Known for her superior razor-cutting skills, educator Coby Alcántar has been on the traveling team for Oribe Hair Care where she continues her passion for education.
As an educator she helps other stylists elevate their craft with the help of Oribe’s platforms. “It feels good to give people techniques they can use to hone their craft and do better at it,” she says. “We share that with the rest of the industry and do it in a fashionable and beautiful way; with the support of good products.”
After graduating from cosmetology school during her senior year of high school in Santa Cruz, CA, Alcántar immediately began an apprenticeship with San Francisco’s premier salon Cowboys and Angels. In 2000, she moved to the Bumble and Bumble flagship in New York City, where she perfected the effortless, low-maintenance cuts that have become her signature. At Bumble and Bumble Alcántar helped create a curriculum for the salon’s education program, and provided training and education for the in-house stylists.
"I’ve had three major mentors in three different chapters of my life: Tracey McAllister, of Cowboys and Angels in San Fransisco, who taught me not to be afraid of cutting hair. Howard McLaren with Bumble and Bumble at the time (Now R&Co co-founder) introduced me to the razor. And Oribe Canales who taught me how to dress hair!"
Journey along with Alcántar:
This year you can find Alcántar educating in Oribe’s Journey to Mastery Program, which focuses on courses that help beauty professionals become fluent in a wide range of techniques. Covering three chapters of intensive sessions designed to create a growth path for stylists to perfect their artistry, Journey to Mastery includes a purposeful blend of core technical skills, editorial inspiration and techniques that remain true to the brand’s ideas, and serves to challenge and awaken the hairdresser.
“Journey to Mastery focuses on helping people re-learn the fundamentals so they can master more advanced techniques. Like the beauty of the packaging of Oribe, everything that comes out of our classes is beautiful,” says Alcántar.
While the program has three parts: The Essentials, Runway to Salon and Editorial Obsessions, you will find Alcántar teaching the cutting techniques. “My favorite class is Short Signature—it’s fun to see the transformations that come out of this class and it’s a really cool way to use the razor.”
In 2018, Alcántar sees a return to the classics in cutting. “Cutting short hair is beautiful way to see the face and the head shape,” she says. “I just adore classic bobs—the way one length line hangs over the shoulders. I love when they are textured or curly, and I just love how the sheet of hair falls forward. Bangs are the best too because you can make all different lengths look like a short haircut. You can open up the face or frame it. Looking at old Victorian hair gives me the most inspiration.”
Favorite Oribe product:
Alcántar's go-to product is Gel Serum; she says she uses a little bit of it for every hair cut to make the overall style look "finished." She also likes the versatility of the brand, which offers everything from simple, foundation-building products to advanced, multi-functional products.
"We care about the hairdresser and what the hair of the world looks like," she says. "As a company we are always trying to be innovative and create things that people haven't heard of before. We are also recreating our own stuff to make it better. Everyone on the Oribe team cares."
Words to live by:
Alcántar has always been around people who value education. “Education makes us better,” she says. “I love practicing. We are always thinking of a new curriculum or new content, and as educators, we have our hands in hair all the time.” Alcántar recommends to other beauty professionals to try new things and find ways to be inspired. “Don’t be afraid to try something different so you can get better at it,” she says. “Let yourself go!”
"Be nice. I love the idea that a smile is contagious!"
Most important piece of advice:
"Make sure to conduct a thorough consultation. Clarify your client's needs. Have a little checklist and mental plan before you get into the hair cut."
See her in action: