5 Salon-Must Haves and More From Bridal Stylist Alexandra Wilson

We sat down with bridal hairstylist Alexandra Wilson (@alexandralee1016) to learn how she got into wedding hair, the inspiration behind her looks and what she loves about what she does.
We sat down with bridal hairstylist Alexandra Wilson (@alexandralee1016) to learn how she got into wedding hair, the inspiration behind her looks and what she loves about what she does.
Courtesy of Alexandra Wilson

There is nothing quite like a bride on her wedding day-- the beauty, the romance and the elegance. Behind that beautiful bride is a hairstylist tasked with creating the perfect bridal hair, doing so under immense pressure. That is a challenge that Alexandra Wilson (@alexandralee1016) readily accepts, as a bridal hair business owner, educator and part of Salon Centric's It Takes a Pro team for the past 6 years. We sat down with this voice of the bridal hair industry to learn how her niche became bridal, where she draws her inspiration and what advice she has for the next generation.

Beauty Launchpad (BLP): How did you get started in the salon industry?

Alexandra Wilson (AW): I got started in the beauty industry right after I graduated high school in 2007. I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do for a career, and I had always loved doing my hair and makeup. So, I figured I'd give it a try! I actually started cosmetology school with the hopes of being a makeup artist but quickly fell in love with doing hair. Alexandra WilsonAlexandra WilsonCourtesy of Alexandra Wilson

BLP: What is your inspiration process like? 

AW: My inspiration stems from many other artists that I follow on social media. There are so many amazing artists throughout the world that come up with these crazy creations, and I'm constantly inspired to incorporate the techniques I see. I am also inspired by florals and hair accessories I'll come across. I absolutely love accessorizing my styles, so sometimes when I see beautiful flowers it will inspire me to think of a style where I can incorporate them.

BLP: Tell us about your journey in the industry. What led you here?

AW: I feel like my journey has definitely been challenging. I started out working in salons when I first graduated cosmetology school in 2008. I worked in them for a few years but really wasn't loving it. I felt like I didn't fit in at any salon. I started working at a children's salon, where I would style children's hair for birthday parties. That's where I found out that styling was my passion.

I then decided that I wanted to specialize in styling, so I started working for a local wedding company. Working weddings on the weekends, unfortunately, wasn't enough financially, so I always had to have a part-time job during the week, which I didn't love. I was a teacher assistant, nanny and sales associate at a beauty supply store for years before I finally said I just need to do weddings full-time. This is my passion, and I didn't want these random part time jobs.

In 2017, my career changed drastically when I quit my part-time jobs, and I went full force on social media with my work. My whole life changed. 

BLP: What do you consider your specialty and why?

AW: My specialties are romantic bridal and braids! I just love anything soft and pretty. I love creating texture, and braids are amazing for that. I also feel like when utilizing braids, you can get so creative, and I love that. Bridal hair by Alexandra WilsonBridal hair by Alexandra WilsonCourtesy of Alexandra Wilson

BLP: What advice would you give stylists just entering the industry?

AW: Always continue to educate yourself and stay on top of the latest trends and techniques. Keep evolving, and you will always have work! Also, from my experience, I would always say go after what you want even if others can't understand it or see your dreams/goals/vision. Surround yourself with a supportive family and friends.

BLP: If you could go back in your journey and do anything over again, would you?

AW: Honestly, no. I feel like I've learned so much along the way. Part of me wishes I could have figured out where I wanted to be a lot sooner in my career, but even if I did, I'm not sure that I would have been ready for it.

BLP: What challenges have you encountered in the salon industry over the years?

AW: The challenge that I have faced is more of something I struggled with mentally and that was acceptance from others in the industry and not being looked at as "less than" because I didn't work in a salon and provide all salon services. I am a bridal specialist who works mostly on location, and that is something that's more of a niche and not as common as a regular salon stylist. A lot of people didn't actually fully understand what I do or how I could work full-time.

Over that last few years, I do think with social media and content creation being a lot more popular, people can understand it more, and there are A LOT more bridal specialists out there like me. However, it was a struggle before that trying to fit in within the beauty industry when people didn't understand that you can be a successful stylist without working full-time in a salon environment and that there are other avenues to success. Not many people were doing what I was doing several years ago, so it was just as if I was very much alone as a bridal hair specialist.

BLP: Where do you see the salon industry headed?

AW: I do see the beauty industry headed into specialties. I think most stylists are starting to strictly specialize in certain things and only take those types of clients. I myself am specializing in a certain type of styling, and I think it's wonderful. Who wouldn't want to hire somebody who does this every single day?! Hair by Alexandra WilsonHair by Alexandra WilsonCourtesy of Alexandra Wilson

BLP: What are your best tips for success in the salon industry?

AW: My best piece of advice for anyone in the hair industry would be to just be yourself and create work that YOU want to create. While I think keeping up with trends and new techniques is key, I feel like it's super important to always stay true to yourself and your style of work.

BLP: What are some bridal styles that you see trending in 2024? 

AW: Undone twisted high updo 

Alexandra's Top 5 Must-Haves

1. Curling irons

2. Redken Wax Blast

3. Pink Pewter Magnetic Bracelet

4. Tool belt

5. Protein smoothie

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