Institute of Courage

Join our army of awesome, unstoppable ambassadors.

About the Institute

Michael O’Rourke’s Institute of Courage, Sexy Hair’s educational retreat, was designed to be a life-changing experience. Yes, you’ll leave with an incredible set of artistic, technical and business skills—but O’Rourke’s holistic approach means that the Institute of Courage has become a place to learn about yourself. To become empowered. To explore your own creativity, learn new life skills, and leave inspired to fulfill your dreams—in both your career and in every other aspect of your life.

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The Institute itself is an almost-magical place of tranquility, set in an enchanting estate deep in the woods of Topanga Canyon, outside L.A. Classes are held in a rustic, Spanish-style pottery studio that’s been refurbished with state-of-the-art styling equipment. A Zen garden and Renaissance-style dining room provide space to relax, re-center, and mingle with stylists from all over the world. This is a test sentence.

What is Included in Your Stay

During your two day stay, you’ll experience

  • Hands-on training from top industry professionals
  • VIP treatment including limo transportation
  • Gourmet lunches from the Institute’s chef
  • O’Rourke’s Tai Chi-inspired Structure in Motion™ technique

Structure in Motion – Our Hair Cutting System

The Institute is a place where you’ll learn how to balance mind and body to achieve your highest level of focus and performance. It’s a chance to push yourself past your creative limits and learn how to harness energy efficiently and effectively. Learn more about Structure in Motion™

IOC Calendar

For more information please contact nicolen@sexyhair.com

What can I say but thank you once again? Today, I performed the best work of my life. The blow-dry technique was the life changing factor.

- Ricky, Richard Scott Salon, New York

About Your Trip Download trip pdf

Coaches

Dawn Atkinson

Dawn Atkinson

IOC Coach

For Dawn Atkinson, hairdressing is an art form. Her tools of the trade are like brushes and the people she styles serve as a canvas. Even after more than a decade in the industry, she still loves being able to channel her creativity and ingenuity to give clients new looks and carry out their vision of what they want.

Hard working and dedicated, Atkinson is proud to have had the opportunity to showcase her talents in several high profile assignments including working backstage at a New York Fashion Week runway show, The Revolution (Cirque De Soleil) and Sexy Hair ad campaign photoshoots. Her work has also been featured on Modern Salon and Beauty Launchpad magazine.

One of the things she loves to do is share her knowledge and experience with other hairstylists. “Seeing their [hairstylists] passion and excitement when I am teaching new things is so rewarding,” says Atkinson.

Her own passion for education has led her to become a coach at the Sexy Hair award-winning Institute of Courage. She has also presented on stage as a Sexy Hair Master Artist at numerous trade shows including Premier Orlando, Chicago Midwest Beauty Show and several regional hair shows across the country along with numerous Sexy Rocks and Tribe of Style events.

“Work hard and dream big,” says Atkinson. “You can have anything and do anything you put your mind to and believe in yourself because dreams do come true.”

Ian Browning

Ian Browning

IOC Coach

Browning got into the hair industry while waiting to go to Navy boot camp, sweeping up hair at a salon for extra money. “I bailed on the Navy and started beauty school because hairdressing looked like fun,” he says.

He started at Sexy Hair in 2000 and became Sexy Hair’s 2009 Master Artist of the Year. Known for his strong sense of street style, Browning represents Sexy Hair internationally, sees clients at Salon Lujon in Fullerton, CA, and is equally at home doing hair on fashion runways and for prestigious publications including Allure and Cosmopolitan.

In regard to doing hair, it’s all “hands on deck” for the Browning family. His wife of 12 years is a hairdresser and so is his 20-year old daughter. Even his 3-year old son looks like he has a calling for the profession. He chuckles as he recalls his son imitating his moves as he cuts doll heads.

His proudest hair moment? “When my daughter passed the state cosmetology boards and became part of our amazing hairdressing family.”

Jenifer Mikel

Jenifer Mikel

IOC Coach

Jenifer Mikel strives to live creatively every single day which is the reason she became a hairstylist. She wanted a career that allowed her to use her creativity and skills to make people feel beautiful and confident. Her ingenuity, keen sense of style and color ― coupled with her genuine excitement for the industry - has made her a highly sought after stylist and educator.

“I have had incredible opportunities come my way,” says Mikel. “For that, I feel incredibly blessed.”

Whether it’s keeping up-to-date with the latest industry techniques and trends, the salon owner is up for any challenge. From the runways at L.A. Fashion Week to behind the chair, Mikel has taken that fearlessness and applied it to everything she does.

She joined the Sexy Hair team as an Education Business Expert (EBE) in 2005 and hasn’t looked back. In a short time, she’s gone from EBE to coach at the company’s award winning Institute of Courage. This elite team consists of talented, highly-sought after educators who teach the company’s unique Structure in Motion™ haircutting system.

“As a hair artist, I never thought I would be working with and having a chance to meet and inspire so many others in the industry.” says Mikel. “I am fortunate to work with and learn from some of the GREATEST talents and individuals in this incredible industry.”

Lonn Bogart Jr.

Lonn Bogart Jr.

IOC Coach

Lonn Bogart is an accomplished stylist with many successfully years as a stylist—his passion for the industry is undeniable. As an in-demand educator, he’s traveled all over the world training hairdressers and inspiring them to love their craft. He has held many prestigious positions, including Regional Education Manager, New Hire Coach, Master Artist and Lead Artist for Sexy Hair. Lonn was a recipient of Sexy Hair’s “Regional Education Manager of the Year Award,” and during his tenure as a Lead Coach at the Institute of Courage, the academy won two consecutive awards by Beauty Launchpad as “Best Academy.”

Creating unique styles for every client is Lonn’s mission, and designing hair has served as an outlet for showcasing both his talent and skill. His expertise in dry cutting and color lets him envision the perfect look for each new person who sits in his chair, based on that individual’s lifestyle, mood, and career. Lonn takes the time to educate his clients on how to style their own hair at home because as he says, “I never get referrals on a ponytail.”

Forward movement is a constant theme in Lonn’s life. He plans to continue his legacy as a tough, but caring and compassionate educator by becoming a motivational speaker. He also dreams of opening his own boutique hair salon, showcase the “Lonn Dean Blow Out” and design his own hair tools. “I am the luckiest person to be able to do what I love and share it with others. It is truly an amazing experience, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” he says.

Michelle Rouzer

Michelle Rouzer

IOC Coach

Michelle Rouzer has been building a highly successful and thriving career in the industry for over a decade. Michelle is a woman of many hats, including; Sexy Hair Master Artist, Sexy Hair Regional Education Manager, Institute of Courage Coach and Lead Stylist on the Sexy Rocks team. She is also the owner of her own salon-spa, 40 Volume, which was voted “Best of Savannah” for 2013 and named the official salon for Savannah Fashion Week.

Michelle has gained a loyal following with her ability to “take the fear out of getting your hair done” and make her clients feel comfortable. “I have so many clients that have come to me so afraid because someone in the past has scarred them. I’m very good at listening to what someone wants and giving them exactly what they envision,” she says.

She is empowered by the passion that her colleagues have for the industry and loves to share that excitement with the up-and-coming stylists whom she teaches. Michelle credits all those who have taught her and helped her grow professionally and hopes to pay it forward by helping others.

Nadirah Volpe

Nadirah Volpe

IOC Coach

Sexy Hair Master Artist Nadirah Volpe is a versatile stylist with over a decade in the industry. A natural artist, she spent her childhood drawing, sewing, painting and giving her dolls makeovers. Today, she is an in-demand LA hairdresser, who has built a reputation on her extensive knowledge of styling tradition and exceptional technique. She’s done hair for the B-52s, and her work has been featured in Hot Rod Magazine, Beauty Launchpad, Modern Salon, and Salon Centric as well as on the runways of New York Fashion Week and Los Angeles Fashion Week.

Traveling the world to educate and motivate fellow artists is something Nadirah never thought she’d be doing. “I am truly blessed to be able to see the world and make people beautiful everywhere,” she says. Inspired by the styles of classic beauty icons as well as Los Angeles’ diverse and ever-changing trends, Nadirah aims to create aesthetic balance in her work. She is a perfectionist with a talent for understanding exactly what her clients are asking for.

Nadirah’s future goals include broadening her skills set in makeup artistry and sharpening her expertise in dry cutting. She hopes to become licensed in New York, which would allow her to work on both coasts. Becoming an accomplished session stylist is also on Nadirah’s to-do list. She would like to leave a legacy as someone who made the world a better place and inspired with her art.