We had the good fortune of connecting with Melissa Roche and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Melissa, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
I think the most overlooked part of the industry, or the part that isn’t really acknowledged, is that to be a master of your craft, requires countless hours of advanced education, and hands-on training.  This is something in addition to the state required hours of training. Advanced education isn’t a requirement, but in my opinion everyone should seek this out, whether it be in salon training, or something you attend as a licensed professional.  Education isn’t cheap, but it really helps you elevate your skill and understanding of your techniques. In the beginning of my career, I was fortunate enough to have a really great mentor, and salon owner that gave me great additional training, and also paid for numerous advanced trainings, some of which were the cutting and styling training in New York with Bumble & Bumble, and Sassoon in Los Angeles.  I love the saying, “Great hair ain’t cheap, and cheap hair, ain’t great”.  It’s true.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s kinda funny, because I never really considered myself an artist, until I started cutting hair.  Haircutting really inspires me, still after 20+ years, I wasn’t naturally talented or gifted, and I struggled with a bit of Dyslexia, but my mentor, Rhys, really believed in me, and helped me overcome that.  He really has the patience of a saint.  It definitely was not easy, as a single mother, and living 3000 miles from any family, I felt alone and didn’t really know anyone here.  What really helped me overcome all of that, was that I wanted to be the best at what I did, and wanted my daughter and family to be proud of me.  It was the hardest time of my life looking back.  I learned to stay focused, which I think can be a challenge especially in today’s environment, and that there is no shortcut to success.  Put in the work, show up, and your reputation will precede you. I think I’d want the world to know that beauty is effortless. Beautiful hair shouldn’t require hours of styling, and thousands of dollars of product.  A few good things, and 15 minutes.  That’s all I need;)

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If my best friend is visiting San Diego, I would hands down take them to a few of my favorite places…  Day one, stroll through Balboa park and the museums. We’d probably grab lunch at Barrio Star, seeing as how the east coast is no place for real mexican food.  I’d encourage her to get the 3 taco plate. So good.  Next, we’d go to Sunset cliffs in Ocean Beach, get some oysters at South Beach, and definitely walk the pier.

And , lastly, I’d end the week with La Jolla Cove and Bird rock. We’d of course have to stop by Don Bravos, and have their lobster burrito.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be where I am today, without my 2 mentors, Rhys and Christina Stacy. Of course a huge shoutout to my husband Steve for endless support, and my biggest inspiration, my Daughter Brielle, for without her, I probably wouldn’t have had the drive I have. Lastly, my parents, Alice and Sal Cannarella, both hairdressers to this day, and who put that seed in my brain. Love you all.

Website: melissaroche.glossgenius.com

Instagram: @melissaroche hair

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