About the Artist…
Alyssa works at Stylin’ Salon in Norwalk, Connecticut, and in just 5 years she has taken the hair colour world by storm! She has had her creations featured on Behind the Chair and Modern Salon, and is most known for her Lisa Frank and Galaxy inspired hair designs. Today Alyssa shares her story with us…
Here is our Q & A with Alyssa Wiener:
How did you come to be a rainbow hair specialist? When did you first realise you had passion for it?
I went to a private Jewish school from the time I was 3 until I was 13. During 7th and 8th grade was when I really began learning how to express myself, thanks to my sister who’s 8 years older than I am. She was “goth” at the time. I borrowed her punky clothes and I started colouring the tips of my hair black after my Bat Mitzvah. It soon after became my whole head. This turned into me coming home from my first few days of public high school with bright orange hair – thanks to Electric Lava by Manic Panic. In a few short months I went pink, blue, rainbow, you name it. I completely chemically cut my hair from lightening it every other week and met the hairstylist who asked, “have you ever thought about being a cosmetologist?” This was when I was 15 and nothing else made sense after that. I set my goals on beginning cosmetology school right after I graduated high school.
What do you do when you aren’t colouring/creating?
I have a huge anxiety disorder so it’s really important to me to try and keep my personal and work life separated. I have a boyfriend of soon to be 7 years who’s the coolest 4th grade teacher ever; we attend a lot of concerts together, we like to hike, we like to explore! I really enjoy baking. I used to have hopes of opening up my own salon/bakery (although I don’t think health codes would ever let me do so!) I also study a lot of colour theory through other outlets such as interior design, which is another passion of mine thanks to my late grandmother. She had such an eye for colour which is where I think I inherit it from. I practice some makeup as well, although I don’t think that’s something I’d ever do professionally, more of just something fun for myself.
Currently, what’s your favourite rainbow hair trend to try on customers?
I really like to do everything and I’m truly honored so many clients and friends walk around with my art on their head. “I trust you” are my three favorite words. I like the bright and the bold. I enjoy doing colour stories that you don’t necessarily see together often – like orange with pops of blue and purple, for example. I’m not a huge fan of pastels solely because I like to let my creations live for a while without fading immensely after one or two shampoos.
If you could colour anyones hair who would it be?
I would LOVE to do Jeffree Star‘s hair. I’ve loved him for the past 10 years and think he’s such an interesting person. So Jeffree, let me know what’s good.
What do you think is the most rewarding part of being a colourist?
Nothing is better than making people look on the outside what they feel like on the inside. I love being able to bring everyone’s inner beauty out into the open. To see them smile, sometimes even scream, selfie a million times after (and hashtag #LyssDidMyHair) and wear it proudly is honestly the most rewarding feeling.
What are your pet peeves?
When clients come in and think they know more than me or become a backseat driver. You’re in my chair for a reason and that’s my expertise! I don’t go to my tattoo artist and tell him what ink to use, or go to my doctor and tell him what antibiotics I need. Don’t do it to your hairstylist either! I appreciate you’re into your hair the way you are, but trust me, I have it handled.
What are the top 3 things that every woman needs to know before she even thinks about rainbow hair?
1) It is a commitment! It’s high maintenance and not for the faint of heart. Your colour WILL fade if you don’t take care of it properly and you will need to be in the salon at least every 8 weeks.
2) It might take more than one appointment to get where your ideal colour is. If your hair is dark, a light blue might not be possible in one sitting. Be patient! It’ll all be worth it, every step of the way.
3) People will stare. You’re going to be the main character in your own anime show. They’re going to ask weird questions like, “did you do that for Halloween?” or, “is that a wig?” Let them be naive. Enjoy the stares. Kids will think you’re magical.
Who or what inspires you?
I’m lucky to be surrounded by such genuine artists thanks to Instagram and other social media outlets. You, Anya Goy, were one of the first if not the first person I ever saw do rainbow hair. You and Ursula Goff are two artists who I’ve been following since before I even became legally licensed, and have continued to inspire me. Brazilian Bond Builder aka b3 also deserves a ginormous shout out – they have created this family of like-minded creators who are so talented yet so humble. We did the first b3 retreat in Santa Monica this past June, and it was so phenomenal to be surrounded by these great talents just bouncing ideas off of one another. Truly an experience I will never forget.
What do you think is next for you? What would you love to see yourself doing in another 5 years?
I would love to become an independent educator and travel teaching vivid techniques. I love being behind the chair but I’ve always had a passion for education, especially new and upcoming artists in the industry. What better way to see the world than to do it while doing something I have such a passion for?
Do you have any tips for aspiring hair colourists?
Do not be afraid to experiment. There are no mistakes, only discoveries. My favorite techniques have come from me saying, “well what would happen if…”
Also, don’t lose passion. Boredom is a sure shot road to the death of your career. Always stay on top of trends and NEVER STOP LEARNING! I can learn something from someone straight out of school, and someone with 20 years of experience can learn something from me. We are all in this industry for one reason – because we love seeing people feel good about themselves. Don’t close yourself off into a clique and don’t think you’re better than anyone else. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Don’t lose sight of why you got into hair in the first place – it’s the best canvas. It’s the crown we don’t take off. Have FUN with it!
Follow Alyssa Wiener online…
Check out more photos of her stunning hair colour work! Or book an appointment with Alyssa via the salon. Just click the links below:
Want Rainbow Hair?
Discover Anya’s eBook guide: ‘Any Colour Of The Rainbow – The Ultimate Guide to Alternative Hair Colour‘. This guide covers everything from safe bleaching with ammonia free bleach to creating stunning multi colours with foil. Find out all the best products, how to do pastel colours, how to maintain vibrant colour, create ombre colour like to professionals and so much more…