Sam Villa Shares His Steps to Success


It all started with his decision to drop out of school his junior year of college. Sam Villa sat down with his parents over dinner and said—I want to go to beauty school.

Sam Villa, Redken’s Global Artistic Director and the Co-Founder of the Sam Villa brand, is known for doing things differently. Sam is big on education and most comfortable when teaching, whether that be facilitating an in-salon class or taking the stage at an industry event. His motto is to practice, practice, practice, until he’s mastered the craft and can share his success—and today, he’s sharing that success with all of you.

Drawn to the Stage

After his first few weeks in beauty school Sam began to think that he had made the wrong decision. His hands were the athletic type and he was struggling to keep up with the rest of his class.

His father, who worked in a barber shop, opted to take Sam to his first hair show to reignite his passion for the craft. Little did he know, this would inspire an entirely new passion for the stage in Sam.  

There’s Always Something to be Discovered and Learned

Sam is no stranger to the idea that all good things come to those who wait. Although Sam had set his sights on the stage, he took a bit of a roundabout way to get there. Sam will tell you that the two best days of his life are the days he opened and then closed his salon.  

While it was a worthwhile endeavor, Sam was able to recognize when it was time to move on. With the support of his team of stylists, he grew the courage to sell his salon and move to New York to begin his partnership with Redken on the road to education.  

Sam’s relationship with Redken really shaped his success. Redken gave him the resources to be a facilitator and focus on the learner, they taught him how to teach. Sam would argue that Redken really revolutionized education in that way—the brand had a knack for knowing it’s audience and could appease both the visual and audible learner.

Teaching With New Technology

As Sam Villa became a recognized name in the industry and learner-focused education became the new normal, he began contemplating his next move.  

Sam loved Redkin, but he also knew that he was ready for the next step and with the help of his Redkin team he came up with the next wave of technological development for the beauty industry and created his own line of tools, thus the Sam Villa brand was born.

Of course, this transition into tools meant that Sam was even more valuable to a hair product line like Redkin and as such a recognized name in the industry, the partnership made perfect sense.  

People Buy People, Then They Buy Things

The Sam Villa brand grew quickly, in part due to the exposure he received from partnering with Redkin, but primarily because people were simply drawn to Sam himself.

As an educator, Sam is first and foremost a communicator. Sam is a firm believer that communication builds wealth and how you communicate from behind the chair or even from the stage is critical in building your brand.

As Sam likes to say, the good lord gave your two ears and one mouth. As a hair dresser, you need to put those two ears to good use and really listen to your clients before giving your own opinions or advice.  

Sam is still learning every day, the education never stops--which to Sam, is arguably the best part about teaching—you can acquire so much knowledge from your audience.

To listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, check out episode 173, and don’t forget to check out Sam Villa’s YouTube channel for the best digital education in the beauty industry.

Samantha Georgson