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Cynthia Alvarez's successful career 'rooted' in hair care

Ursula V. Battle | 12/26/2015, 6 a.m.
Celebrity Hair Stylist Cynthia Alvarez’s clientele includes the likes of singer/actress KeKe Palmer and singer, model and actress Tatyana Ali.
Cynthia Alvarez Photo 2: Alvarez styles a client’s hair during a Dove ‘Salon Day’ event. (Courtesy Photo)

Celebrity Hair Stylist Cynthia Alvarez’s clientele includes the likes of singer/actress KeKe Palmer and singer, model and actress Tatyana Ali. Her workmanship has graced the red carpet world stages of The Emmys and MTV Video Music Awards. Most recently, the native New Yorker joined Dove as a hair curl expert and celebrity hair stylist.

“I am a free spirit,” said Alvarez. “I have to be creative and mobile. “I feel like hair trends come and go and you have to capitalize on each one. I am also a wig expert. I like to say I am well-rounded. I still pinch myself when I think about this opportunity with Dove.”

As a celebrity hair curl expert and hair stylist for Dove, Alvarez responsibilities include television appearances, and traveling to beauty salons all over the country to use Dove’s Quench Absolute Hair Care Series during their ‘Salon Days’ events.

“Everyone knows Dove for their skin care products,” said Alvarez. “But their hair care products are also great, and I really believe in them. There are a lot of gels, cremes, mousses, and other products out there. However, once your hair is moisturized and hydrated, you don't need all those products. They become counter-productive. We support styling products, but we also want people to nourish their hair and get control of their curls.”

The Dove brand started in the U.S. in 1957 with the revolutionary new beauty cleansing bar. According to Dove, its iconic cleansing bar is the number one dermatologist recommended brand in the U.S., Canada and France. Today, Dove offers a range of products, which include body washes and hair care products.

Dove’s Quench Absolute Hair Care Series is geared toward naturally curly hair. According to Dove, naturally curly hair is physically different compared to other hair types and requires a higher degree of nourishment, prompting them to create the Quench Absolute series. The series consists of Quench Absolute Shampoo, Quench Absolute Conditioner, Quench Absolute Crème Serum, and Quench Absolute Restoration Mask.

“I feel like with curly hair, people get frustrated and they give up,” said Alvarez. “I encourage women not to give up on their hair. We are beautiful the natural way we are. We have to work with what we’ve got, and not against it.”

Alvarez’s beauty tips and work can be read in Seventeen and other publications. The native New Yorker talked about the growth of her successful hair career.

“I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York,” she said. “I was planning on going into the Air Force after high school. But one night, I ran into a friend who was a celebrity wardrobe stylist. He told me he really loved the way I did my own make-up and hair, and that I had no idea of the bigger picture. That’s how I got started. He was working with rapper 50 Cent and other celebrities. I started assisting, and that’s how it all began.”

She added, “After finishing beauty school, I began working in a hair salon. I eventually got a call from a hairstylist I was assisting. She said singer Alicia Keys was going on tour, and needed a stylist. She couldn’t do it, and asked if I was interested. I said I was interested, and Alicia Keys gave me a test run. She called and offered to take me on tour with her. I left the salon and went on tour with Alicia when I was just 20 years old. All of this has been a dream come true.”

According to Alvarez, her interest in hair care was ‘rooted” in her at a young age.

“When I was growing up, I was always doing hair,” recalled Alvarez. “I was the neighborhood hair braider. I was doing Allen Iverson braids, and would experiment on my cousins’ hair.”

Alvarez, who said she would like to start her own hair care product line one day, shared this advice for aspiring stylists.

“Before I went on tour with Alicia Keys, I assisted,” she said. “Assisting is how I started my career, so you have to be open to being an assistant. You also have to have a foundation. There are always new trends and techniques. You have to be willing to learn new things, and be a student of your craft. You also have to be humble, and connect with the right people,”

The talented stylist talked about one of the most gratifying “parts” of her career.

“I love what I do, because I believe that women are accepting who they are,” said Alvarez. “Everyone is beautiful in their own unique way. By wearing their own natural curly styles, women are embracing their culture and destroying stereotypes.”