Team Spotlight: Dez, East Side Hair Designer

Dez’s hair journey started when she was three; her first client was Barbie. Not long after Barbie, Dez used Reynolds Wrap in her bathroom to process hair color on her cousin’s shag.  She received her first pair of scissors from Santa in high school, and used them until they stopped cutting, which was on her roommate’s pixie in their apartment kitchen.

Putting her scissors aside, Dez pursued a degree in Business/Corporate Communications from Marquette University. Her degree led her to her first professional career in Training and Development.  During that time, Dez learned she wanted to lead, but even more, wanted to design.  This brought her back to her childhood passion, to become a hair designer.

Everyone, meet Dez.

Q: Where are you from/where were you born? Where do you fall in your family?

A: I was born in Kankakee, IL and am the “middle child”.  My mom loves to remind me of   that because she always thought I had a free spirit, which I think was challenging for them.  I am considered the rebellious one in my family but I don’t think I am.  Often I wish I was even more of a risk taker than I am.

Q: Did you have a job/career before becoming a hair designer for Neroli?

A: I was actually a trainer/educator before I was a hair designer.  I always wanted to “do” hair but my family really wanted me to get more education first.  I am so fortunate that I get to do both.  I love all the different dimensions of the work that I get to do.

Above: Dez with her husband and three children.

Q: What drew you to becoming a hair designer?

A: I have no idea what drew me to hair.  I have loved it as long as I can remember.  From the time I could hold a comb I loved to brush and braid hair.  I did any person’s hair who would sit for me, all my dolls and barbies.  Even my younger brother, he was often a victim of my practice.

Q: What is a misconception/judgment people often have about your services?

A: I think people often assume my services are expensive.  They are an investment, but it pays off.  I am always willing to work with people based on their budgets of time and money.

Above: Dez does it all. From lengthy blondes to barbering, from formal finshes to redheads and lavenders. 

Q: What inspires you, both in work and in life?

A: I am inspired by challenge and growth. I love to learn. I think that’s why I love to teach because I am usually learning when I am teaching.

Above: Dez teaches new hair designers barbering techniques.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do in Milwaukee?

A: I just love Milwaukee all around.  It’s such a great city in so many ways.  I would say though, walking near the lake or river, stopping by an art boutique, and then going to for some delicious food adds up to something that can usually feel pretty fantastic.

Q: Favorite food? Song? Pet?

A: Favorite food?  Let’s just say I love all food.  I love to eat healthy but I also secretly love really bad junk food. I am always eating before bed too…food is totally my weak spot.

There is so much music that I love, so I don’t have a favorite song. I have albums that remind me of parts of my life.  Tori Amos Little Earthquakes reminds me of early college and some difficult times in my life.  The Beatles Rubber Soul reminds me of my family.  Led Zeppelin 5 reminds me of driving to Michigan to visit my grandma with my family.

We have two cats, Ceci and Louie.  My house is a crazy place, those two just add to the ambiance.


Q: Is there a special quote that resonates with you?

A: Be the change you want to see in the world.  Its been with me a long time and it is simple but it still holds true.  Every time I get frustrated with life, I realize that it’s up to me to become what I want others to be.

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