Renee Taglia is a Master Colorist with 14+ years of experience. She has an established clientele (which has included Carrie Preston, Ali Fedotowsky, Dave Koz, Stephen Dorff and Jessica Canseco) in Los Angeles as well as her native Chicago, where she travels monthly to service her many loyal clients. She was recruited as an educator for Wella Salon Professionals which provides her the opportunity to teach in salons all across the United States. In 2015 alone, she has taught in over 100 salons throughout the country including top salons in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Southern California and Nevada.
Earlier this year she was nominated for Wella’s highly coveted Educator of the Year Award. In addition, Renee was head of the in-house color program at the prestigious Gavert Atelier Salon in Beverly Hills. Her intense regime mentors junior colorists through a highly structured and hands on two year program. After 8 years of Head Color Educator as well as Master Colorist at Gavert Atelier, Renee is currently taking her prestige clientele at a private Studio nestled in a Beverly Hills.
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Chris Remmers: Let’s start by going into where you grew up and how that influenced you into the lifestyle that you’re living now.
Renee Taglia: So, I was born and raised in a suburb in Chicago. I lived there until about 10 years ago and I started my hair coloring career there. I worked at Mario Tricoci. I did cosmetology school through high school, so I got a really early start on it. Once I was at Mario Tricoci, it’s more of a spa, but it’s a very high end salon and spa within the Mid-West, they gave me a two-year training program specifically in just hair color. Even when I was in cosmetology school I was very focused on hair color specifically. In Chicago, I built up my clientele for another eight years and decided that I wanted to be the best. So, to be the best you have to go where the best is — either side to the coasts. You’re in Manhattan or you’re in Los Angeles. Being from Chicago, I kind of got sick of the treacherous winters, so I decided to move to LA to enjoy the sunshine and keep my finger on the pulse and the trends.
When I moved out here I had such a demand in Chicago, I had built it up for eight years, I was finding that my clients were flying me back to Chicago. I was going back every six weeks, and that kind of stuck. For the last 10 years I’ve been going back to Chicago every six weeks. I go back for about four days, and it’s just a hair color tornado. When I’m there it’s just four days back-to-back, me and my assistants. It’s non-stop hair color 12 times a day. But, I love it! It’s the best of both worlds. I have friends and family there, so it not only maintains my lovely Chicago accent, but it keeps me grounded and really diverse. Then, when I’m not doing clients in Chicago I have my own private studio here in Beverly Hills on South Beverly Drive. It’s just me and my clients, and I’m able to accommodate my clients who have crazy schedules.
CR: That’s awesome. I literally feel like I’m talking to my girlfriend right now, because she’s a makeup artist. She’s all over the country, about to go to Cancun and I’m like, “I’m so jealous of you!” It’s crazy.
RT: It’s like the epitome of business and pleasure. Your girlfriend has it made! Your girlfriend is awesome.
CR: Taking it back a little bit, what was kind of the start that made you say that this is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
RT: Well, in cosmetology school you learn everything. You learn skin, hair, nails, perms — you learn everything. And, the very first day of orientation they showed you everything. When they demonstrated coloring hair I was enthralled with it. They present us the color wheel and I was fascinated by it. I had always been kind of an artist growing up. I love to paint — love oil paintings. So, I always just had a really firm grasp on the actual color wheel and understanding complimentary colors. It was always something that I was intrigued with.
When I saw that I was able to service a client and bring out there best features I was like, “I was made to do this!” It’s an extremely, extremely magnanimous industry that I’m in and it makes me feel blessed and fortunate. On top of all of it, when I’m not servicing my clients I’m an educator. So, I teach in salons across the [United States]. Last week I was in Maui, [Las] Vegas and I went to do clients in Chicago. That was my week last week. I teach other colorists how to be better, which to be a teacher in a field that you love is pretty gratifying.
CR: Yeah, I can only imagine the feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day. It must feel amazing! In terms of the places you’ve been, have you gone anywhere where the atmosphere when you were out at night was different than you expected?
RT: For sure, I went to Scottsdale, Arizona and I always knew that it was very spa and kind of catered towards that. It’s one of the more major metropolitan areas in the US and I thought there was going to be more of a scene at night time, but it was kind of quiet after nine o’clock. Scottsdale in itself though is amazingly inspiring. Their sunsets are like nowhere else in the US. Have you been?
RT: Oh, it’s stunning. They way that they reflect off the mountains it’s breathtaking.
CR: That’s amazing, the closest I’ve been down towards Arizona was Texas a few times. We actually just got back from South by Southwest not too long ago. It was just an amazing time. The scenery was unbelievable. A lot of Texas is flat, but where we were in Austin there was mountains and trees. That’s what I’m used to in north New Jersey. Do you visit the New York area frequently?
RT: Yeah, NY, NJ and Philadelphia. I actually teach in Philadelphia quite often. I’ve been to that part of the country and love it, especially in spring/summer time. That energy of kind of being cooped up all winter and you’re finally out. It’s like Chicago, it’s very similar.
CR: Yeah, the first nice day of the year it’s like all of a sudden you didn’t know all of these people live in the area. On a broader level, what are your top couple destinations that you haven’t been to yet, but want to visit?
RT: For sure! Number one would be Budapest. I’ve had clients that have gone there multiple times and it seems like it has such character. Every photo that I’ve seen from there takes my breath away. Even just the color palettes. The architecture, the history, it’s fascinating. I’ve also always wanted to go to Australia. Anybody that I know that has gone there or was born and raised there I’ve seem to get along with just swimmingly. They have such a zest for life and I feel very connected to that. I’m very similar myself. I know this is a very overused word, but I consider myself very passionate.
CR: Would you say that your traveling makes you culturally diverse?
RT: Definitely! Not only does it make me culturally diverse, it makes me aware of how hair is effected in different climates. So, for example, the hair that I dealt with in Hawaii, you’re dealing with much more sun exposure and moisture. Same when I go down to Miami. Their hair seems to be a little bit healthier and stronger, because of the humidity. Opposed to the polar opposite which would be like Scottsdale, Phoenix and Tucson. With those clients it’s so dry. It completely changes the density in the hair.
CR: That’s amazing. For someone who obviously is nowhere near your industry, that’s something that you wouldn’t even think about. Lastly, to wrap this up, where is your next trip and what for?
RT: Exactly! My next trip is to Seattle and I’ve never been to Seattle. I’m ridiculously excited for it. I’m heading there in two weeks to teach. Again, I’m just intrigued, because their weather is so polar opposite to what I was born and raised with in Chicago. I do feel like I’m going to be very enthralled with that city. I’ve only heard wonderful things about it.