Sam Villa ArTeam Member Roger Molina on the Joys of Attending Trade Shows and Why He Believes His Stop Motion Videos are So Captivating


One of our favorite parts about attending trade shows is being able to connect with so many talented artists in our industry. While taking part in America’s Beauty Show last month, The Tease team had the privilege of meeting Sam Villa ArTeam Member and Master Stylist at Lunatic Fringe, Roger Molina

Image courtesy of Sam Villa

If you spend a lot of time on social media, you’ve likely come across Molina’s viral stop motion reels such as the Beowulf, or his signature duagrams, which are stop motion tutorials with key-note technical diagramming that helps to show a haircut step-by-step and in 3D. 

“I make stop motion videos to try to bring to full life what I think is a dying art, which has been diagramming and sort of precision haircutting in a more modern way,” Molina says. “Not like the old school, but it’s a little more new school.”

Molina has been using his duagrams, in particular, as a unique teaching tool to expand the minds of stylists—both inexperienced and experienced. In one year alone, this new medium that he has developed has caught fire and won awards, influencing the future of how education is presented.

Keep scrolling for a snippet of our conversation with Molina in which he discusses why trade shows are such an important aspect of our industry, his love of stop motion, and why he’s so fascinated by the fast trend cycle.

The Tease: What’s your favorite part about attending America’s Beauty Show?

Roger Molina: Seeing my team—the Sam Villa squad—and the amount of work and preparation that they put into the show. The bottom line is always education. I don’t know if everybody knows that. Yes, we have tools for sale and we try to make an impact on those sorts of levels for our business. However, if it wasn’t for us being here to teach, I guarantee you that Sam Villa would not have us here. The more you walk around on the show floor, the more you recognize how important the actual education is. And that is what is kind of going away. But education is still happening in pockets and we’re seeing it manifested with some of our own teachers like Ellen DeVine, Anna Peters, and our youngest blood now, Adrian Sandoval

Image courtesy of Sam Villa

Why are trade shows so important for our industry?

Molina: I think that hands-on education has sort of slowed down with the birth of the virtual dimension coming into play, and that’s sort of tragic. I think the best part about hairdressing is really getting a new experience. Since we work with our hands, it’s great being able to come in and touch, do, and see something in the flesh. Hair shows are about connecting with people. It’s about going to the show, getting on the floor, and making those introductions.

ArTeam members help drive a lot of the educational direction of the Sam Villa brand. How do you approach teaching at trade show events like America’s Beauty Show?

Molina: We’re trying to bring this new dynamic. I’ve been working with duagrams lately, which brings together stop motion and technical diagramming. I’m using that to connect to the old school sort of two-dimensional PowerPoint and Keynote versions of how we used to instruct, and at the same time, integrating them into what we’re doing during our classes.

We just did a masterclass in New York with Sam Villa, and we did a whole new level of visual integration. I think people just walked out there being able to finally see the whole thing in full spectrum. A lot of times, you think, “Oh, I learned a trick or I learned a thing.” But, to have people walk out and be like, “I could do that haircut right now,” that’s empowering for us to hear as educators. So, it’s really making a difference to everyone along the way.

You’re widely known for doing a lot of stop motion hair videos.  Can you tell us more about them and why you think they resonate with so many people?

Molina: I’m a big believer in stop motion. As for why it’s so captivating to people? It’s because it’s something that we saw a long time ago. The first one that came out in the public was in 1918. So, that’s like 105 years ago. Almost all trends move in the same position of 20, 50, or 100 years. If a trend comes back in 100 years, it’s here to stay for a long time, so I’m hoping that’s the case with stop motion. 

But really, stop motion became integrated by Disney and fantasy. You could sing for me so many lines from so many movies that are characterized and depicted by lines and shapes. They are not real; they are someone’s imagination and they made the story. So that is what’s so magical about it for people and I think, myself. Even when I’m filming, sometimes my partner  Ellen DeVine will be like, “You okay?” And I’m like, “Yeah! This part is so sick!” because I got the hair to move in just the right way. And I imagine that Tim Burton did the same dance when he finally saw Edward Scissorhands starting to move. There’s something about it that didn’t exist before and now it does, and you were a part of that. To invent magic like that? That’s something that really moves the world. And that’s why people that have made these weird sort of whimsical places for people to exist, like Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss will go down in our history books.

That’s really why I think people like stop motion—because it’s not reality. And maybe it will turn into something even bigger and better because people are already doing stuff with it that I never even imagined would happen. Hopefully, in 10 years, I’ll see something and be like, “Look what they did!”. That’s really all you can hope for. 

Lastly, are there any trends that you are particularly excited about right now?

Molina: Not necessarily any trends themselves, but just how fast everything moves. I think for a long time we waited for models and celebrities to make trends happen and then we would just follow it along. Now, we don’t do that anymore. We have people doing things on some levels that you never even imagined was possible, and it’s happening incrementally so much faster. So, the pace of trends is the thing that’s astonished me right now, and just how fast they can move, take place, and reshape in such a short timeframe. I mean, it takes one party now to shift like a color palette for the world. And that’s really remarkable and something that’s never happened before. So, I would say that the speed and capability of a trend to shift and change immediately is the thing that fascinates me the most.

Hoping to learn from Molina in-person? He will be debuting his stop motion duagrams during two classes (Precision in Motion: Elevating Hair Cutting Efficiency and Hairvolution: Trending with Precision) on behalf of the Sam Villa ArTeam at IBS Las Vegas, happening June 22-24th. To learn more about his classes at IBS, be sure to click here. And to keep up with Molina, make sure to follow @rogermolinahair on Instagram.

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Camille Nzengung

Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor at The Tease, where she covers all things hair. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches. Send her a pitch:

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