Rockford’s Own: Derek Louis (Hollywood Hairstylist & Cosmetologist)

Lindsay Lohan & I At The 'Liz & Dick' Premier Dinner

Lindsay Lohan & I At The ‘Liz & Dick’ Premier Dinner

With all of the negative press that Rockford has received of late, how do you feel about the city that you hail from?

“Oh, man! Rockford has some truly awesome and beautiful things for anyone to enjoy. For example there is just something that I love about lunch at Mary’s Market with a good friend. I’m always in the mood for a market garden salad! Rockford also plays host to some very trendy & unique, locally owned boutique shops. My favorite spot is Culture Shock: I swear that store is epic – just such a cool place, hands down! Very cool vibe when you’re there, and everything that I have ever purchased gets so much attention!

And who could even disagree with yoga classes at Anderson Gardens – one of the most gorgeous Japanese gardens in the WORLD?  There is no denying that it might take some searching but Rockford truly does still have its hidden gems. I feel that people living in Rockford need to not focus so much on the negative aspects but, rather, shine more light on all of the awesome local shops and amazing things that are happening around them.”


What prompted you to enter the field of Hairstyling for film and fashion?

“After realizing that the normal college path just wasn’t for me, I was searching for a career that would allow me to be creative while also utilizing my artistic side. But, mostly? It was my amazing Mom who would let me just play with and style her hair for hours at night, when I was young. And no matter how ridiculous some of the ‘styles’ would look she always said it looked. “So pretty!”


What was your first big step after high school?

“Moving to Chicago, definitely. I moved into the city with very little cash, all the while experiencing that feeling that I may not be doing the right thing. It was tough to move away from my family, and the city that I had grown up in. If I could tell my 20-year-old self what I know now, I would tell him not to have so much fear of the future, and not to think of my personal goals as being so unrealistic. Most importantly, I would tell myself not to let other people’s negative opinions play such an active role in the making of my own decisions.”


How did you find yourself immersed in the world of Hollywood?

“It all started with my Uncle who, while I was growing up, was attending filmmaking school. I always got myself involved in the projects that he would shoot around the Rockford area.

“From there, I started to make my own little short films. I was obsessed with filming almost anything, and loved to tell a story through the medium of imagery.

“So, fast forward 12 years: I had completed cosmetology school, had moved back to Rockford, and was working under Beth Alms, an amazing hair stylist who was, really, the one that told me that I should be doing more than shampooing & prepping hair color for her clients. For my 23rd birthday, my Mother gave me a one-way ticket to California. Within the first month of being in California, my Uncle had hired me on as an Assistant Hair Stylist for Kristen Davis (from ‘Sex and the City’) for a Lifetime project called ‘Of Two Minds‘.

“After that gig was at an end, I went on to do a few other projects for Lifetime including ‘Liz & Dick’. Here, I became close with Lindsay Lohan who, then, took me with her to do the feature film ‘The Canyons‘.

“It’s true when they say, ‘It’s who you know in the business.’ The fact of the matter is that it’s all about the grind; how well you can sell yourself and – once you have sold yourself – it truly comes down to how proficient your skills are, and how fast you can work, because every Producer wants that Actor on set and done shooting as soon as is humanly possible.

“The best part about doing hair for film is that your job is to create the character, allowing them to emerge from a conceptual form into real-life and, in doing so, for it to really relate intimately to whatever vision that the Director has in his or her head.”


What are you most proud of in your career, to date?

“I’m proud of myself any time that I accomplish something that has taken me an incredible amount of effort and dedication; every time that I overcome a fear without allowing it to take over me. I’m proud of myself for not giving up, even when the task at hand seemed impossible to complete. I’m proud of a lot of things, but I don’t stop to think about them all that much. As an artist, I am always so hard on myself – BUT – this, right here, is a great accomplishment for me: To have caught your attention and to be interviewed by you, having this opportunity to share with the folks back home in Rockford. My greatest accomplishments are not just what I have done in the past; the “who” I have worked with, or even what films I have worked on. They’re captured more in the present moment – the ‘right now’. I am living my greatest accomplishment, every minute of every day.  Call it cliché, but today is my best today. My greatest accomplishments are the culmination of everything that I have ever done that has helped me to arrive at the moment that we call now.”


What is most satisfying to you, at the end of a typical day?

“It’s an awesome feeling when I can make a client feel more confident and beautiful, or when a hair style that I develop or create assists an actor or actress with getting into their role just that much more. There is nothing more rewarding then creating that positive boost for someone else.”

Kristen Bell & I On The Set Of 'SomeGirls'

Kristen Bell & I On The Set Of ‘SomeGirls’


What are some of your fondest memories in show business?

Show business is so energetic that to me – every day – there is some sort of surprise.

About a year ago I was the Lead Hairstylist for a feature film called ‘Some Girls’. Just last week, in fact, it was released in select theaters and on the Internet. But what made it so special to me is that I was able to have some of my closest friends & family on hand for a special screening of it, with me, in a local Chicago movie theater. When my name appeared in the credits, I don’t think that I have ever received such overwhelming applause, such gestalt positive reinforcement. It is moments like those that prove to me that hard work really can pay off.”


What do you miss most about Rockford?

“I miss being around my family the most, as well as being physically separated from my long-term friendships there. Nothing can really replace that kind of love and support. And the traffic in Rockford is far, far less stressful then driving in Los Angeles.”


You can follow Derek at:

Some Girls Trailer Montage

Some Girls Trailer Montage



Heath D. Alberts – Co-Founder, Digital Ninjas Media, Inc. (

Author of: “Terminal Beginning” (2010) | “Guerrilla Business” (2012)

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