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Meet Lana DuVal, Featured Educator for July

07.01.2020

Lana DuVal, Educational Manager at Milbon Haircare USA, has a way with people and words, and was born to be an educator and hairstylist. For that reason, we’ve chosen her as Premier Beauty’s Featured Educator for July!

What have you learned during the coronavirus shutdown?

I’ve learned more about myself but my family as well. I travel three to three and a half weeks per month. Once you’re stationary, it’s a completely different view.

It opened our minds that education can come in many forms. It also allowed us to get closer to great artists who have time. We’re all just regular people—that humbled our industry a little bit. I definitely feel like we’re all learning something, and we are all going through this.

At first, people were like, “Yup, it’s going to be all virtual education” I was one of those people. I know what I’m good at. I’m good in person. I thought education was going to look completely different.

I’m pleasantly surprised that that’s not the case. We’re a people industry. I’m noticing that owners are like, “No, we’ll be totally fine. We really want you to come in.” I’m happy in that sense because I feel like that is our industry.

Where do you see the beauty industry going?

Education is going to be even more powerful. I think what’s really going to happen is a great mixture of both. We’re going to offer amazing in-salon training, but we’re also going to have more content to put on Facebook and Instagram.

Salon owners are working together now. Before, it was competitive. I love seeing that. We’re not all necessarily competition, and it was good to see groups being formed during this time.

How did the shutdowns change your relationship with customers?

All of a sudden, I was having more conversations with the owner. All of these owners are running on fumes. They’ve been up crying, worried about their business. They’re exhausted. My education started to go down a different road. Sometimes, I’m offering business help, and sometimes I’m offering support. I’m seeing a range of different stories:

• Salons have been focused on how to keep clients comfortable and safe.
• Salons are talking about cutting certain services they’ve been unable to do and what they’re going to do in those services’ place.
• A few accounts are closing and selling.
• A few stylists are opening up suites and starting up their own space because salons are spacing out stylists’ schedules.

What do you say to a burned-out salon owner?

It’s not going to be like this forever. We’ve got to think about tomorrow. What moves can you make? What changes can you make? I try to hear how the process is going from open salons. We need to hear the bad stuff—that’s how we learn.

What do you love about Milbon?

It’s not just great products, everyone is so friendly, and it’s a family-like atmosphere. I think that’s important.

When the protests first started, Milbon started to ask myself and Chris (an African American man), how we were feeling. They wanted to make sure we were OK, and they wanted to know our point of view.

I felt like nobody ever asked me that before. As a black woman and black educator that goes into caucasian salons, it was touching to see that they cared.

I really feel like this movement feels different than any other movement. The entire country wants to treat people equally. I’m very proud to work for a company that wants to stand up and say that.

That goes back to when I was hired by Milbon. I knew first and foremost. They hire talent. That’s what I wanted them to see—that I’ve been trained and I have talent. I have to keep going back to my upbringing. My mother is Black and had always had multicultural salons. Her clientele was the most diverse clientele. I learned how to do hair, period—all textures. And that’s my talent.

It’s been the best four years professionally, and I feel good about the future, and Milbon’s future with Premier. I’ve had a great career and don’t feel it slowing down.

How’d you get your start?

I grew up in the industry. Actually, I was 45 minutes away from being born at the shampoo bowl. My mom had three clients and she was trying to finish up her last one and they said, “You’ve gotta go, you’re gonna have your baby.” I was 9 years old when I started working with my mom. I have a true love for the beauty industry.

Thank you, Lana, for taking the time to talk with us. We truly appreciate learning from your perspective on the hair industry. Log in and register to shop Milbon at Premier Beauty.

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