Interpreting Beauty: The Inside Story with Rossano Ferretti

This past year I have gotten acquainted with the Rossano Ferretti salon. I was invited to visit last year along with a 20-something blogger and we both fell in love. First the salon is stunningly beautiful and incredibly warm for a 57th Street “luxury hair spa”. I was also intrigued by their idea of harmony…that when you look at a person you see their whole beauty not just the hair per se.

It reminded me of being in my twenties and thinking that some magical hair dresser would look at me and say…I know the exact haircut that will bring out your beauty. The thing about Rossano, the salon founder, is that he believes it’s the exact opposite. It’s only by understanding who the person is that you can recommend a look. This is such a 40:20 realization…that the best beauty comes about as a result of knowing yourself rather than trying to fit a beauty ideal. Of course there is experimentation that comes with that, especially in your twenties!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rossano Ferretti himself on his thoughts on twenty-something beauty. Whether you can make it to his salon’s or not, it’s great advice on what to look for when you choose a stylist and finding your own beauty.


Christina: What is your philosophy about finding the right haircut?

Rossano: The key is for everybody to be themselves. Unique. Don’t look at marketing. Don’t look at celebrities. Don’t look at other people. It’s you, and yourself, and your life. The number one thing is respect. The stylist has to listen to you. The problem in many new salons is that the people don’t look at you and don’t listen to you. They just want to make you look like the last beauty story or celebrity haircut.

This is nothing. You’re unique. You have to have that feeling when you talk with a stylist. To feel that they understand you. You’re a woman. It’s your sensibility. My sister says that I am a man with a “woman’s soul” because of my sensibility. You can sense if someone understands you. And if she or he doesn’t, don’t let them cut your hair. Go home. People have to listen to you.

Christina: You mention that you see a lack of trust. What do you mean by that?

Rossano: If you want the young generation to trust in the beauty industry, we have to listen to them. Not the other way around. Many people are more afraid of a hair salon than a dentist. It’s a sad thing to say but this industry is living a moment that doesn’t see the identity crisis around it. I am working very hard to re-inspire colleagues and give passion to the next generation because people cannot come to this industry just for money. This is a passionate industry. If you don’t love this profession, it’s better you don’t do it.

Christina: What do you think about the celebrity culture we have…so many women go in wanting to have a certain celebrity cut?

Rossano: I worry about the celebrity story. Everybody wants this celebrity haircut or to know our celebrity clients. I never talk about my clients. People come to us because of our reputation, because of our haircutting method, because of the sense of beauty that we have, because of the harmony we can create around the woman, and not because we do somebody famous.

You have to think of a hair salon like a destination today. You don’t go to a motel to sleep. You go to motel to live an experience. You don’t choose a restaurant to eat. You want an atmosphere. You want to be treated. You want to be embraced. You want to eat well. You want to have the wine chilled with the temperature you wanted and you want all the service around you and you want to live an experience.

So this is how a salon should be today. A salon today should be like a destination, a place to be. Not only a place where you do a color or you do a shampoo.


Christina: So do you think a lot of younger women know what they want?

Rossano: Some do and some don’t. But the key is for young women to fell listened to so they share their desire and their fears. If you listen and they trust you, you will see who they are. Before doing anything you have to understand the woman, and then after, you can be the interpreter of her personal beauty. If you don’t read inside of me, if you don’t understand me, how can you make me beautiful?

Christina: How do you interpret the beauty?

Rossano: I have to look at the person. That doesn’t mean I look at you with wet hair in a robe in front of the mirror. I have to spend time in consultation with you. I have to understand you. I have to talk with you and from there I can make some kind of decision, or recommend a big change. Beauty is not the haircut. It’s not the color. It’s harmony with your body, with your face, with your lifestyle, with your needs, with everything around you.

Christina: Do you see any mistakes that younger women make?

Rossano: I see all the mistakes…for everyone. Honestly, if I’m on the street and look at hair, the hair tells me a story. Everyone has a lot of color…a lot of product. If you don’t respect color, if you don’t respect the way you cut the hair, you cannot create beauty.

I think a lot of people don’t know what to do with the products, with themselves, with their beauty. This is about the haircut being invisible. You don’t want to see a haircut. You don’t want to see the scissor in the hair. You want to see the hair move.


Christina: What is your process then?

Rossano: You see the movement around you when we cut hair. The body movement around the hair literally changes the way we cut the hair because you follow the natural force of the hair. It is not static.

At first it was a war against the world because everybody wanted to see the layer. Our clients, and many people, want to be more natural.  With our technique we can cut Asian, Brazilian, North American, UK, French, and Mediterranean hair because we respect hair. We respect it’s natural force.  That’s why we are successful around the world. We respect women. We respect their hair. We respect their culture.

Christina: I talk to a lot of younger women and many don’t feel beautiful. It’s funny because a lot of older women look back and say, “Oh my gosh. We didn’t realize how beautiful we were.” Is there anything you would say to a twenty something woman in terms of owning their beauty a little more?

Rossano: It’s like when you are discovering new food, when you are discovering a new city, when you are discovering travel. When you are younger, you’re thirsty. You want to discover but you also are afraid of yourself and those changing things around you.

We as beauty consultants, should consider the people. The young women are afraid of us because they see bad examples. Or when they go to a hair salon, they ask for that celebrity haircut. That is a zero personality story. You don’t want to be Britney Spears or whatever girl. You just want to be yourself.

Thank you Rossano. 

And yes…I love my hair (plus I have even gotten a few delicious Italian recipes from my stylist!)

Some more pics!


The LA Salon




The London Salon



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