Meet the team – Alessio Baldassarri
This month, salon Director Alessio faces the ‘meet the team’ interview. You may learn a thing or two about Henley’s favourite Italian…
- How long have you been working at La Medusa? 22 years. I started in 1995 when I first moved to England back when the salon was Osvaldo Hair Studio. When Osvaldo sadly passed away, I bought the salon and renamed it La Medusa Hair Studio – that was in in 2002. Back in ’95 I came to know one of Osvaldo’s daughters friends in Perugia and had discussed the idea of moving to England to work in Henley. I was working in an open air salon at the time – if it rained you didn’t work! One day I turned up to work and it was raining so then I decided it was time to move. I was working at the salon the next week. The rest they say, is history!
- What was your first day like? I was shadowing Osvaldo, getting to know the clients. There was never a moment I didn’t have a dictionary in my hand. Osvaldo patiently translated for me as I picked up the English language. I remember one of my first nights in Henley sat in Raju’s – it took me 45 minutes to order a curry!
- What made you want to work in the hair industry? My uncle owned a huge salon in Perugia, 22 busy stylists served the town. At around 8 years old I would visit him on Wednesday afternoons and helped at the salon. I was inspired from an early age and loved the buzz – my uncle was an inspiration. In my teens I started training and subjected myself to 3 academies to learn many principles of hairdressing in a short time – I was determined to learn quickly.
- Other than hairdressing, what other jobs have you had? None – though photography has been a passion of mine. I had three of my photos published in Vogue Italia online which is quite an achievement!
- Which is the celebrity ‘look’ you have been asked to recreate most of all? Diana most certainly in the 80’s, and then the ‘Rachel’ look in the 90’s.
- Is there a fashion or trend which keeps coming back? All fashion repeats. People create their own fashion and style which is based on past trends. For instance, a bob haircut a few decades ago can be technically the same as a bob haircut today but the overall look and finish has been updated.
- Where is your favourite place to go out in Henley? The Square and Shaun Dickens. They are both run by friends and both serve fantastic food.
- Where is your favourite place to go out in London? Nobu and Zuma though Waterside in Bray is one of my favourite places to go at the moment. The atmosphere, food and wine is unparrelleled.
- If you could create any style / colour for a client what would it be? I love hair up – and of course cutting, creating a new style of a client which makes them feel confident and their best. With hair up, there are no rules, and the freedom to be really creative.
- What’s your favourite thing about working in Henley? It’s a friendly community, like a big family. I can walk to work and bump into people I know every day.
- What’s the worst hairstyle you’ve ever had? The hairstyle I have now!
- What’s your favourite hair product to work with? Sebastian Microfibre and the SP Color Save products.
- In terms of technology, what salon item can you not live without? A hairdryer, of course. Though my favourite brush is the 18mm TEK Milano ceramic barrel brush.
- What is your dream holiday destination and why? Probably Indonesia, or any Buddhist country. Buddhist people fascinate me and are so welcoming and friendly. I’d love to go to the Maldives too.
- If you were stuck on a desert island what would you take with you? Hair grips – they have multiple uses! Fred, my best friend and my scissors.
- What’s the worst hair dressing injury you’ve ever had? I cut my index finger straight down the middle in 2002, I had 5 stitches!
- If you weren’t a hairdresser, what would you be? A photographer – shooting beauty, fashion and landscapes. It would be the perfect excuse to buy the Nikon camera and lenses I’ve always wanted!