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Jessica Scott Santo: “Never be negative or say NO!”

Get Regular Trims & Use Good Hair Products: Cutting of split ends every 6–8 weeks will help promote healthy hair growth. If you do not cut them off, they will travel up the hair shaft and break off (aka frizz and thinner ends). You get what you pay for when it comes to using hair […]

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Get Regular Trims & Use Good Hair Products: Cutting of split ends every 6–8 weeks will help promote healthy hair growth. If you do not cut them off, they will travel up the hair shaft and break off (aka frizz and thinner ends). You get what you pay for when it comes to using hair products. Using tools and products from a drug store can be stressful on hair. Ask a stylist which products are best, because every hair type and texture is different. Ask your stylist to spend a few extra minutes teaching you different styling techniques so you can replicate them at home.


As a part of our series about “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Scott Santo who is an influencer and owner of Jessica Scott Hair (PA). With over a decade of experience, she is known for her natural-looking Balayage on beautiful long hair. She is a Balayage and Foil Design Specialist serving as a Schwarzkopf Professional Ambassador and Sunlights Balayage Educator. She is also a DesignMe.Artist and certified in Hair Talk and Great Lengths Extensions, as well as Brazilian Blowout. She was named “Best Hairstylist in the Lehigh Valley” (2018) for Style Magazine, and recognized as a Modern Salon’s Top 100, and BTCTeam 3X Finalist. Scott believes that encouraging and celebrating the accomplishments of others on social media leads to personal growth and success.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was about a year into college just taking general classes and thinking that I was going to go into nursing, when suddenly I had to get my appendix out which led me to have to drop out of college. I wasn’t going to sit around and do nothing, so I enrolled in cosmetology school. I was always good at doing hair, so this was a no brainer, and I’m so glad I did because it was a great fit, I graduated at the top of my class!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

It was a turning point for me when I realized that I don’t have to be a young stagnant woman standing behind the chair making “X” amount of money living paycheck to paycheck. I can be something bigger and better and help other stylists as well. So, I decided to open my own salon and developed my social game and told myself that I would not stop until I achieved my goals.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

When I turned 30, I started to succeed, about 10 years into my career. I just became a Balayage educator after studying under Candy Shaw who is the inventor of Sunlights Balayage. I really started to up my education intake and focused on learning everything I could and perfecting it. Shortly after that, I joined the BehindtheChair.com team which lead to influencing on Instagram and making a 2nd career by posting videos and pictures online. I started teaching a lot of balayage classes, gaining a name for myself on social and really focusing on my love of hair led me to opening my own salon called Jessica Scott Hair in Sciota, PA.

In your experience what were the most effective ways for your business to generate leads and sales? Can you share a story or give an example?

I actually get a lot of business from Instagram, basically the majority. Some people say that followers don’t impact your sales in the salon, but for me, having more growth on Instagram turns into clients and cash. Also, I only post on Instagram what I want to actually perform on clients. It’s so easy now with social media, when I was first staring out, we had to physically go to actual businesses and hand out business cards! Times have definitely changed when it comes to marketing and spreading awareness for businesses and talent.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

This might sound cliché, but Instagram and social media is where I got all my inspiration. There are so many talented people in this industry and I remember early on I would look at other influencers’ profiles and I thought to myself, “I want my pictures to look like that, I want to get featured in different articles like her, I want to be a platform artist, etc…” So ever since then I’m slowly achieving all my dreams on my bucket list. Not one goal is too small, “no” is not in my dictionary…it’s just an excuse. I will conquer anything I put my mind to no matter how long it takes.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

When I first started out, I remember I had a client who box colored her hair and wanted a really light ashy blonde. I’m thinking to my 20-year-old self, “No problem.” I’m quick with my foil work so I preceded to apply her foils and let them process. As I was rising her, her hair was getting very gummy and breaking off. It was not terrible at the end, but definitely not what she wanted. I was young and inexperienced…thinking back, she probably also had well water in her hair and blonde underneath her box color. So moral of the story is always do a proper consultation, get a 3-year hair history, and talk about expectations before executing any service.

You have been blessed with great success in a career path that many have attempted, but eventually gave up on. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path but know that their dreams might be dashed?

Never be negative or say NO! Anyone can do anything they believe in! Do your research and search for a mentor, they can teach you so much and hold you accountable. Start small and build up to big! I was 20 years old, in beauty school and having children, but none of this stopped me from achieving my dreams. I work very hard, put my dreams into motion and now help to provide a wonderful life for my 3 boys!

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. Can you please share “Five Things Anyone Can Do To Have Fabulous Hair”. Please share a story or an example, for each.

1. Get Regular Trims & Use Good Hair Products: Cutting of split ends every 6–8 weeks will help promote healthy hair growth. If you do not cut them off, they will travel up the hair shaft and break off (aka frizz and thinner ends). You get what you pay for when it comes to using hair products. Using tools and products from a drug store can be stressful on hair. Ask a stylist which products are best, because every hair type and texture is different. Ask your stylist to spend a few extra minutes teaching you different styling techniques so you can replicate them at home.

2. Be Gentle: Avoid aggressive styling techniques and harsh coloring services or treatments. Wear hair down as much as possible since wearing the hair back can cause breakage. Also, try not to take really hot showers because hot water can strip the natural oils from hair. And after washing hair, don’t rough up hair while towel drying, instead, gently squeeze the water out starting from roots to ends.

3.Wash Less & Brush Hair with Caution: Washing hair removes the natural oils that hydrate hair, so washing less often helps reduce dryness. Use dry shampoo between washes to help hair looking fresh and clean. Hair is also a lot more fragile when it’s wet than when it’s dry. It’s best to carefully brush it, and if you brush hair before showering, it keeps combing to a minimum afterwards.

4.Use Treatments: Conditioning treatments can do wonders for hair and they’re easy to do at home. Apply once every other week to replenish hydration, especially during the summer and winter months and after a coloring service.

5.Diet: Healthy hair starts with a healthy diet. Protein is key for healthy hair, so make sure to eat lean protein and drinking lots of water. If you need an extra boost, try taking supplements like Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B7, and Vitamin B3 which are all key players in growth.

Can you share 3 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Confidence: If you don’t have it, others can tell. If you couldn’t wash your hair that day, instead of it looking like bed head, create a messy or braided up style that looks fashionable. Put the effort in to build yourself up.
  2. Selfcare: If you don’t feel healthy, you won’t look healthy. Eat right, exercise, fill your cup with optimism and take time to decompress so you can see things clearly and make good decisions.
  3. Self-worth: Believe in yourself and surround yourself with positive people that value you! Demand the best for yourself and be an advocate for others. Helping others succeed helps you succeed!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Honestly, I see a lot of cattiness on social that’s not constructive, actually, it can be quite damaging. Social media is a great tool, when used properly. It’s helped me succeed tremendously because I focus on the positive. There are so many talented people and get defensive or negative on social, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all! Instead, find a great group of passionate people and help uplift and support one another. Build a community for yourself that you adore and that will help you achieve your goals.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I believe Winston Churchill said, “Never, never, never give up!” And I stand true to that, never say you can’t do something and find people who will make you the best version of yourself. People who will empower you to get through the hard times and celebrate in the good. I’m a very passionate person and I believe that you should never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something! As Neil Armstrong said, “Shoot for the stars…”

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world with whom you’d like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. 🙂

I would say Kim Kardashian, because she’s a savvy businesswoman in the beauty world, a major influencer — her social following is in the hundreds of millions and has children like I do. I would love to pick her brain!!!!

How can our readers follow you online?

Jessica Scott Santo

Instagram at @JessicaScottHair

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