Cultured Coiffeur

A peek under the hood of local hairstylist Mario Russo’s art-and-fashion-filled life.

Mario Russo

Photograph by Webb Chappell

Mario Russo’s hair expertise comes from a surprisingly technical place: The Italian-born stylist studied electrical engineering before deciding to design ’dos instead, training in London with Vidal Sassoon and eventually opening his first salon, on Newbury Street, in 1990. Since then, he’s worked his magic on the likes of Teri Hatcher, Sarah Ferguson, and Caroline Kennedy; created an eponymous line of hair and body products; and opened a location on the waterfront. But Russo’s tress success hasn’t stopped him from pursuing his other passions, from contemporary art to classic cars. On the eve of his salon’s 25th anniversary, we asked the stylist to share his daily inspirations.


photographs courtesy of mario russo (shampoo); flickr (porsche); le creuset; brandon baunach/flickr (ICA); wilson (racket); common projects; carthusia; leica; morgenthal frederics


What I’m Listening To

“Alabama Shakes and the War on Drugs bring music back to the core of what it is supposed to be about: smooth melodies mixed with the gritty, cool sounds of modern rock and blues. These days, it is hard to find an album where I enjoy every track, but I can put Sound & Color on replay.”

What I’m Watching

Vicious on PBS is hysterical and makes me laugh every time. The witty and playful banter between partners Freddie (Ian McKellen) and Stuart (Derek Jacobi) is sharply written and well acted.”

What I’m Eating

“Now that the weather is starting to change, I am craving comfort foods. Nothing is better than a warm and hearty soup or stew.”

Where I’m Traveling

“Miami has become my second home. I spend weekends there in the winter. Its warm weather and thriving art scene help me get through Boston’s tough winters.”