My full name is Larissa Santos; however, most people know me as Lala. I was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil on October 3rd, 1996, and moved to Canada in 2011. I had to return to Brazil soon after in order to finish cosmetology school and gain some experience, but once that was completed, I returned to Vancouver indefinitely.
I often get asked why I like to work with natural curl.
I began my cosmetology journey in 2016 and started working with curls in 2018.
I believe fate chose what I should specialize in for me. When my career first began, I sent my resume to many salons, and would go to whichever one would have me. It just so happened to work out that only one salon contacted me for an interview, and it was a curly specialist salon. I was nervous at first, for I didn’t have any experience with textured hair until that moment. The interview went well, and they hired me after, which surprised me as I had no experience at the time.
The salon gave me some training; however, I continued to learn on my personal time as well. I studied different hair types so that I could obtain a better understanding, and attended many workshops from renowned professionals to gain more knowledge on the subject.
This was the start of my textured hair specialist career.
I quickly fell in love with the various types of textures and varieties of curly hair, and also with my client’s experiences related to their hair texture.
The stories I was told about the prejudice they suffered, and the journeys they had gone through to accept, and love themselves for who they are were special to me. These wonderful people made me realise that I love working with curly hair not only because of the satisfaction of knowing how to work with it, but also because of my ability to help people feel more powerful as individuals.
I used these stories as motivation. Each story I heard made me want to be better because I knew the importance and impact it wood have on all their lives. It was challenging at times, but it made me feel as though I was doing more than just hair. I was determined to help them all, the ones that lost their jobs due to the texture of their hair, or the ones who never got their hair dried curly, always straightened. Or worse, somebody convinced them that permanently straightening their hair would be nicer. It is thanks to my clients that I had the inspiration and desire to learn everything I know today.
I have also experienced some prejudice myself for cutting curly hair, as I am young, and my hair is not highly textured. When I worked in Brazil, I was the youngest stylist in the shop, and everyone else opted to be assistants. It was difficult to gain the trust of the clientele, and other stylists; nonetheless, it motivated me to be better. I love challenging myself and helping people, so every time I have somebody in my chair I pass on as much knowledge to them as I can, so that the client can acquire the same results at home without me. This gives people the ability to play with their natural hair, and have fun with it rather than hating, and hiding it. Whether their hair is straightened, curly with volume, has some definition, or no definition, they will know how to accomplish their desired look.
I strongly believe that everyone is beautiful, no matter the texture of their hair. It is fun to play with textured hair, there are so many things that can be done with it. Come see me and I’ll show you!