Sam Villa Wins Lifetime Achievement Award

Photo credit: Sam Villa

At last weekend's North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA), industry icon and beauty veteran, Sam Villa was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes significant achievements in technical skill, industry innovation and leadership. It is bestowed upon professional hairdressers who uphold the highest standard of the industry and whose efforts continue to shape the future of the profession. With more than 40 years of styling experience and a plethora of skills, Villa has climbed the ranks and become a household name that we all know, love and respect. 

On July 9, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Villa took to the stage to accept his prestigious award. In his acceptance speech, he credited the industry for his success. “I am not a genius, rock star or visionary. I’m just a messenger, a hairdresser motivated by the passion to teach other hairdressers,” he says. His father introduced him to his first hair show and taught him that helping others succeed and working hard with passion is the key to becoming successful. In addition to being a Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken 5th Avenue, Villa started his own company to deliver even more digital and live education to the industry. 

Villa has always believed that people buy people, and then they buy things, and is leading an industry-wide movement called #ArtistsSupportingArtists to promote the people in the industry to be the best they can be. It’s a movement and commitment to being positive on social media, to build trust, confidence and success. #ArtistsSupportingArtists encourages these powerful ideas: To focus on smaller hands-on classes to ensure quality learning. To spread awareness and promote membership of the Professional Beauty Association. To uphold strong quality standards for the industry. To think, say and do things differently to add value behind the chair. Regardless of ego or brand affiliation, Villa believes the people of this industry can unify to elevate its standards and improve the state of professional beauty.


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Many talented people have challenged and inspired Villa to be the best he can be—far too many teachers and mentors to list. They are the ones that hit the road everyday with the promise to make others better. The individuals that know that leadership is based on inspiration not domination, on cooperation not intimidation. “And the most important thing teachers should remember is that we must never cease to learn,” says Villa.

#ArtistsSupportingArtists – How to Get Involved

  • Tag positive communication with #ArtistsSupportingArtists.
  • Communicate with the same level of respect digitally as you would in person.
  • Keep the intentions of comments positive, try to promote confidence, creativity and growth.
  • There is no value in “I hate it” or “That’s hideous,” comments like that can potentially cause pain and insecurity. 
  • Be constructive. “Have you ever tried a version where it’s thinner at the bottom?” or “If you want to blend that fade a little more, try this.” Stick to feedback that creates a conversation, provides opportunity for discovery, and doesn’t carry an emotional punch. 
  • Pay it forward!

“I’m deeply humbled by this recognition. Awards represent achievement and to a certain extent show who you are as a person, because they reflect your desires, ambitions, goals, and accomplishments. For an industry that has given life to my career, it’s an absolute honor for it to give tribute to my achievements,” Villa adds.

About: Sam Villa is Global Artistic Ambassador for Redken and Founding Partner of the Sam Villa brand (Allvus, LLC), designed to bring “More Sam to More People.” The educational world of this Favorite Platform Artist and Educator (2012, 2011 and 2007), Favorite Overall Educator of the Year (2015), can be experienced on