Friends and Business Partners Geneva Mendosa & Lauren Scaccia Talk About Their Start in the Field, Bad Haircuts and Their Signature Style
Written By: Marissa Wright Toni & Guy Stylists Share How to Get Your Best Hair
Photographed By: Taylor Lewis
The Experts: Geneva Mendosa & Lauren Scaccia; Stylists, Makeup Artists, Salon Franchise Partners
Geneva Mendosa and Lauren Scaccia are best friends who embody the style and trends of Toni & Guy, a hip hair salon in Newport Beach devoted to education through innovation. With technical precision and forward-thinking style for kids, men and women alike, Toni & Guy raises the salon standard across the country. We sat down with the pair to discuss beauty tips, signature styles and the future of beauty trends.
Here are the top 7 tips for better hair from the experts!
- A great adjustment to make is color—shifting the color or the focal point of color can really make a difference in the way one perceives movement in their hair as well as bringing more attention to the face. Lightening some pieces around the face can create an entirely different look. Adding fringe with a haircut or incorporating a new styling technique to their existing haircut can create a change as well.
- Use whatever tools or techniques that are needed to create these current styles. Big waves are done by using heat wands. Also, staying fresh with makeup and switching it up based on your hair color or the season.
- Best accouterments to keep on hand: a blow dryer with the nozzle. That needs to be emphasized—a blow dryer and using the nozzle. The nozzle compresses the airflow so the air can be used to seal down the exterior of the hair shaft (the cuticle).
- Best hair products to keep on hand: leave-in conditioner. A shine serum can also be versatile, appropriate for use on wet or dry hair. We make recommendations based on our knowledge of the TIGI product line. Between the performance of the product or if someone prefers a certain fragrance we have plenty of options between the TIGI lines: S Factor, Catwalk, Bed Head and Hair Reborn.
- Don’t keep any products longer than a year to be on the safe side. From there, look at the basics. Do you have your tailored shampoo and conditioner, leave-in conditioner, shine serum or oil? Oh, and dry shampoo. That’s everyone’s best friend nowadays.
- Always blow-dry your hair with a nozzle on the dryer, especially when using a brush. If not, then you risk burning your hair. Also, don’t towel-dry hair roughly because that can cause it to frizz or possibly create breakage.
- Choose a haircut that is good for you, not just what’s current.
How did you get your start in the beauty industry?
Lauren Scaccia: Well, I was 13 when I started playing with hair and let my parents know I wanted to go down this road. Through high school I did cosmetology school in the evenings, which my parents weren’t originally happy about, but I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser so I said, “Sign right there, ” on the ROP paperwork and shortly after I finished high school I started with Toni & Guy. I was 18, so I’ve been with Toni & Guy going on 14 years now and time has definitely flown by.
Geneva Mendosa: I had started going to the cool hairdresser in my hometown while going to school for criminal justice, and she had Toni & Guy education. I had some flippy little tree-looking haircut, which was popular at the time. I started dabbling with doing friends’ hair but I really didn’t know what I was doing. I thought I should go to beauty school but kept thinking my direction was criminal justice. And then I met Lauren. At that point, just meeting her, I completely switched my whole direction and I moved down here and started working at Toni & Guy. That was May 2005, so it’s been over 10 years now.
Q: When did you first think you were doing something special with hair?
LS: I realized I was doing something special when my mom brought to my attention how lucky I am that people actually thank me for a job well done. To be thanked for my passion and for what I give to another is something that has fulfilled me beyond monetary benefit. I got into hairdressing because it’s artsy and fun, and then I stayed because I am truly passionate about the relationships I’ve made and making people feel good.
GM: Because of working with Toni & Guy we are already working with, in my opinion, the best, so I’ve always considered my place here a special place. We get a lot from helping other hairdressers. That’s the Toni & Guy culture; we want to extend as much information and education as we can to help our team and the whole industry.
Q: How did you get to be at the top of your game?
LS: I think it has become possible because of the opportunities we’ve been provided by being with Toni & Guy. The path had been paved by everything from involvement with the education team to becoming involved with the management side, but the opportunity to purchase the franchise has been the most exciting undertaking. How did we get here? A lot of hard work and a lot of great support and a great team. And each other.
GM: Immediately out of the education program I wanted to be an educator, but as soon as I started getting into that I realized I really liked being behind the chair with clients. I wanted to help grow internally, so that led me to become a manager and to where we are now. (Lauren and I) have completely relied on each other for everything along the way. You have to surround yourself with other successful people, and my best friend is also one of the most successful hairdressers in Newport Beach so of course I want to be able to be just like her.
Q: How would you describe your signature style?
LS: Working with one’s natural texture, not forcing this material to be something it’s not, and making life easy for clients. Personalized to the individual; it’s not about me or what I want to do, it’s about what the client wants and their comfort zone.
GM: A lot of my clients refer others who want something shorter and edgy, like undercuts, and even looser shapes but on a tailored structure. I love doing that kind of work.
Q: How has being a part of T&G affected your signature style?
GM: It’s the foundation of what we do everyday. Toni & Guy is known for shapes that will grow out very seamlessly.
LS: Toni & Guy was founded in London by four Italian brothers who came from a line of hairdressers. With the Italian hairdressing influence of softness and texture, mixed with the British hairdressing influence of structure and geometry, we get the perfect blend to suit the individual. This technique has transcended through generations of Toni & Guy hairdressers using the classic foundation to personalize for the individual.
Q: What is your favorite part of hairdressing?
GM: It’s an amazing career. We get to create every single day and meet new people and share our art with the whole world.
Q: What do you want people to think of when they hear Toni & Guy?
GM: I want them to think that we’re the Barney’s of the hair industry.
LS: Quality and a great experience. Our Hairdressing Academies are known to be the Harvard of hairdressing.
Q: How does Toni & Guy stay up-to-the-minute with beauty trends?
LS: Our national creative team studies current trends in fashion and music and pulls inspiration from those industries to forecast. Like fashion trends, hairdressing trends are very cyclical. The national art team shares with the local art teams, which is then brought into the salon.
Q: What is the easiest way someone can update their beauty style this year?
LS: One adjustment they can make is color—shifting the color or the focal point of color can really make a difference in the way one perceives movement in their hair as well as bringing more attention to the face. Lightening some pieces around the face can create an entirely different look. Adding fringe with a haircut or incorporating a new styling technique to their existing haircut can create a change as well.
GM: Using whatever tools or techniques that are needed to create these current styles. Big waves are done by using heat wands. Also, staying fresh with makeup and switching it up based on your hair color or the season.
Q: What hair tools should every woman master to give herself great style at home?
LS: A blow dryer with the nozzle. That needs to be emphasized—a blow dryer and using the nozzle. The nozzle compresses the airflow so the air can be used to seal down the exterior of the hair shaft (the cuticle). When you have a smooth cuticle you’ve got higher shine, you have less frizz and overall a healthier, more condensed and compressed feel. For those with puffier texture, it will help to keep hair smooth with less tangling. Holding a flat iron at the correct pitch to not add kinks in the hair. And then, of course, we love a curling iron or curl stick.
GM: I think having the appropriate styling products makes all the difference. Also, make sure you go all the way through the ends while blow-drying. A lot of people stop before the ends and then the ends can look frayed. Your hairdresser should be recommending appropriate products to use for your hair texture.
Q: What are your must-have hair products?
LS: A leave-in conditioner benefits most textures. A shine serum can be versatile, appropriate for use on wet or dry hair. We make recommendations based on our knowledge of the TIGI product line. Between the performance of the product or if someone prefers a certain fragrance we have plenty of options between the TIGI lines: S Factor, Catwalk, Bed Head and Hair Reborn.
GM: Obviously, a good professional shampoo and conditioner based on their hair needs—color safe or something to help with frizz or volume. Adding leave-in conditioner before applying other products is helpful. Most women want something for volume. Most all of our male clientele leave the salon with a texturizer of sorts.
Q: How can someone streamline their beauty regimen?
LS: The worst is when you have so much and you can’t remember what to do with it! When you’re sifting through your products make sure nothing has expired. Don’t keep anything longer than a year to be on the safe side. From there, look at the basics. Do you have your tailored shampoo and conditioner, leave-in conditioner, shine serum or oil? Oh, and dry shampoo. That’s everyone’s best friend nowadays.
Q: Looking back over your own hairstyles, what was the worst hairstyle you had that you thought looked awesome at the time?
GM: Ha! I was known for my edgy red rocker mullet, for probably six years too long. At one point, Lauren gave me one-inch layers and I looked exactly like Tegan and Sara. And I thought, “Oh, I am so cool.” But really, I looked like Gollum. I really thought that I would always have that look, but eventually I evolved.
LS: I would say the worst color I ever had was in high school. I saved up my money and I went to this hairdresser and I was given hideous gold chunks. Chunks!
Q: What would be a perfect day off in SoCal for you?
GM: On a day off, we usually go to the desert and play in Palm Springs or Joshua Tree. We just like to be in that hot, hot heat, but definitely by a pool.
Hey, Hey, The Mullet’s Back: Geneva Mendosa and Lauren Scaccia say they’re seeing shaggy shapes come back in style. They predict the next hot look to be the super ’70s, grown-out rocker look. “So, are mullets coming back? Yes, ” says Scaccia. “It may take another year for the trend to take off but the extremely layered shapes will be back. We’ve been wearing long layers for a while now. Hairstyling, like fashion, is cyclical.”
Our Greatest Tips: “Always blow-dry your hair with a nozzle on the dryer, especially when using a brush. If not, then you risk burning your hair, ” Scaccia says. Also, don’t towel-dry hair roughly because that can cause it to frizz or possibly create breakage. Choose a haircut that is good for you, not just what’s current, Mendosa advises. “You’ll end up with a lot of haircuts where you look back and go, ‘What was I thinking?’”
Geneva Mendosa’s Favorite Restaurant: Lola Gaspar in Santa Ana
Lauren’s Must-Have Hair Products: Leave-in conditioner and shine serum
Toni & Guy Hair Salon
1165 Newport Center Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Marissa is an Orange County native who has called Costa Mesa home for the past ten years. Small business supporter and a lover of all things “locally grown”, she spends her free time cooking from scratch, singing in the shower, and trying to break a sweat. If you asked her mother, she would say Marissa is “something else” and has no shortage of opinions. A long-time veteran of the service industry, she can be spotted in the wild probably trading war stories and laughing too loudly.