We are BIG fans of Sam Villa! Speak with him for even just a moment and you will be overwhelmed by his insight and true passion for what he does. Not to mention, how tuned-in he is to the evolutions within our industry. Sam embodies all the characteristics you hope for in someone as accomplished and influential as he is. We were honored to be able to pick Sam's brain a bit about his career and his plans to continue improving a changing industry.

What initially attracted you to Redken? How did you know that they were the perfect fit for you?
I was at a time in my career when I felt I needed to be working with a company that was education focused, not only to the hairdressers who used their product but also focused on growing their in-house educators in facilitation skills. I knew they were a perfect fit when Redken provided the facilitation resources to understand it’s not about me, it’s about the learner. Redken has made me who I am today as a facilitator. As a teacher, I must never cease to learn and I am still learning. I am very grateful for the opportunities this industry has afforded me.

How do you feel that the prevalence of digital has affected the industry? What opportunities has this accessibility provided us, especially with education?
We have come so very far! Digital education is the key now, as there are many stylists who do not have the time to travel over a weekend to attend an educational show. Not to mention, the stylists who simply cannot afford to travel to a show! Digital education offers the stylist the ability to learn at their own pace, anywhere! No travel, no expensive ticket fees, no time away from the chair. The reality may prove lower show attendance in the long run. The stylist will be hungry for more easily accessible education which means companies will need to produce more education focused platforms.

How does social media and an online presence play a role in a brands success?
The obvious answer is that IT’S HUGE! The last five years have really made an impact enabling us to reach a vast variety of people from all over the world. There are no limits to promoting tools and education. Posting several times per day keeps us present to our followers, they look forward to our posts and e-blasts. Consistency and frequency is key to keep them coming back for more and more.

Hair: Sam Villa Creative Team, Art Direction: Geneva Cowen and Pascal Sauvageau, Photography: Shalem Mathew, Makeup: Marie Laure Larrieu and Joelle Boucher, Stylist: Jeremie Cote


What is your favorite aspect of being in the industry?
The never-ending learning – there is so much going on around us with so much talent out there to inspire us with incredible creativity! I love to teach, it is my life’s work to pass on what I have learned in hope others will pass on to others – everyone has the ability to be successful! Zig Ziglar said it best – "You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want."

Who has influenced you the most in your career?
Anthony Mascolo has influenced me the most. I followed him when I was young and he was 17. I remember seeing him for the first time and was totally blown away - he got my attention and opened my eyes to see hair totally different. I admire the entire family and what they have done for this industry. Their shows, education, and ad images all have played a role in my understanding how important education and developing your eyes and hands are to create your taste.

Hair: Sam Villa Creative Team, Art Direction: Geneva Cowen and Pascal Sauvageau, Photography: Shalem Mathew, Makeup: Marie Laure Larrieu and Joelle Boucher, Stylist: Jeremie Cote


Who are some of the young talent that’s really caught your attention?
Let’s talk on the education side first… On the Education side, hands down, I will boast about Andrew Carruthers, my Director of Education for the Sam Villa brand. Andrew is an accomplished artist and educator, his devotion to teaching is evident as his goal is for stylists to ‘get it’ … his content directly relates to and is immediately applicable to stylists working behind the chair everyday…he is a natural! His passion is artistry and education – we have very similar philosophies on teaching and we compliment each other perfectly!

On the young side….Jorge Joao is an up and coming Session Stylist who is definitely one to watch… a talented Redken Artist from Canada who I believe is a hidden secret in this industry - Jorge has the potential to explode. Young, humble and extremely grounded, Jorge has accomplished a lot since he began cutting his friends’ hair is his parents’ garage. Jorge is one to watch, for sure!

Throughout your time in the industry, what is the innovation (or evolution) that you are most excited about?
I am most excited about how the digital world evolves into a great tool for the industry. As stated earlier, digital education offers the stylist to learn at their own pace, anywhere! This adds value to the stylist who cannot afford to leave the chair for 3-4 days. They can watch over and over, refer back to and take what they learn immediately out to the salon floor and apply it – it’s magical!

What should we keep our eyes out for this year from the Sam Villa brand?
We will continue to develop education to keep stylists informed and help them succeed. We will also continue to and bring forth tools to help the stylist work smarter and healthier, tools that feel good in our hands and perform. We are also sharing VALUE as today’s consumer is looking for ease with nonchalance being the new luxury.

We will be teaching how to create today’s looks by thinking, saying and doing differently. Haircuts that can be transformed into multiple identities through creative cutting and styling techniques are valuable to our guests – and teaching them HOW to transform the cuts we give them into other looks will keep them not only very happy but loyal, we become the point of difference in what we can offer vs. the stylist who keeps doing the same thing over and over.

Hair: Sam Villa Creative Team, Art Direction: Geneva Cowen and Pascal Sauvageau, Photography: Shalem Mathew, Makeup: Marie Laure Larrieu and Joelle Boucher, Stylist: Jeremie Cote


What tips do you have for consumers looking to replicate the trends they are seeing on runways at home?
Study the magazines, tear out pages, post them on a flip chart and hang them on your wall. Study some more then get out a mannequin and play! The images will inspire you to put your own spin on the looks and be able to recreate them as sellable looks for the salon. Our guests are very educated, they browse as well as read high fashion magazines and watch the trends – they want variations of the runway dos!

Are there any themes or ideas you’d like to explore in future collections?
I want to get more into various textures of hair and discover how each texture responds to various ideas and techniques.

What advice do you have for stylists aspiring to become platform artists or even launch their own brand?
Keep an open mind and learn everything you can. I remember I went to every education event I could attend. Name the academy and, as a young hairdresser, I was an attendee. Sometimes, I would attend an educational event and walk away learning what not to do or say. Little did I know that all this knowledge would come to great use someday. As a platform artist, surround yourself with the right people and represent the brand with a professional attitude, putting the learners first.

What mark would you like to leave on the industry to be passed down to future generations of stylists?
That Sam Villa was a hairdresser for hairdressers who strived to make other better hairdressers as a teacher.


Be sure to Stalk Sam Villa on Bangstyle to see more gorgeous collections from him and his team.