I never in a million years considered beauty school. So when my grandfather suggested it, I laughed and said, Yeah. OK. But I went to check out a beauty school and when I did, I signed up immediately. I wasn't serious, though, until my first hair show. The stages, the presentations, the competitions, the models I was bit!
I never thought about being a hairdresser--I actually started cutting my own hair because I wasn't happy with the way the barber did it. That led to cutting my friends' hair, and members of my family, because I could, but I still didn't look at it as a career. In high school, the mom of one of my friends was a stylist and she talked me into working for her as an apprentice.
For as long as I can remember, I knew that working with hair would be my destiny. Early in my career I had the good fortune to encounter a mentor, an amazing hairdresser who inspired me, enlightened me and became a great friend.
"My passion for hairdressing is even stronger today than the day I did my first retouch, and it just keeps getting better."
Lenny Strand is a Matrix Technical Director who specializes in elevating stylists and salons by strengthening their color skills and color knowledge. With a successful career spanning over three decades as a Salon Owner, Master Colorist, Professional Development coach, Lenny has a gift of connecting with all levels and backgrounds of hairdressers from a one on one setting to a large stage.
Twelve-time nominated hairstylist by the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA), in the categories of Hairstylist of the Year, Best Editorial Stylist, Editorial Shot of the Year , and Masters, and in 2007, he won for Best Editorial Stylist.
I discovered quite early that I was ambitious and tenacious. That's why I left home at 17, determined to make it. At the University of Puerto Rico, I worked as a bus boy and a waiter, and even cleaned bathrooms to put myself through school. I intended to become a special education teacher. Then I returned to New York City, where a friend offered me a job in his salon and helped me get into beauty school.