Nicole Leal has spent her life showing people the beauty within themselves.
The resident hairstylist at Powder & Bloom, located inside the prestigious Allbright club, she also dedicates her time on her very own hair education platform. Called Sunday School (@sundayschoolhairedu), she uses her platform to advise stylists from all over the world on not only styling technique, but business technique as well. A former cosmetology student herself, giving back to the community where she came from is important to her.
“It’s been a 20+ year journey and I’m still learning so much. My career was molded by a company called Sebastian International which gave me a strong set of skills from the very beginning. They hired me when I was 18 years old as a makeup artist because I didn’t have enough experience in hair, but after a year of free-lancing with them they hired me full-time for both hair and makeup. I remember going to audition/interview for them and telling my friend that they had to hire me because I knew it would be one of my biggest opportunities in my career. I also had some incredible mentors along the way,” she tells us of her journey.
Leal is now one of the most sought-after stylists in Hollywood, lending her vision to the look of celebrities like Rebel Wilson. But the path to success is never easy, especially for female leaders who still face hurdles unique to their gender, like the opinions of men.
“In general, I felt early on that I always had to prove myself because I was so young when I started in the beauty industry,” explains Leal. “Comparing male colleagues, I have to say that I had some really great ones that really supported me along the way and gave me so much guidance. I also had a few male colleagues along the way who believed that women couldn’t fill stages and I just looked at it as a challenge to show them otherwise.” And did she ever.
Today, her professional goals include continuing to grow her education and mentorship platform, to lend other young professionals the advice and lessons she’s learned. To create a product line for professionals, and of course, to keep growing herself.
Her professional advice?
“It’s been said that comparison is the thief of joy, so my biggest advice would be stay focused and don’t worry about what anyone else is doing,” Leal advises.
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