Since getting his start as a 5th grade barber, Dexter Williams' life's work goes beyond the ability to just do good hair.
He's doing great work in his community.
Milwaukee Rep is excited to recognize Dexter Williams and Mr. Dexter's Hair Salon with the Steel Magnolias Team Truvy Award, given to local salons who -- like the character of Truvy in this tenderhearted favorite -- embody the love, joy and friendship that we see in the play.
Since 1993, Williams has used his salon -- located on 5615 W North Ave. -- as a platform for education and personal development, funding community programs from his tip money and a side career in motorcycle maintenance. To date, he has given back through volunteer work in jails, nursing homes, GED programs, abuse counseling classes and more.
"There's so much growth inside the community. They just need an instructor to assist them," Williams said. "I teach people to put their lives back together, explore their talents, explore what they have in their heart."
Williams first discovered his inspiration for helping people during his grade school days, when he first developed his skill for hair and worked a variety of odd jobs. Now, years later, he continues to greet customers with an open mind and ear.
And -- like Steel Magnolias salon owner Truvy -- he always expects the unexpected from a variety of unique characters.
"In a matter of hours, there could be four or five personalities that you're dealing with," he said. "People come to the salon to be free, for counseling, for beauty and -- mainly -- to try their ideas on you. They need someone to hear them out."
"I think that Steel Magnolias is 100% accurate, true to itself as a salon. The hair stylist has a lot of healing inside."
For Williams, being honored with the Team Truvy Award means that the community has noticed the way that he strives to enlighten, inspire and motivate his clients and students.
"It's more than just talking. I'm an individual of action. It's wonderful that people are paying attention."
About the Team Truvy Awards
Nominated by community members and selected by a committee of local leaders, Team Truvy salons embody the love, joy and friendship we see in the play, Steel Magnolias. Salons were chosen based on their strong dedication to their clients and community, as well as a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. These amazing local businesses will be recognized throughout the run of Steel Magnolias, as we celebrate the enduring friendships built inside Truvy's Beauty Salon.