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featured shu stylist: melody russ

Luxelab/House of J Henry | Santa Monica, CA/Portland, ME

Shu Uemura Hairdressers Instagram@melodiousmouse

“Treat it like you own it;” something Melody Russ has believed in for a long time, propelling her into a career that provides a creative outlet at an elite level. Melody started her journey studying at the Sassoon Academy. After graduating with “Best in Class” honors, she went on to work at Luxelab in Santa Monica, California. Within Luxelab her “own it” philosophy led to the roles of Cutting Educator, Academy Director, Creative Director, and Editorial Team member. After moving to Portland, Maine with her husband, Melody then went on to be a Cutting Specialist at The House of J Henry. In addition to working behind the chair on both coasts, Melody is also an artist on the Shu Uemura Artistic Team. Melody has put her talents on showcase working backstage during New York, LA, and Paris Fashion weeks. She has won the Shu Uemura Gallery of Street Style, and the prestigious L’Oreal Color Style Trophy Cutting Award. During her free time, Melody loves visiting Disneyland, making scrapbooks, and spending time with family and friends.


How do you determine which prep product to begin with?

I determine which prep product to begin with after assessing the client’s hair and taking into consideration the desired end result.

Do you have a favorite go-to?

My favorite go-to product at the moment is the Essence Absolue All-In-Oil Hair Milk. I always reach for this because of it’s many capabilities when prepping the hair; whether I want to detangle, control frizz, add shine, soften or add a heat protectant. Because of it’s lightweight formula, the Essence Absolue All-In-Oil Hair Milk can be used from roots to ends.

Shu Uemura Art of Hair

How do you think the precious ingredient story plays into speaking to products with clients?

To me the precious ingredient story harkens back to Mr. Shu Uemura’s Japanese roots of turning to nature for beauty secrets. With that in mind, it’s easy to explain to clients how the sustainably sourced precious ingredients play an integral role in each product.

What makes Shu so appealing to clients and stylists?

Clients and stylists alike find Shu so appealing because of the quality and precious ingredients that enables each product to do exactly what it says it’s going to do, the fact that there is a product for every need without being overwhelmingly large, and the exclusivity of the line.

Which two products can you not live without? And why?

I love Essence Absolue Overnight Hair Serum because it hydrates and seals the ends controlling frizz – while you sleep! The best part is that because it’s so lightweight it does not leave a greasy residue that you have to wash out the next morning.

Shu Uemura Ishi Sculpt Sculpting Hair Paste

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