Mario Russo, our Vice President of Product Development, is a nationally acclaimed and award winning expert on the art – and architecture – of hair. He’s the owner and founder of Boston’s renowned Salons Mario Russo and a celebrated master of style and aesthetics. But his true genius? The technical structure of hair: Mario knows how hair works.
Mario cultivated his career from his two greatest passions – art and engineering. Originally from Italy, Mario moved to the U.S. as a young adult and pursued an engineering degree from Boston’s Northeastern University. While there, he developed an enthusiasm for visual arts and quickly realized his true calling – to create real beauty for everyone. Starting at the top, Mario left Northeastern and was London-bound, securing a coveted opportunity to study under world-renowned hair stylist Vidal Sassoon. Under Sassoon’s masterful eye, Mario learned he had a unique talent for blending his background in engineering with his love for art and style to create a technical look that was uniquely his. To this day, Mario has an unprecedented talent for creating a “personal best“ look for each and every client.
Mario’s skill as a stylist and his eye for design has been nationally recognized – he is consulted by fashion editors and stylists from around the country and his list of celebrity clients include the likes of Natalie Portman, Carolyn Kennedy, Sarah Ferguson, and Terri Hatcher. So when Mario came across a prototype of our Essential System, he knew he had discovered something truly revolutionary: biome care for a healthy scalp and seriously beautiful hair. He teamed up with Dr. Zasloff and the two work closely to develop and refine our products, ensuring each one exceeds salon expectations… and more importantly, results.
With over 30 years in the hair care industry, Mario knows that there is no substitute for true healthy beauty when it comes to how your hair looks and feels. Like all of us at illumai, he cares deeply about our customers and knows the products you choose for beauty have an impact on your hair and your health. By developing this superior line of clean formulas, without the need for sodium lauryl sulfate, organosulfates, preservatives, parabens or silicones, Mario’s thrilled to say that you don’t have to sacrifice one for the other. Just real, healthy beauty and amazingly attractive results. Now that’s beautiful.
Sulfates, such as sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), are chemicals used to create strong detergents. Because they are such efficient cleansers and degreasers, sulfates are commonly used in manufacturing and construction industries to clean heavy machinery.