Alex Brownsell

BLEACH Co-founder & Hair Stylist. Age 28.

Please could you tell us a bit about BLEACH and what your job entails?

My business partner, Sam Teasdale, and I started BLEACH six years ago. I used to do people’s hair in my kitchen and Sam was one of my clients. She deals with the business side and I do the creative so it’s a really good partnership. We have three London salons and a product range which sells in Boots.

 

The part of BLEACH that I do is more the office side, even though it’s still creative. I do things like producing presentations, working on product design ideas and managing the staff. My creative side involves coming up with new ideas, putting them into practice and then helping the guys in the salon to take it on and make it their own. I also work as a session hairdresser, which involves doing shoots with celebrities and models for magazines, TV and film.

How did you get to where you are today?

I started hairdressing when I was 12 years old in my mum’s salon, which is out in Daventry in the Midlands. I never really thought that I’d go into it professionally. I was always quite academic at school and I just happened to be in my Sixth Form induction day and I just thought… you know what, I’d quite like a break from the classroom. So I came down to London one day before I got my GCSE results and just walked into a few salons to ask for work. That’s how it all started.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever been given in a work capacity is to always stick with your peer group. I think it’s essential. It’s really important to stick with the people who have a similar mind-set to you.

Has there been a defining moment in your life that has made you who you are?

The defining moments in my career have been when I’ve decided to take a risk. They nearly always work out, and even if they don’t work out the lessons learnt from failing teach you so much more than succeeding.

It’s really important to stick with the people who have a similar mind set to you.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?

The advice that I’d give to my teenage self would be to chill out! In my teens I was really ready to grow up. Now that I’m in my late twenties I’m really ready to not grow up… So I’d probably say chill out and enjoy it, and don’t be so desperate to get to the next stage in your life

Where do you find your confidence?

I think you can learn confidence. Working in hairdressing and in the service industry is quite like acting – you really have to put on a persona. Sometimes you just have to imagine that you’re confident.