Above the Cut is a monthly Q&A with a member of the Salon Mario Russo team, and this month we feature Artistc Director Sal Malafronte. Sal is a master stylist who joined the Mario Russo team in 1998 and he was named Artistic Director in January of 2011. He specializes in haircuts that emphasize clean lines and gorgeous, sexy styling.
1. Can you give a brief background of work experience and education?
I’ve trained in New York and London with everyone from Bumble&bumble to Toni & Guy to Vidal Sassoon. I spent three years as the Associate Director for the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Atelier Team. I got to travel and educate stylists across the country. I worked at New York Fashion Week doing hair for Rodarte, Takoon, Suno, Theory and Monique Lhuillier and locally for Micheal de Paulo and Mike & Ton. I’ve done editorial work for Teen Vogue, Boston Magazine and Stuff and several covers for the Improper Bostonian. And I just started working with designer Daniela Corte which I am very excited about.
2. How long have you been with Salon Mario Russo?
I’ve been with SMR for 15 years…the last two as Artistic Director.
3. What are some of your favorite aspects of your job and work?
I love everything about my job. The creativity, the interaction with clients…everything. I’ve wanted to be a hairstylist since I was a kid and I consider myself very lucky that every day when I go to work I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do.
4. What gets you out of bed in the morning and excited to go to work?
Every day is new and different, from the clients, types of hair and different styles…It’s always changing and I love that.
5. What do you love about Boston?
What’s not to love? The restaurants, the art, the history, the Cape… it’s an amazing city that gets better every year. I always say that if someone is complaining there’s nothing to do in Boston they’re not looking.
6. Where are your favorite places to visit in Boston?
Restaurants- Coppa, Toro, Via Matta
Shops- Louis, Bodega, Daniela Corte
7. What other cities inspire you? Where are your favorite places to visit?
I’m obsessed with all things London! Total Anglophile…the Royal Family may have a restraining order against me and I’m forbidden from bringing any more books on Princess Diana into the house. And I love Miami…its just the sexiest place to be…all year round. And of course New York. How could you not be? It’s the coolest city in the world.
8. How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
I’m a TV junkie! I love all types of shows..dramas, sitcoms, reality…doesn’t matter. I grew up with a TV in every room…including the bathroom! To this day it’s
still the only activity that completely relaxes me. I also love beauty pageants! I don’t know where or how this came about but its lasted since I was a kid. I’ve judged and co-hosted pageants within the Miss USA system and recently met Rhode Island’s first Miss USA/Miss Universe. A dream come true!
9. Where do your find inspiration for your work in the salon?
I think inspiration comes from what you love. For me that’s movies, TV, magazines, and music. It only takes one image to make you see things differently and set you off on a new path.
10. What do you predict as the upcoming trends for spring and summer hair?
Full bangs, shoulder length hair, updos for casual events, natural textures and accessories such as scarfs and ribbons.
11. What are your favorite styles?
My favorite all-time haircut is Halle Berry’s cropped cut. It’s just perfect. And I never get tired of big, full, sexy beauty pageant hair…always good.
12. What has been your most exciting work project in your career?
Working with Shu Uemura. It gave me the opportunity to step outside my box in terms of the styles I created, the looks I worked on, the tools I used and the people I learned from. It completely changed the way I thought about hair and it took my hairstyling to a whole new level…a level I hadn’t dreamed of.
13. What do you aspire to accomplish in the future?
My future is wide open. I’m ready for any and all challenges and opportunities that present themselves.
14. If you were stranded alone on a deserted island, what three things would you need?
Electricity, so I could plug in my Iphone and TV…the corn from Toro so I would have something to eat…and a helicopter to get my ass off that island…I would go crazy!!!