Meet Boston’s Stylist and Entrepreneur
Growing up with hairdresser parents who owned multiple salons in Connecticut, it was a natural progression for Mitch DeRosa to become a hairdresser. Trained alongside top hairstylists in North America and Europe, he opened Mitchell John Salon in Boston’s Financial District in 1989, which continues to thrive and grow each year.
In addition to being an artist, Mitch is an entrepreneur at heart. He co-founded the beauty company, Living Proof, based on ground-breaking MIT science and years of dedication. The first product line, No Frizz, was launched in February of 2009 at Sephora stores and on QVC. The following February, the Full Thickening Cream was launched. Here Mitch shares a bit more of his background as well as a few insider tips.
Tell us a bit about your background. How did you know hairstyling was for you?
I grew up in the salon industry; both of my parents were hairdressers and owned their own salons so I was comfortable in this environment. After high school and a short stint working in warehouses, I decided to pursue a career in hairdressing. I soon realized I had a knack for it. More importantly, my personality was well suited for the tenacity and drive necessary to learn the technical skill to meet the demands of ever-evolving trends and ultimately push what I thought was beautiful.
What is the philosophy behind the Living Proof brand and how did it come to be developed?
While working on photo shoots and runways in the early 2000s with Ward Stegerhoek, one of the top editorial stylists in the world and then-creative director for Bumble and bumble, we realized we had great chemistry (no pun intended) and thought we could fill an unmet need in the salon product world.
One of my long time clients, Jon Flint, became interested in the concept during one of his monthly visits to the salon. On his next visit he offered to help, but with the caveat that we marry our vision to novel, cutting edge science. His venture capital firm had launched numerous companies that utilized technology developed at M.I.T’s Langer Lab. Dr. Bob Langer had innovative ideas on how we might immediately solve some of beauty’s biggest needs. So, our philosophy began and remains that we create products that solve big beauty problems with results you can see from across the room.
What are some of the major treatment concerns of your clients?
The biggest concern we see these days are clients who are coming in with very dry, damaged hair (often over-processed from bleaching, questionable straightening treatments and heat appliances). Although no one has yet created a way to actually repair damaged hair, at Living Proof we’ve developed technologies that both hydrate and reduce the stress caused by washing/drying and heat appliances. We’ve noticed that people who regularly use our shampoos and conditioners show huge improvement in the health of their hair.
How can someone with thick, wavy hair get a slick, smooth look?
I always start with No Frizz Shampoo & Conditioner then apply enough No Frizz Straight Cream, formulated for medium to thick hair, to fully saturate the entire head. Comb through and blow dry. For an even straighter look, go over each section with straight making spray and a flat iron.
What styles do you predict will be popular this summer?
I think we’ll continue to see more of the Ombre/Shadowing effect in hair coloring, on both blondes and brunettes. Also I believe we’ll see stronger geometric shapes, not quite the same as we saw in the late 80s, but with more texture.
What is more rewarding – hair styling or being an entrepreneur?
Hard question. I think hairdressing is entrepreneurial by its very nature, so even though my name is on the door, I feel I’ve always done both.