M+B Meets... Alex Brown
This month’s Milk + Blush Meets… is a super special one as we’re chatting to celebrity hair guru Alex Brown. She’s tamed the tresses of everyone from Kendall Jenner to Kourtney Kardashian and Shay Mitchell and she knows what it takes to create killer looks. She also assisted hair queen Jen Atkin and is part of the #jenatkinarmy of super stylists, as well as recently opening her own private hair studio.
We are beyond excited to share her insane amount of knowledge, tips and tricks with you today and her answers do not disappoint. So if you want insta worthy hair this summer, this is what you need to do...
M+B: How did you get your start in the industry? Did you always want to be a hairstylist?
AB: My sister’s best friend went to beauty school when I was 13. After getting my haircut by her, I loved everything about hair! I was her guinea pig and she would practice every cut and color on me. I had many birthday parties at the beauty school, and started doing my friends/family’s hair around that time. Hair, makeup and fashion was definitely something that caught my attention even as a little girl.
M+B: Jen Atkin is one of the biggest stylists in the world and constantly inspires the industry. What were the best hairstyling lessons you learnt while working with her?
AB: I truly feel like I've learned everything I know from her! So many new cutting and styling techniques! Her legendary, effortless “model off duty” bend. I learned how to cut and apply many different types of extensions, in so many different ways, to make them look as natural as possible. The most important things though are the life lessons she’s taught me… to never compete with your peers in the industry, we can all benefit and grow our success from working together! Be nice to people! Never be "too good" for anyone or any job, we work in the service industry and always need to remember that.
M+B: Are there any pro tools in your kit that we could incorporate into our daily hair routines?
AB: The Dyson blow dryer is a must! It dries hair much faster and smoother than any other dryer I’ve used.
M+B: What do you think is the biggest mistake people make with their hair?
AB: Overdoing it! I always think less is more and sticking close to your natural hair color and texture is what looks best. I’d also say air dry more often!
M+B: How do you prep your clients hair for a photoshoot or red carpet?
AB: It depends on the hairstyle I will be doing, but I’ll usually prep damp hair with a strong mousse and/or OUAI Wave Spray for a little grit and texture. I would then blow-dry the hair with a round brush and set it with velcro rollers to help the style last all day and night.
M+B: You work with a lot of celebrities and influencers, where do you get your inspiration from and do you follow trends?
AB: I get most of my inspiration from my peers! Social media has created an amazing platform for everyone in our industry to come together and to inspire each other. It also comes from the outfit she will be wearing and the overall look. The client, stylist, makeup artist and I work together as a team to figure out the best hairstyle to suit the overall look. Pinterest is also amazing for inspo photos!
M+B: You’ve recently opened your own private hair studio, the photographs are incredible and it has such a luxury vibe. What made you want to create your own space?
AB: Thank you! I knew when moving back to Chicago from LA that I didn’t want to work in a typical salon environment. I wanted to work in a private space with only 1 chair and be able to make my own schedule. I wanted to take more time with my clients in an intimate, quiet environment. After traveling the world with Jen and seeing many different types of salons, I really fell in love with the ones that had a warm, cozy feeling with character and charm. I wanted it to feel like I was doing my friends hair out of my home.
M+B: What are your top tips for using clip-in hair extensions?
AB: The color match and cut are most important! You want to be sure the color is an EXACT match to your hair color! Clip in extensions usually come one length and pretty thick/heavy, so it’s also very important that they’re layered and cut correctly to blend in with your natural hair.
M+B: If you don’t have a lot of time to style a client’s hair what’s your go to look?
AB: Loose, effortless waves…you don’t want them to be perfect anyway!
M+B: What do you think the biggest hair trends will be for the summer?
AB: Short hair is here to stay! I’m seeing so many of my clients wanting to cut their lobs into blunt, chin length bobs. It’s so chic and easy to style!
Don’t mind us, we’re just going to chop our hair into a blunt bob and take the first flight to Chicago... If you loved this one then make sure to check out our other interviews here, including celebrity stylist Jake Gallagher and bridal stylist Kimberly Logie.