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Meet Alex Williams, our Featured Educator for July 2021!


Alex Williams, Master Artisan with Alfaparf Milano, is our Featured Educator for July!

How’d you get your start in education?

I knew in cosmetology school that I wanted to be an educator. Once I started working behind the chair, I fell in love with Alfaparf products and realized I wanted to do color education, so I went through their audition process, and now I can’t imagine doing anything else.

What’s your favorite product from your brand?

I might be a little biased, but I love all the Alfaparf color products. I can really be confident that when I’m using them, they will not only do what they promise, but they will also maintain the integrity of the hair, which is critical when you’re doing any kind of color treatment. I do a lot of bleach work, and the BB Bleaches are my go-to bleaching products.

I am obsessed with the Semi Di Lino line of hair care products—they have something for everyone and protect from the sun while maintaining color and shine. I personally use the Semi Di Lino Curls products and absolutely love them.

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

Anytime I’m teaching, especially now with things being more virtual, I try to be relatable; I never want anyone to feel like I don’t work behind the chair and understand what they’re going through. I want them to take away tips and techniques they can really use in their daily work.

I also just try to make it fun. Education sometimes has a stigma of being boring, but that’s so not true; you can have a good time and learn something too.

What are the common problems faced by stylists today?

So many stylists, especially after the past year or two, struggle to recognize and charge for their worth. They end up giving clients a deal on big transformations or underselling their work because they’re not confident in their value.

Stylists need to understand that they went to school for this. We’re doing chemistry when we do colorwork, and that’s not something to take lightly. Especially when you get into specializing in color corrections and major transformations, you have to know your worth and not be afraid to charge for it.

There’s a significant mental aspect to it. If you’re not confident, take classes to boost your confidence or find a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We all start somewhere. I always like to give out my Instagram and email address at the end of a class to continue to provide support if stylists need it.

It’s also important to convey the value of the work you’re doing during a consultation. Help clients understand that there’s a lot of work behind those before-and-after photos on Instagram, and you can’t always do it in one sitting.

What do you want stylists to know about education?

I want stylists to know that education shouldn’t feel like a chore. Education fuels us and keeps us going, whether we’ve been in the industry for two years or 20. And the more education and skills you have, the more you can do behind the chair and the more creative freedom that gives you.

What are your educator goals?

A few years ago, my goal was to become a Master Artisan. Now that I’ve achieved that, I just want to continue to spread education to stylists and help them enjoy what they do and enjoy the education process.

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

Outside of hair, I want to become a gardener. This year I started with some herbs, and so far, I’ve kept them all alive!

I want to get better with social media in my professional life—posting more and just doing a better job at creating an online presence.

Who’s your biggest mentor?

Molly, the salon owner I work at, is The Public Salon & Shop in downtown Arlington Heights, Illinois. I’ve been working with her since before I even got into this industry. I was working at the salon as a Makeup Artist and going to art school. She encouraged me to go to cosmetology school and has continued to mentor me. She’s taught me everything I know, and I wouldn’t be the stylist I am today without her.

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

Inspiration is everywhere and in everyone. Watching others around me do great work inspires me, as does listening to clients talk about something they’re passionate about, seeing my family—there’s no one specific source. It really reaffirms that I love what I do.

What is the most rewarding part about educating?

I love hearing that someone enjoyed my class and learned a lot. It’s great to be able to inspire someone to be better.

What is your favorite cutting or coloring technique?

I’ve been loving the shags and layered cuts; they’re fun, and they challenge your brain a little bit. Of course, I love any sort of colorwork too—balayage, reverse balayage, vivids—it’s all art, and I thrive on doing anything where I can be creative or see a transformation.

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

Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it, and keep learning as much as you can. Don’t let things intimidate you when you first start out—just find what you love and focus on that.

Any advice for seasoned stylists?

Trends are always changing, and there’s always something new to learn, so never allow yourself to think you’ve done it all. And be on the lookout for young stylists that need a mentor—they might be afraid to ask!

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

I am really big into anything outdoors. I do lots of hiking, camping, and fishing. I also love spending time with family, playing Chess, and hanging out with my cats, Nora and Demi.

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

I’m a big snacker, and I always have charcuterie on hand to get me through the day!

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