Contessa 2016 Alberta Hairstylist winner, Curtis Anweiler, shares his secret weapons and explains how social media inspires his creative side.
Salon Magazine: When did you first know you wanted to be a hairstylist?
Chris Anweiler: I knew I wanted to be a hairstylist in high school. I took a cosmetology class, and that was when I felt like this is a journey I wanted to take—one of my ex-girlfriends’ mothers helped me enroll.
SM: Who are your styling influences?
CA: Tim Hartley, Peter Grey, Xavier Garcia, Mazella&Palmer, Saco and Richard Ashforth, ZGAT Academy, Allilon, and Andy Wong.
SM: Where you do find your inspiration?
CA: My girlfriend, my colleagues and art magazines. With the availability of social media, you can go on Facebook or Instagram and add people in the global hair community, and it’s almost like high school! Every day, you see a new feed that makes it like a giant magazine—you can see all kinds of work that can inspire you every day.
SM: What’s your secret weapon?
CA: My scissors and Davines and Kevin.Murphy products.
SM: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to someone entering the Contessas for the first time?
CA: Anyone can win. I was at one salon for 7 years, and I thought you needed a certain salon “brand” behind you to win. In order to win you needed to be in a certain niche or club—this isn’t true. You don’t have to have a giant name behind you. Good things can happen to you by just believing in yourself and trying your best, and people will notice it.
SM: What are your top tips for working with a team, both in and out of the salon?
CA: Because of my journey, having those people in place to help you succeed is important. I put my trust in people who I thought could help me accomplish my greater goals. You want to see what you want to see for your finished product, but you need to allow people to play a part and see themselves in the project too. If you tell people what to do, they won’t believe in the project as much. It’s about accomplishing something together. It’s sometimes too hard though if you have too many cooks in the kitchen.
SM: Who’s the first person you called when you found out you were a Contessa finalist?
CA: I called my girlfriend. She’s been my support system.