a free haircut,â he says. âI usually do it right before school and during the Christmas holidays. I do One day, an aid in Island Grove. I like to give back. Someone may be homeless and not have the best clothes, but if they have a good haircut and know they are good looking, they will feel great.
Rizo says he’s built an incredible relationship with the staff he works with and never wanted to be a stylist who bounces from salon to salon.
âWhen I commit, I commit. ”
But he aspires to one day own his own salon.
âI do what I do because of my grandfather,â says Rizo. âThere are days when I don’t feel like getting up and doing my hair and I’m like, ‘This is who I am. I am a barber.’ This is what God has blessed me with, the ability to make people beautiful and beautiful. I owe my grandfather a lot of credit. He always pushed me and told me to be who I was.
To make an appointment with Rizo, call Bittersweet Cost Cutters at (970) 353-0770.