Artist Spotlight: Adrienne Dara

Written by Sarah DawsonMar 1, 2024

Read time 5 min

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Since graduating from cosmetology school in 2009, Adrienne Dara’s (@adriennedara) success in the beauty industry has been nothing short of exceptional. The Philadelphia, PA-based colorist, educator and SalonCentric #ItTakesAPro Team Artist has created scores of standouts looks behind the chair while establishing herself as a leader in stylist education and authoring the three books “Toning with Intention,” “Blonding with Intention,” and “Everything You Need to Know.”

And with her current focus solely on education, Adrienne is fulfilling her mission to help stylists grow both professionally and creatively by teaching in her very own education studio: The Adrienne Dara Hair Education Studio. “I specialize in helping stylists simplify their thinking when it comes to complex color theory behind the chair,” she says. Read on to learn more about her journey.

SalonCentric: Tell us about your career journey.

Adrienne Dara: My journey in the beauty industry has been very organic, and so I’ve allowed my client base and passion for teaching to draw me to each new chapter. After graduating cosmetology school, I worked at a salon for seven and a half years, beginning as an assistant and working my way up to a senior level stylist. I was fortunate to have an incredible mentor who really supported my desire to pursue my own dreams. I then opened a studio in 2015 and continued to grow my business over the last nine years from a regular hair salon to a fully education-focused business. I started teaching in 2013 while still at my first salon, and that passion continued as I formed Adrienne Dara Hair Education in 2016. Today, I own a studio in Philadelphia where I teach classes and take clients. It’s also my shipping warehouse for my three books, which have sold over 5,000 copies worldwide. 

SC: Was there a defining moment in your career?

AD: I have always dreamed of working with Redken, so when I got the call in 2021 asking me to come on board as a global ambassador, I cannot begin to explain the euphoria I felt in that moment. To have the opportunity to accomplish a real dream that I’ve fantasized about every single day for years, is a moment like no other.

SC: What has been the biggest challenge in your career?

AD: My challenge has always been the fear of failure. I don’t know if one can ever overcome that fear, but rather learn how to manage it. For me, it stems from having the desire to always chase a dream, new idea, or business venture. It can feel exciting, yet also be overwhelming. To manage this, I like to always prioritize my dreams by be realistic about what else I can take on and what ideas I need to bring to the table. 

SC: What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

AD: That the hardest part of making any decision is before you make it. Change is terrifying but you must step into it and accept what may come from it. 

SC: As an educator, what is the one thing that you want your students to walk away with?

AD: My main goal is to always simplify the formulation process. I want attendees to leave my classes feeling clear minded and excited to get back behind the chair. 

SC: In what way has the beauty industry empowered you?

AD: Without this industry, I don’t know if I would have ever found my love for teaching. It has whole heartedly empowered me to help others through sharing my knowledge and experience, as well as my missteps and mistakes. 

SC: Any next steps in your career to share?

AD: With three books under my belt, the next step is an audio book. I’m really excited about this new venture and hoping to have something out by the end of this year. My other goals include continuing to grow my education business and reach more stylists around the world.