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This LA Salon Owner Tells Us Why Continued Education Is the Key to Success

In order to become a hairstylist or colorist, you need to attend cosmetology school, study, graduate (obviously), and assist. But in order to become a great hairstylist or colorist, you need to keep learning. Whether that’s in the form of drawing inspiration from peers, or taking an education class–stylist Dina Deplama-Fonte, who co-owns The Compound Salon in Culver City, CA, leads her team by example and recently attended our free Mane University Los Angeles class, sponsored by Bumble and bumble.

DINA DePalma-Fonte Interview

Dina has been in the hair industry for 15 years, and trained at the renowned Toni & Guy Academy in Texas. Her mantra of “focusing on continued education in this ever-changing industry” is clear by her extensive list of classes that she’s taken–including Mane University, Schwarzkopf, Wella Professionals, Oribe, Bumble and bumble., and Brazilian Blowout classes. Below, Dina gives us a first hand account of her Mane University experience, shares her industry icon, and gives us the best piece of advice she’s ever received.

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What is the importance of continued education as a stylist and salon owner?

I believe continued education is the most important tool for any stylist or owner. Styles, trends and techniques evolve so quickly in this industry, so choosing to stay updated on all the techniques and trends our clients ask for is a huge part of our job.

Has Mane University helped you grow your salon business? 

I think it was a nice team building experience, three of us from my salon went. Mischa from Bumble was very sweet, and a pleasure to watch and meet. 

Was there a technique you liked most at Mane University?

The technique I enjoyed the most at Mane University was curly hair styling.  I have quite a few curly clients and I think Mischa helped me identify different curl types, and then how to execute the correct styling technique. 

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Why do you like working with Bumble and bumble products in your salon?

I enjoy working with Bumble products in my salon because they are very familiar to me. I don’t think there is one product in the line that I don’t enjoy on its own or coctailed.  It is a very well rounded line that has something for everyones needs.  Plus I know my clients enjoy new product released as much as I do.  

What is the biggest piece of advice you’ve ever received?

The best advice I ever got was at a Bumble class I recently attended and a fellow salon owner and class mate told me, “We are not first responders.”  It really made me think and it stuck with me. I sometimes think it’s my job to drop everything and run around to get everything done immediately. He was right though, one person can only do so much at once, and you can’t beat yourself up over it. 

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Who is your icon in the industry?

I don’t know that I have one. There are so many talented people in our industry, and so many places to draw inspiration from. My favorites can change on a whim. 

What keeps you motivated?

My family motivates me to be the best person I can be. I hope I always make them proud. My co-workers motivate me to give my all at work and constantly improve my skills. 

Would you recommend Mane University?

Yes, I think anytime you watch other stylists sharing their craft there is always something useful you can take away.

What did you think about this recent Mane U being free? 

That was great, making continued education more accessible only improves us and stylists. 

Want to learn more about extended education? Read other Mane University Dean’s List reviews!

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