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Janel Latessa, @hairbyjanellatessa, says that if she wasn’t a hairdresser, she would be a chef. It’s “all about the creativity and art — even when I cook!” Latessa says. Based at JL Hair Artistry, Mayfield Hts., Ohio, Latessa is an ambassador for Product Club and educator for Lakmé.

Janel Latessa

@hairbyjanellatessa

JL Hair Artistry

Mayfield Heights.,Ohio

Specialty: Haircolor, custom balayage and foilayage, blonding and bridal updos/styling

Top-performing post: A before-and-after hair transformation on a new client. She had gray at the new growth, level 4 grown out in the middle and warmer blonde ends. She wanted to be as cool and ashy as possible while covering her three inches of new growth and ending up with a lived-in look through balayage.

Favorite app: FaceTune is great for blurring the background and smoothing the skin. Pic collage for my before-and-after hair transformation photos, so I can have them side-by-side to see the difference in one photo.

I follow: @ashleenormanhair, @coloredbycaitlin, @hairbytabitha, @lisalovesbalayage

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Pro tip: Lighting! I find that the best lighting is in an overcast or indirect light outside, ideally on a clean background. Also ask your model to wear neutral colors or to bring a jean jacket. People love hair styling tips and information in your post!

Hidden talent: I can flat iron curl a whole head in about 15 minutes.

Fun fact: If I didn’t do hair, I would be a chef. I love to cook and finish each as a beautiful presentation! It’s all about creativity and art, even when I cook.

My audience follows me because: I’ve noticed my Instagram audience/clients enjoy following me for inspiration photos and knowledge. Many come in saying “I saw that you mentioned a violet-based shampoo and coming in regularly for toners. Should I do that!?” It makes me happy they are engaged and paying attention to my posts!

How social media changed my life: It’s helped me grow in the hair industry and gain new clients especially in balayage and blonding since it’s the majority of my posts. I spend more time with clients now and love that I don’t want to rush or double book. I love my work again! I know clients appreciate the extra time too.

My first @modernsalon feature: I remember being at work getting a message on Instagram to check my email. I originally thought it could’ve been spam. I was shocked. It was real! I was asked to give details about one of my transformation hair color photos for MODERN SALON to feature. Immediately I thought in my head “Wow, Janel, you were mad at yourself for going in on Sunday, not taking a day off work and LOOK hard work pays off.” It’s one of my biggest dreams came true!

Click here to the see the full list of this year's MODERN SALON 100.