Diana Macaluso styles hair in creative ways. A photograph of one of Macaluso’s more exotic creations – she called the design Maneater – earned a place on the January cover of Modern Salon magazine. Not bad for a 28-year-old dynamo who grew up wanting to be a dancer.
A member of the Clarence High School Class of 2002, Macaluso started dance lessons at age 7, but after an automobile accident and upon the advice of her guidance counselor she turned to cosmetology. She started working at Morcelle Salon right after graduation, jump-starting her career by taking an advanced cutting course at the Vidal Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, Calif.
Last summer, Macaluso was part of an international styling team that pampered the mothers of athletes competing in the London Paralympic Games. As an instructor for Sebastian Professional, Macaluso travels to salons throughout the Northeast to share her styling knowledge with others in the industry.
People Talk: Describe your haircut.
Diana Macaluso: Disconnected. It gives me a couple different options for one style. Yesterday I had it up in kind of a Mohawk.
PT: How do you stay current?
DM: You have to keep yourself in the know. That’s why I work with a brand. I go out of town a ton to see what’s upcoming and new. I just taught a trend seminar in Boston. I teach at salons throughout the Northeast. That’s my territory. I loved working behind the chair when I started at Morcelle, but I knew I wanted more. It’s great to take clients every day, but I wanted something else to look forward to. That’s why I auditioned with Sebastian in Baltimore.
PT: Working two jobs must be demanding.
DM: When I go home after working at the salon all day, I do my teaching schedule and my lesson plans. I still have to figure out what I’m teaching these people on Monday. Every week I used to fly out on Sunday, teach on Monday, and be back in town to teach at the salon Tuesday night. It got a little crazy, so now I do twice a month out of town, usually to Boston or Pittsburgh.
PT: Do many local stylists do that?
DM: I know one other girl who works for a brand. She’s in the Southtowns. A lot of the girls at the salon think I’m nuts because I beat myself up all the time. But it wouldn’t be exciting otherwise.
PT: Where do you get your energy from?
DM: What I see in the future. There’s so much I want to do, I don’t have time to not be energetic. I need to do this now to make it happen – especially with the cover of Modern Salon. I did the whole style in a Mohawk edgy look, and I hated it, so I took it down. They were dying. The photo shoot was in 20 minutes.
PT: What’s your 10-year goal?
DM: I’d love to do more editorial work. I’d like to do scenes for Vogue. My all-time dream is to be a professional editorial stylist.
PT: In your 10 years of practice, how has the industry changed?
DM: When I first started, everyone was flat-ironing their hair. Hair was so flat. Today we’re moving back to the 1940s and waves, and people are pin-curling. People are asking me to finger wave their hair. It’s really hard, intricate. But now we have a clipless rod that can simulate that same texture. Hair’s not straight anymore. Hair is curly.
PT: What is your style?
DM: Edgy chic. I don’t like anything too pretty. It always has to have a raw edge to it.
PT: You are 5 feet tall and wear a size 0. Do you have trouble finding clothing?
DM: I get everything tailored – by Sergio. He can take any seam and make it fit perfectly to your height and proportions. He’s Greek.
PT: Do you go shopping without wearing makeup?
DM: Never. My weekend look would be a ton of mascara, really light liner and red lips all the time – even for Walgreens. I use my weekends to experiment with different makeup looks I may want to try throughout the week. It’s just fun.
PT: What would you never do to your hair?
DM: Grow it long. Once I stepped into the business, I cut my hair short because my hair makes me money. If you wear something every day – kind of like a wallflower – nobody looks at you. No one would believe you could progress their own look. They look to you for professional advice. My clients get excited when they walk in because they never know what I’m going to look like.
PT: Are you counselor more than cutter at times?
DM: I’m a big book of secrets. I know everything about every single housewife in Williamsville. I’ve had people fall apart in my chair before.
PT: What is the forgotten treatment?
DM: Eyelash tinting. It enhances your look 100 percent. It makes your lashes black all the time, with or without mascara. Black enhances your eyes the most. I love lash extensions. I love anything involved with making the eye look more beautiful. Eyelashes get bleached from the sun.
PT: Do you tint hair?
DM: You color hair. You dye rugs, not hair. It’s like, you don’t pluck eyebrows, you pluck chickens. You tweeze eyebrows.
PT: And what do you do to nails?
DM: Anything creatively that can be done with a nail is hot and on the scene right now. They’re making their own turn. Rihanna and Lady Gaga wore stiletto nails. Then there’s nail decals. They’re like stickers and they last for a week with a clear coat over it. Reverse French tips are big, too.
PT: What is today’s hot hair color?
DM: I’ve been seeing a lot of rich reds that I love. I don’t do my color as much as I used to. I don’t have time to do it anymore. So I got a rock star haircut that always looks good, because I’m so bad about doing my color. It’s embarrassing. I’ve been purple, green. I was blond a couple of summers ago, and every single shade of brown you could ever imagine. You name it, I’ve been it, and now I’m just exhausted.
PT: Do blonds have more fun?
DM: Redheads have the most fun, for sure.