Meet Ali Romano: Beauty Launchpad 30 Over 30 Winner for 2024

Ali Romano (@ali_theartist) is a hairstylist, educator and owner of Ruby’s Beauty Salon in Troy, OH.
Ali Romano (@ali_theartist) is a hairstylist, educator and owner of Ruby’s Beauty Salon in Troy, OH.
Courtesy of Ali Romano

We are spotlighting the winners of Beauty Launchpad’s 30 Over 30 contest, sponsored by Denman Brush.

Here, you will get to know Ali Romano (@ali_theartist). She is a hairstylist, educator and owner of Ruby’s Beauty Salon in Troy, OH.


Beauty Launchpad (BLP): What is a fun fact about you? 

Ali Romano (AR): In 2020, a month before the pandemic, a tiny tornado damaged our salon & the apartment we lived in above the salon — just enough to displace us for the entire year! In that same week- we traveled to LA to help do hair on the set of Lady Gaga’s “Stupid Love” music video. It was the best & worst time of our lives - high highs, low lows!! 

BLP: How did you get your start in the industry?

AR: I had always been an artistic kid but never considered hair school because, at that time, it wasn’t really a celebrated path to take. My mom took me to an Aveda school to do a tour, and I was pleasantly surprised! I praise her to this day for pointing me in the right direction for my future! 

BLP: What is your proudest achievement in the industry thus far? 

AR: In 2023, I won the Masters Of Balayage Blonde Category out of 10,000+ entries! My very first hair award! 

BLP: What advice would you give to the younger version of yourself just starting out in the industry, looking back on your whole career?

AR: I would tell my younger self to STOP caring what other people think, and find a mentor and other like-minded stylists that would positively influence me, rather than tear me down. I learned this around year six of my career, and I wonder where I’d be now if I had only received that advice earlier in my career. 

BLP: What is your current favorite hair trend?

AR: I am obsessed with coppers: natural copper, lived in copper, vibrant copper — ALL OF IT! 

BLP: What is a valuable hair tip that you want to share with your fellow stylists (whether it’s a business tip or something related to styling/working with hair)?

AR: From day one behind the chair, set boundaries and enforce client policies. The longer you wait, the harder it is to get systems in place. It’s your chair, it’s your business and it’s your livelihood! Just because you love your job does not make it a hobby – It’s your career! It will be difficult at times, but you must do your best to leave emotion out of it if you want to be successful behind the chair.

BLP: What inspires your work?

AR: I think the relationships I’ve built with clients over the years have really inspired my work. Because so many of my clients came to me with damaged hair or color that really needed correcting, I have a huge focus on healthy, integrity based coloring and extensions. Whether it’s installing hair extensions or making a more suitable color plan, I love helping clients reach their goal. The look on their face when they see their hair and the trust that’s built between us — It doesn’t get much better than that! 

BLP: What is something that keeps you passionate and motivated in the industry each day?

AR: With the help of social media, I’ve been able to create relationships with other stylists all around the world. Some of which I’ve been able to meet in person and even work alongside with! Connecting with people who can understand and relate to the highs and lows of the beauty industry has truly helped me both mentally and physically. I believe it’s kept my passion alive in so many ways. 

BLP: What changes would you like to see the industry make in order to grow/change/evolve/be better than it was before?

AR: For so many years— decades even, our industry has been looked at as a hobby and not received the respect and value that it deserves. Most of us aren’t just throwing foils in people’s hair. We educate ourselves. We invest in ourselves and our business. We are entertainers — who must be ON at all times. Working behind the chair is not only physically exhausting but sometimes mentally exhausting. Although I think a large portion of the industry has done a great job of setting boundaries, charging our worth and being able to make a comfortable living, I think, as a whole, we still have some room to grow! 

BLP: What is a career goal you have for yourself? 

AR: Over the last few years, alongside my incredibly talented fiancé Jonny Cosmo, we’ve been able to teach independent education classes to stylists all over the country. We of course love teaching hair techniques, but what really moves us is talking about the emotional side of the beauty industry and salon reality — all of the little things we deal with when we’re not behind the chair. The lessons we’ve learned along the years, sometimes the hard way. I would love to be able to teach and connect with stylists on an even bigger scale. I want nothing more than to be a positive influence, aiding in the growth of our industry!

To see the full list of winners, read Beauty Launchpad's May/June issue.

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