Stylist Spotlight: Kathryn LaRusso, Little Moon Salon
Our stylist community is our family. We love sharing with you our brothers and sisters who not only support Virtue, but also help share our vision that everyone deserves to have truly healthy hair. They inform and enlighten us, and in turn, we continue to deliver the most revolutionary hair care they could ask for. What we’re trying to say is, we couldn’t do it without them. Stylist Appreciation Day is approaching, and during this time of uncertainty, we’re more thankful than ever for their passion and resilience.
Kathryn LaRusso of Little Moon Salon in Columbia, Maryland, practically grew up in a salon. Her mother, a hairdresser, introduced her to the world at a young age. “I have such fun memories of going to that salon—hanging with the shampoo girls and sweeping up. I really thought it was the coolest thing ever.” The week after her 16th birthday, she took her first job as a shampoo girl, went to cosmetology school right out of high school, and the rest is history. Here she reminisces on her worst haircut ever and shares her plans for fostering the next generation of talent.
Q: How did you get into being a stylist? How did you get to this point in your life? I wanted a space for young talent to grow in a safe environment; to give back to this next generation that wants to work in a place that empowers others.
Q: What is the most challenging thing about owning your own salon? Doing it all! I’d like to step back from behind the chair and focus more on the business, on giving my team the tools for success. I want to foster an open and safe communication culture, where praise happens publicly, and critiques are behind closed doors. Managing stylists and personalities comes easily to me. I think what makes me a better leader is to constantly motivate and open doors for creativity.
Q: What is your best moment about the journey? When did it feel like you caught your “big break?” I’m also an educator for Wella Professionals, and two years ago I won “Educator of the Year.” That was one of the proudest moments in the journey. I feel like I’m here to give back, to educate, and to help my team learn and grow.
Q: Is there anyone in the industry or beyond, that you really admire, or someone who inspired you in your career? My mom took me to my first hair show when I was 10 years old, and there I saw Robert Cromeans, a top artist for Paul Mitchell. He was teaching about dreadlocking hair, and I went home and immediately tried it on myself. I wanted to do what he does, teach and entertain.
Q: What is your salon’s unique approach to beauty and style? How do you define a “success” after a client leaves your salon? We’re all about luxury services that maintain the health and integrity of hair. We can do wild stuff, too, but if it’s not healthy, it’s not going to look pretty. Enter VirtueⓇ. That’s why we love that it’s all about transforming and renewing hair.
Q: Who would you say is a true “style icon” in terms of beauty, fashion, life? Jennifer Garner. I admire people who are approachable; if you bumped into them on the street, they’d probably be kind and relatable, and they’re not always all done up. I love that realness.
Q: What is your favorite trend/style? I love a lived-in balayage look with beachy, undone waves. My sign is Cancer, so I love water and beaches, and I’m drawn to anything that gives you that relaxed, “just walked off the beach” look.
Q: What was the worst haircut you ever had? In the early 2000s, there was this technique called the “ponytail haircut,” where you’d put ponies all over the head and go in with thinning shears. Sometimes it would turn out awesome. But one day, my hairdresser was having an off day, and hacked off so much hair there was nothing left but nubs.
Q: What’s your personal hair routine? I use VirtueⓇ Recovery Shampoo and Conditioner. It makes my hair feel clean, but also is great for my highlighted hair. Then I use Volumizing Primer, 6-in-1 Styler on the ends for smoothness, and blow dry straight. I’ll extend the style for about five days by curling, wanding, using dry shampoo or texture spray, or putting it up in a ponytail.
Q: What other things are you passionate about that aren’t hair related? I love cooking. My dad’s side of the family is from Norway, and I love the European culture of cooking and gathering, and showing love through food.
Q: What’s next for your career? My goal is to expand the salon. Quarantine closing is just a minor set back. I plan to grow the team and keep providing a creative space for them to love working in.
Q: What’s your favorite Virtue product? Texturizing Spray. It’s the best texture spray I’ve ever used. It does wonders for hair, giving it that big, sexy, pretty look.