Education & Events

Meet Alex Williams, May Educator of the Month

05.10.2022

Alex Williams has been an educator for six of her ten years as a stylist.

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How’d you get your start in education?

I fell in love with the Alfaparf line as soon as our salon took on the brand. I always knew I wanted to get into teaching, so when I heard they were looking for educators, I knew it was the perfect opportunity.

What’s your favorite product from Alfaparf?

I am obsessed with the Color Wear Gloss Toners. The technology behind them is amazing and they perform so well. They are gentle on hair with no harsh alkalizing agents, so I’m never nervous about stepping away from my chair for a minute and coming back to a disaster. They just work so well while preserving the integrity of hair. Plus they are vegan and leave hair super shiny.

I do a ton of blonding so I also love the BB Bleach Easy Lift—it protects hair while providing up to seven levels of lift. It’s super gentle, so again, I love that I know I can really trust it.

What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?

I am always trying to challenge stylists to be more creative with the tools and skills they have. As stylists, we are artists, so it’s important to keep pushing ourselves creatively and not getting stuck in a sort of factory setting where we’re doing the same things over and over again.

What are the common problems faced by stylists today?

While social media is an excellent tool for stylists, the unrealistic expectations that come from it are challenging; clients come in with a photo not realizing that the look is not something we can do in one sitting, or that it’s just not a realistic option for them.

Fortunately I think a lot of stylists are starting to combat this through clear communication. That is why thorough consultations are so important. You can’t just say “sure” and end up disappointing the client or compromising the integrity of their hair; you have to be really clear with them on what a look takes and whether or not it fits with their lifestyle. I always spend around 30 minutes on a consult, so I make sure the client and I are both on the same page.

What are your educator goals?

I just want to keep teaching as much as I can. I love sharing knowledge and helping stylists to embrace their creativity.

What new skill would you like to learn (hair or non-hair related)?

In the hair industry, there’s always something new to learn, so I am always trying to stay on top of changing techniques and trends, whether it’s for cutting or coloring.

Outside of work, I’d really like to re-learn how to play the piano. I learned as a kid, but haven’t played for many years, so I’d like to pick that up again.

Who’s your biggest mentor?

William Beauregaard (aka. Beau) from Alfaparf. He has been so helpful to me in building my confidence as an educator and mentoring me in general. He is so inspiring to watch—I taught a class with him around a month ago and found myself so inspired that I just wanted to take it all in.

Where do you find your inspiration? (for teaching, for behind the chair, for personal life)

Social media is a great inspirational tool. I love that it can connect you with trends and people around the world. When I have a client coming in that gives me a lot of creative freedom, I will often look through Instagram before their appointment.

I also often find inspiration in nature, like using a sunset to inspire a color palette.

What is the most rewarding part about educating?

Being an educator has so many rewards, it’s hard to choose. One thing that always gets me is when a student comes back to me with the work they did using a technique I showed them. I love to see stylists progress and step outside their comfort zone.

What is your favorite cutting or coloring technique?

I am always a fan of a bold money piece, funky color placements, and all the shaggy looks coming back.
Always a fan of a bold money piece - love the shagginess, layers coming back, funky color placement. I love clients that give me creative freedom. Heavy fringe work.
Color - mixing warms and beiges.

What is a word of advice that you have for new stylists?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help from more seasoned stylists. Sometimes it can seem intimidating, but these stylists have often been practicing their craft for years and are more than willing to share their knowledge. Don’t ever think there is something wrong with asking for advice—it doesn’t mean you don’t know what you’re doing; it means you want to progress.

Any advice for seasoned stylists?

Along the same lines, seasoned stylists should never be afraid to ask newer stylists for help. Our industry is constantly changing and what many new stylists learn in school, more seasoned stylists have to pick up in the salon. That’s what’s awesome about our industry—we can all help each other.

How do you like to spend your days off? (hobbies/interests)

When I have days off, I usually spend them outside hiking, ATV-ing, or just hanging out in the Wisconsin northwoods. I also love cuddling with my cats, Nora and Demi.

Favorite pick-me-up in the middle of a busy salon day? (snack, coffee, music, meditation, etc.)

Right now, it’s tacos and Mexican food. It’s honestly kind of a problem. Apart from that, I always try to keep a protein bar and an orange on me for a snack.

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