By Carlee Edwards

From Lawrence KS, to Overland Park, KS, and now in Lee’s Summit the Z Hair Academy is now open to customers by appointment or walk-in. The Z Hair Academy, located off 291 North, opened for students this past spring on April, 8th and after 12 weeks of class studying theory and skill building in hair, skin, and nails, the students begin to develop their skills in a salon setting while being supervised by an educator.

Ron and Judi Mckenzie, owners and educators at Z Hair Academy, have spent years in the hairdressing business as well as being cosmetology educators in community colleges and privet academies in several states.

“We’ve literally traveled halfway around the world hairdressing,” Ron Mckenzie said.

Their journey to create their award-winning academy began in Lawrence KS where, after growing tired with inadequate cosmetology schools they decided to start their own.

“Once we decide on something,” Judi Mckenzie said, “There’s no messing around.”

They began the process in July 2004 and the academy opened October 2004. From there the academy grew in both popularity and prestige, becoming a school with a mission to provide quality education that includes training in both technical skills and the business techniques necessary to prepare graduates for a promising career.

“Our very first day we were on the floor working on mannequins,” student Siera Regragey said.

“It’s been a lot more hands on than I thought it would be,” student Caitlyn Stuck added.

Voted the best salon by KU students and Lawrence Journal World Top of the Hill from 2005-2011, the demand on the academy increased and a new location was opened in Overland Park, KS and in April of this year the third location was opened right here in Lee’s Summit.

The first class of students has made it through the 12 week theory phase of the program and the salon is now open to customers to help the students in their skill building under the supervision of their educators.

“We give our students a more personalized education,” Judi Mckenzie said. “The students don’t get lost in a sea of people like they might at another school.”

“Every student gets one on one time with an educator,” Ron Mckenzie added. “I spend at least three or four hours a day at every academy location.”

Along with training in hair, skin and nails, students are also taught business techniques that will help them after graduation. Z Hair Academy strives to give their students and education that will allow them to graduate with all the skills they’ll need not in hairdressing, but in running a business and building clientele as well. Motivation classes, business classes and salon classes give the students everything they’ll need to immediately start a strong career as soon as they graduate.

“You never think that school would be something to look forward to,” student Siera Regragey stated. “It’s an honor to learn here cause it’s the best.”

A 1,500 dollar scholarship is also offered to students who meet the requirements. To get the scholarship students have to maintain a 95% attendance and 90% GPA. Students have to submit two letters of recommendation and have eight hours of salon shadowing as well. This gives the students motivation to work hard and be the best.

“We teach them how to be responsible,” Ron Mckenzie explained. “Teach them to be on time and attend regularly.”

Z Hair Academy strives to be an asset to their community but giving to charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization that seeks to honor and empower wounded warriors, and Susan G. Komen which is a foundation that raises money for breast cancer research. They also network with local salons and try to support other local businesses.

“We are a family owned business that is all about training individuals to build strong careers, making people happy and giving back,” Judi Mckenzie said.

Z Hair Academy classes start every six weeks and information is offered in their Lee’s Summit location at 561 SE Melody, Lane just off of 291 North, and the salon is open to walk-ins or appointments can be made over the phone with the number 816-347-1840. The coupon available on this page offers $10.00 off any service $45.00 or more! Check out their website at