BHA 2015, Eastern finalist, Angelo Vallillo, juggles multiple roles, from being the Co-owner of Zullo & Holland Salon, running the Angelo Vallillo Hair Academy to proving his mettle as a Sebastian International Artist and a Session Stylist. Vallillo shares his journey, trends for 2016 and more exclusively with Salon India.
How did you get started in the hairstyling industry? Who has been the driving force in your life to choose this career?
I started out in hairdressing when I was 20 years old after a bad injury ended my
burgeoning career as a professional footballer. I had no idea what I wanted to do after I
stopped playing football, but my uncle, Romano Zullo, had a hair salon and he asked
me if I’d like to be part of his team. I wasn’t that keen, to be honest, so he took me down to the Salon International show in London. It worked; I was hooked from the start. Seeing great stylists doing their stuff in front of hundreds of people was an eye-opener for me. I wanted to get up there on stage, too, do collections and be the best. And now I’m doing it.
Please tell us about your professional background. What are the certificates and degrees you have earned?
I have an National Vocational Qualification – Level 2. Most of my education has come
from hard work, dedication and self-belief. I’ve always tried to surround myself with the best and learn from them, I also look to use every experience as a learning opportunity. You cannot stand still in this profession. You are either learning and looking for a fresh take on everything you see or do, or you stagnate.
What were the challenges you faced back then? How did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge when I started out was adapting to life on a trainee hairdresser’s pay. Working hard and dedicating my time to the craft I loved was easy. I think coming from football, I had the drive I needed to overcome most challenges.
Tell us about your current role and responsibilities. How do you balance work and personal life?
As well as being joint owner of Zullo & Holland, I own and run the Angelo Vallillo Hair Academy, I’m a Sebastian International Artist and a Session Stylist. I’m not sure how
I balance everything; I just make it happen. It’s when you think about it too much that
Who is your role model and why?
I don’t really have one single role model. I look to people who have reached and are reaching their true potential. I have friends across many fields who inspire me, whether that’s in hair, fashion, music or acting. It’s all part of the mix.
What are your favourite tools and techniques?
Sebastian products are a must. I love my whole kit bag, which has almost everything
in it. I love doing new techniques and coming to understand them. Then you can create
What are the trends in hairstyles and colours to look out for in 2016?
I think short hair is coming back, with people becoming a lot more confident. There’s a great move towards self expression, which is great, with colour the brighter the better.
What is your success mantra?
I think it comes down to self-belief, having the mindset that you can achieve whatever you want in this world, hard work and dedication to your craft.
What are your views on the salon and beauty industry?
We have a massive impact on people’s lives, and I don’t think we get the credit we deserve. But there’s a responsibility that comes with that, to be the best we can. I believe hairdressers should be registered and their skills tested. I know people who haven’t been on a course for 20 years. People who work in hairdressing need to start understanding the value of their industry. Some think just because they have an NVQ they can cut and colour hair. They can’t.
What is your advice for the newcomers entering this field?
Have a goal before you start, work out what it takes to get there and then dedicate your time to achieving it. If you do that, then set yourself another goal. Never sit still.
Tell us about your celebrity client list.
I have done a good few celebrities in my time, most recently model, David Gandy, television presenter, Caroline Flack and the DJ wAFF. There are others I would prefer not to name.
What is your take on the Indian hair industry?
It’s incredible how much it’s grown over the years. I was amazed by what was going on at Salon International and I’m excited to see what happens in the future. I would love to do a show over there for you guys.
What are your future plans?
To keep on learning. The beauty of this industry is that there is always something new
to learn. Eventually I plan to open a few more salons. And be happy.