Hotheads Regional Educator Dana Gones-Sillar, is most inspired when she’s learning, and that’s why we’ve chosen her as our Featured Educator for September!
, Regional Educator for Hotheads, is our September Educator of the Month!
How’d you get your start in education?
I had already been working with extensions for around 12 years. I met with Premier at a big beauty show and fell in love with their mission and product. It was an instant match.
What’s your favorite product from Hotheads?
As far as tools go, I love the Essentials Extension Brush
—I even sell it to my clients without extensions. It does an excellent job of pulling natural oils from the scalp and distributing them through the hair ends. It leaves hair smooth and shiny.
My favorite product is the Hydrate Deep Conditioning Masque
. Extensions need a little extra help with moisture because they aren’t actually attached to the scalp. The masque provides that hydration without leaving hair looking greasy.
What's the newest, freshest approach you're bringing to education?
Extensions require a hands-on learning experience, and the pandemic really challenged that. I’ve had to adapt how I teach to give students the best experience over Zoom. I’ve focused on perfecting the lighting so students can really see what I’m doing or using black thread in blonde hair when I’m sewing to provide that contrast.
What are the common problems faced by stylists today?
Unrealistic expectations. Everyone is on Instagram and Pinterest looking at these results that took eight hours or months to complete. They expect to just be able to walk into the salon and get those results instantly.
As a stylist, you have to have an honest conversation about the realities of a look—the amount of time it will take, the upkeep, the cost, etc. Extensions are a great tool in these instances as well because you can instantly achieve a look with way less time, money, and upkeep. Many people think extensions are just for long hair, but they are for everyone; you can use them to achieve a balayage look or get the right density and perimeter in a cut.
What do you want stylists to know about education?
My motto is “always a student.” It sounds corny, but it’s so true. You will never know it all.
What are your educator goals?
I would love to continue with Hotheads and eventually become part of their national traveling education team.
What new skill would you like to learn (hair or non-hair related)?
I’d really like to get into yoga!
Who’s your biggest mentor?
My dad. He has taught me so many of the life lessons that have carried through to my career. From getting up early, arriving ahead of time to how to treat people, he has taught me so many things that I use every day as a stylist.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am most inspired when I’m learning. I love educating, but I love learning even more. Even when you feel like you’re in a rut, taking a class can help to make you feel inspired and refreshed again.
What is the most rewarding part about educating?
I get so much gratification from watching others learn. I love to inspire students and see them have that aha moment. I also learn so much from my students as well, and that is very rewarding.
What is your favorite cutting or coloring technique?
I am obsessed with all things blonding! As far as cutting, I love to do free-style texturizing. It comes into play a lot when working with extensions and blending them into the hair.
What is a word of advice that you have for new stylists?
Stay out of the break room! Don’t fall into negative habits of sitting around gossiping in the break room; that negativity can rub off on you. Take out a mannequin and practice, or try to learn something new. An object in motion stays in motion, and I wholeheartedly believe that’s true of stylists; keep moving and stay positive!
Any advice for seasoned stylists?
Seasoned stylists are always on the go, and we often forget about self-care. So don’t be afraid to take a minute to sit or get a drink of water. Your work is best when you’re at your best, and you deserve that time.
How do you like to spend your days off?
I spend my days off with my family. I have a one-year-old little girl named London and a four-year-old boy named Lincoln. Between them and my husband Luke, I am obsessed. I almost feel guilty for how blessed I am with this family.
Favorite pick-me-up in the middle of a busy salon day?
Coffee and my co-workers! I work with a great team, and we make each other laugh. If I’m having a bad day, they know how to cheer me up. We all do a good job of keeping each other feeling good.