Q&A With Owner and Hair Guru Alexey Kats

You probably know Alexey as the good-natured, ultra-talented guy who runs shop at Architeqt. But did you know he’s also a product developer, savvy entrepreneur and self-made salon staple in this town? Find out how one man turned his glossy-page dreams into multiple businesses – all before the age of 33. 

When did you know you wanted to do this for a living?

I fell in love with hair as a teenager. It wasn’t even just hair – it was the beauty & fashion industry of the ‘90s as a whole. Also, the idea of being around women all day, as a teenager, was very appealing.

How did you get started in the industry?
I went to beauty school right from high school; I knew it was the direction that I wanted to go with my career. I would hang out at this salon near my aunt’s dry cleaner shop where I worked and just watch how they did hair all day. It seemed like a very cool-looking lifestyle.

Who is your biggest mentor?

Artur Kirsh of The Studio CL is definitely at the top of the list. I got to know him when I was 15 and he was 21 – he seemed like a rockstar to me back then. I vividly remember leafing through a magazine and there was an editorial of supermodels. He just asked, “Hey, you want to do their hair one day?” I apprenticed under him, and he gave me my first real opportunity in the hair industry. I worked alongside him for the next 12 years. He told me about this cool hairdresser coming to town that neither of us had met or seen yet, John Sahag. John and his dry-cutting technique had a profound influence on both of us to this day, and worked as educators for his company for several years.

What is your creative process?
One of the major reasons that I love doing hair is because I get instant gratification from creating something with my own two hands. I get a lot of inspiration from the world around me, from architecture to art to just the culture in general. After I absorb all of that, I try to make it my own. In fact, I often annoy my staff with some new hair idea I had or a tool I thought of. It’s quite funny actually. They just roll their eyes half the time now.

When did you decide to open your own place?

Ten years ago while still working at The Studio CL, I started my first company, Fountainhead Beauty. The purpose for Fountainhead was to create tools that were lacking in the industry. I created the first dry-cutting cape, several types of dry-cutting shears and a few styling tools, like a curling iron and a blowdryer. I decided to start educating stylists on my own approach to the dry-cutting method, and my next logical step was to open my own salon where I could have a team of people to grow further.

What advice do you have for aspiring hair stylists, colorists and salon owners?
Take this profession seriously. It’s not an easy way out. Put aside several years for your education, and learn different facets of the industry. When I originally started in this industry, I thought I was going to be a hairstylist working for somebody for the rest of my life. After 15 years, I am the owner of two salons, an educator, a manufacturer and an aspiring businessman.

What’s next for Architeqt?

This will be an exciting year. This spring we are launching our salon app which will take the stylist/client relationship outside of the salon. We are also expanding our 10th Street location; we are opening a color workroom focused on all things hair color and make up. We plan to hold more workshops and events, and get even more creative with our talented staff.

What do you hope every client feels when they step away from your chair?
Beautiful. Confident. The best version of themselves. I believe that when you feel good about yourself you can aim to conquer the world. My role in that as a hairdresser is to make your hair an extension of you and your personality.


-Interview By Lauren Mcgrath