Photo courtesy of Derek Blanks Photography

Alonzo Arnold is the Atlanta-based celebrity hairstylist that has taken over the Atlanta hair scene. At only 25 years old, he has made his mark in the hair industry. Arnold specializes in making wigs, selling hair extensions, and much more. In our interview with Arnold, he discusses how he got his start in the hair industry, challenges he’s faced as a first-generation entrepreneur and much more. Check it out below.

What’s your background? Tell us your story. 
I’m an Atlanta-based celebrity hairdresser and salon owner. Honestly, nobody in my immediate family has been a hairdresser or entrepreneur. They only worked in customer service. I get the “people person” skill set from my mother. I’ve seen her work so hard for corporate America and make them millions of dollars and that motivated me to just work hard for myself. Why should I work for someone else when I can start my own business and set my own hours, at my own pace, while choosing who I want to do business with. So that’s why I decided to join the hair industry. The hair industry does have some tough and difficult challenges, but when you overcome those challenges, you become stronger.

What made you want to join the hair industry? 
I wanted to join the hair industry because I’ve always had some interest in doing hair. I would literally go to the salon with my sister every weekend, who by the way, was a faithful salon client to her stylist. She would be so mad that I wanted to come with her but that didn’t stop me from trying. But I would come up there and see all these talented stylists who had different techniques and it peaked my interest immediately. I would just literally stare at them all day! So, I said, why not give it a chance. I’m a “curious George,” so I was curious to see how could I do this. And, how can I make some money!

What were some challenges you faced as not only a stylist but with selling hair as well? 
The challenges I’ve faced being a hairdresser was keeping up with the fast pace changes the hair industry goes through. I mean every day, literally there is something new to learn. So, I had to challenge myself to see if I wanted to keep up, or stay stuck in my ways. A lot of stylists I know are stuck because they can’t transition or reinvent themselves. So, because of this, they wind up being burnt out or tired of doing hair. You must be willing to change in this industry to stay relevant and remain successful. Now with selling hair, that’s different. I’ve had to put up with so many disputes and customers who are impatient but I’ve overcome that by hiring a team of people who can handle that for me.

Alonzo please step forward! You're still in the running to becoming Americas Next Top Model!

A post shared by ALONZO (@iamalonzoarnold) on

What is difficult about being an entrepreneur?
I feel like there are a lot of difficulties. From starting my new product line to budgeting money out. But the most difficult aspect is pleasing everyone. I like to make everyone pleased. But like my mother has always said, you can’t please everyone. Everyone isn’t for you. Everyone is not going to like what you do. So, I’ve learned also that all money isn’t everything.

Tell us about a difficult time in your life that you overcame and explain how you did so.
I have had so many difficult times, especially growing up as an adult. I would say before doing hair, I was working for corporate America in the restaurant field. Being a waiter has taught me about customer service. I remember hopping from job to job hoping I could make just enough money to pay my bills. One day, I got so tired of living just to work and decided to step out on faith to pursue being an entrepreneur and owning my own business and that has worked out well, especially with the help of God and family by my side supporting me. 

What are some of your short-term business goals?
I have learned that long-term goals are best achieved when I break them into shorter goals. A short-term goal of mine is to come out with my own product line of shampoo and hair care products and that’s already in the works. I also have my flat irons relaunching as well. Then I will have my own hair care line to go along with my extensions and custom wigs. That way, I can have a beauty store made specifically for my products only.

Instagram – @iamalonzoarnold