Smarties, if you haven’t met Sonya Alexis. You are missing out. I was recently introduced to her through another friend and I am never looking back. I am almost afraid to introduce her to you because I might never get an appointment — SHE IS THAT GOOD! Celebrity Stylist GOOD! During our interview, she styled my hair in beach waves, introduced me to several products and taught me how to apply easy summer make-up. She took me out of my comfort zone with a cute summer side low ponytail with cascading waves. We had the best time! I left the interview feeling like a million dollars.
Not only is she a magician with hair, she is an amazing mother. She has an amazing personality and her artistic talent is beyond anything I have ever seen. I was mesmerized by the information she provided. I could go on and on…needless to say, everything she showed me I ended up running out and buying (if it wasn’t already for sale in her salon). My hair stayed wavy for 3 days. This is amazing to me for two reasons: 1) it rained really hard the night she did it; 2.) my hair is super thick and does not hold a curl EVER (until Sonya!)
Sonya’s Smarty Mom Stats:
Occupation: Salon Owner, Colorist (I like to refer to Sonya as a magician, miracle worker)
Salon Name: Revival Hair Lounge
Location of Salon: Lenox Salons Ballantyne Salon 9, 12335 N. Community House, Charlotte 28277
Salon cell: 704-778-5900
Instagram account: @revivalhairlounge
Where are you from? California
Number of children: 2
Names of children: Daughter Lotus (3), Step-son Ethan (17)
Now onto Hair, Hair, Hair….
What made you made you choose your career path?
I grew up with a passion for hair and makeup that began as a ballet dancer. I always knew that I wanted to be in the beauty industry, it just took me a long time to figure out how. Proper schooling, timing, finances, etc…
Where did you go to school?
Joe Blasco Hollywood Makeup School 2006
Paul Mitchell School Gastonia 2010
How long have you been in the industry?
What is your product of choice and why?
Hot Off the Press is my favorite Paul Mitchell styling product because of its multi-functions, affordability, and incredible scent. As a thermal protectant, it’s like oven mitts for your hair, but also works double duty as an anti-humectant and light finishing spray.
Why did you choose to become a colorist?
Color inspires me and I will forever be its student. Color provokes unique emotions and feelings. To translate that into hair color for my guests is incredible. And I hate cutting hair, LOL.
*Fun fact: www.colorquiz.com can give you a fun insight on how color affects your mood.
Is there a trick to getting someone’s color to look like the color they had when they were a child? Is that achievable?
As a colorist, I always reference natural hair color in children. The goal of most is to look as natural as possible and that’s usually created with many dimensions of color. Being achievable would vary on so many factors on each guest. Example: if you were born with blonde hair and you have now been box dying your hair black for years…it’s going to be a long expensive road, LOL.
When you have your hair colored do you recommend having your eyebrows colored as well?
This also depends on each guest. I offer brow tinting complimentary during my color sessions. Some guests will greatly benefit and some just don’t need it. I’ve never had anyone decline when offered.
Does your daughter love to style her hair?
Lotus will barely let us BRUSH her hair! She much prefers hats and running around like a wildflower. My mother seems to magically style her hair when they hang out though, LOL.
What is your favorite way to style your daughter’s hair?
A brush & a hat, I’m happy if it’s clean 🙂
Are there any special tricks to creating the perfect braid for little girls?
I’ll let you know if mine ever allows it.
What is the biggest trend in hair right now?
I do a lot of balayage and color melting. It’s been around for some years now. I don’t see it leaving anytime soon. It’s a different twist on traditional highlighting and much more organic. It comes in so many forms. Basically, balayage is a hand painted lightener.
How is it working side by side with your husband?
We get asked this question often, usually with a giggle. My husband, Jeremy Deen, and I only work with each other two days a week. The rest of the week we take turns working and hanging out with Lotus (our 3-year-old). Being an advanced cutting specialist (16 years) and educator for Hattori Hanzo Shears, Jeremy brings years of knowledge, talent, and guest relationships. Many of his guests have followed him through his career for 10+ years and I was honored that they welcomed me as their colorist. Jeremy contours his cuts to my color and vice versa. We have become a specialized team. It creates a unique balance that’s all our own. Our guests receive the maximum amount of our individual talents.
Fact or fiction: Dirty (not washing for a day) hair colors better.
FICTION. Many years ago when ammonia content was much higher, and color was damaging this may have been the case. Today, color lines are formulated to bring the most nourishment to hair. Having excessively dirty hair and product buildup can actually hinder your results. With too much buildup the color has to work harder to break through and penetrate the hair shaft.
Fact or fiction: You should always use a hair protectant (Hot off the Press, Paul Mitchell) before you use a heated styling tool?
FACT. Products like Hot Off The Press and other thermal protectants, act as a thermal barrier for your hair. You wouldn’t grab something out of a 400 degree oven without oven mitts, would you? Neither should your hair. Ouch!
Fact or fiction: You should wash your hair everyday?
FICTION. Washing your hair everyday can lead to stripping your scalp of its natural oils. Your sebaceous glands can freak out and go into overdrive causing your hair to be excessively greasy. Dry shampoos like Paul Mitchell’s Dry Wash can help you get through those “greasy” days and extend your style.
My hair grows super fast. I feel like I am coloring the roots (gray) every two weeks. Is there a product that you recommend that covers the gray for the in between time of having my hair colored?
Yes! Style Edit. I researched and tried many different brands until I decided which one to carry for my guests. It comes in 5 different colors, features an easy to use airbrush spray and is water resistant. I’ve had excellent feedback from my guests. Style Edit gives you confidence and sprays the gray away while you wait for your next hair appointment.
What do you recommend to take the summer frizz from all the humidity?
I personally change my hair routine and product cocktail seasonally. Your hair will react and need different love in each season. For summer humidity, I recommend using Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Wild Ginger Mirrorsmooth shampoo and conditioner. Super Skinny Serum (while wet), and finishing with Hot Off the Press.
All about Sonya….
Favorite activity to do with your family?
Anything creative. Music, art, food.
What is the last thing you cooked?
I love to cook and create recipes when I have the time. But I simply can not follow a recipe to the T and enjoy creating flavors as I cook. Which also means, I will never create the exact same recipe twice Obviously, I can’t bake. The last meal I created was chicken souvlaki with dill tzatziki and herb red potato salad.
What is your favorite tv show?
Pretty much Netflix Original anything. Peaky Blinders is definitely at the top. I’m also obsessed with cooking shows like Beat Bobby Flay.
Favorite Date Night restaurant.
Jeremy and I love to escape to The Blue Taj in Ballantyne. Delicious spicy food and exotic craft cocktails are our fave!
Last movie you saw at the theater.
Finding Dory. Be prepared to ugly cry.
-I am Hair Director for NC Fashion Association Style Week.
-I worked on the first Hunger Games as a non union hairstylist before I had any clue what it was.
-I was an educator for Paul Mitchell the School Charlotte as color and makeup specialist before opening RHL.
-I love to paint with acrylics in my art studio (I’m not any good) at home while my husband creates music upstairs in his studio (he is good).
-I’m obsessed with all things hair on social media for education purposes. My business demands that I stay relevant with all things social media so that I keep with all the current trends (exhausting, because I’m so not cool).
Make-up, Make-up, Make-up…
During our interview, I asked Sonya to teach me how to apply my make-up. I requested an easy, quick make-up application that accentuates my features at the same time remains natural in appearance. Key words – quick & easy!
1. Face – Powder/foundation/tinted moisturizer
2. Brows- Shape and fill
Eyebrows frame the face. Does your frame look cheap or expensive? Fill in brows using an angle brush and colored wax or powder for a natural effect. I prefer Ultimate Face brow in color Mink.
I had never applied any fill to my eyebrows before. I was amazed at the difference it made. Firm believer now!
3. Lashes- Japonesque Curl and mascara.
Favorite mascara: Benefit Bad Gal Lash and Maybelline Mega Plush Volume Express in Blackest Black.
I am obsessed with mascara! Little did I know the difference a good eye lash curler makes on your eyelashes. Smarties, if you are like me and love mascara – this eye lash curler is a MUST have! I also ran out and purchased Maybelline Plush Volume
Mascara. I am never looking back!
4. Cheeks- never apply past the iris of the eye, turns into sunburn look. I love a cream blush vs. a powder as it looks more organic and not like its sitting on top of the skin. Favorite blush: NYX Stick Blush in Hibiscus
I laughed at this – I have been applying my blush incorrectly for so many years.Totally makes sense!
5. Lips- gloss or stain. Favorite lip gloss: Ulitmate Face Marula Oil Balm (can be purchased at Sonya’s salon)
I know this because, after she applied it I IMMEDIATELY PURCHASED it! It feels like velvet on your lips! AMAZING!
Finish this sentence:
My idea of the perfect summer day is…..Brunch, mimosas, and laughter!