There’s no doubt that Johnny Ramirez and Anh Co Tran, co-founders of Beverly Hills’ Ramirez Tran Salon, have made “Lived In Hair” TM and “Lived In Color” TM the most sought after hair salon service. The L’Oréal Professional International Stylists grew international acclaim through their widespread social media presence and modern approach to hair care. After years of demand for education in the hair space, the business partners and duo were proud to present Academy Ramirez Tran (A.R.T) in South Beach, Miami just this summer.
Drawing upwards of 100 students, A.R.T. is without a doubt the type of academy you’d travel across the country for. Demonstrating their signature looks to a live audience, what was most endearing about Johnny and Anh was their raw and genuine approach to education.
The biggest piece of advice Anh shared with the audience was the importance of consistency. If you want to be consistent, you have to be consistent, and if you master that, then you can break the rules. ‘You bake the cake, it tastes good, and now you get to decorate it–that’s the best part of it.’
After the event, we caught up with the Mane Masters themselves to get further insight on all things A.R.T.
Tell us about the inception of A.R.T. Why did you decide to pursue it?
Anh: We kept getting asked by our followers if we could share with them what has made us so successful. It was all about finding the right timing and now that we’re ready we wanted to give back to the community. We wanted to make sure that what we do works and what we do works for all types of hair. We don’t want to preach something that we don’t do on a normal basis in the salon.
How would you describe your technique?
Johnny: I have a technique that I created myself, because I thought how am I going to create a point of difference from the masters who taught me? How am I going to make a name for myself? How do I make it? I was already working at a reputable salon and surrounded by so much talent. I worked at Chris McMillan when the Andy Lecompte team was there, Jen [Atkin] was there…so I really wanted to create my own point of difference.
I put in countless hours at the salon, working on different techniques through trial and error. Then, it hit me one day… My daughter is my biggest muse; she is a beautiful natural blonde. There is no color more beautiful than a child’s natural hair color. So I created a technique in my own way that is the closest to duplicating kids’ hair color.
What are two qualities that identify your technique?
Anh: Particular scissor and simple sectioning. If you keep it simple, it’s easier to remember and it’s easier to duplicate. You don’t have to guess because they’re straightforward lines. Also by point cut, meaning the edge is a little softer, which creates more movement. I love hair that moves because it’s sexy and feels alive—it’s not too bulky. Everyone wants to have that hair you can play with and flip. It’s flirtatious when girls flip their hair.
Who is the A.R.T. student?
Johnny: It can be a 50 year old hair dresser who is looking to reconnect with what is happening today in the industry or the new, young stylists who have recently graduated from cosmetology school, and have been able to build a massive clientele through social media. Some work at big salons, and some not so experienced. I had one student who said she’s been doing hair for 30 years but after this class, she felt like she just went out on the floor; like we had just recharged her batteries.
I don’t think we’re going after a certain kind of A.R.T. student, it’s pretty much open to anyone who just finished cosmetology school or to a 50 year old. The A.R.T. student is a stylist who is hungry to learn and is looking to master their craft!
What’s the average length of an assistant?
Anh: For me, it’s at least a year to a year and a half. I usually force them out after that. I don’t want them to burn out. I really want to create an environment where they want to work. It’s a teamwork situation and we’re in this together.
In the class Anh shared what he looks for in an assistant and his message was load and clear. ‘I’m looking for an assistant that WANTS IT. The type of assistant that’ll work 18 hours (which is common) and even though they’re tired, they won’t say they are because they want it that much!
Tell us a little about how you started your vast social media following?
Johnny: Back in the day, when beauty blogs were first starting to catch on, I created a blog documenting all of my hair color. There wasn’t anyone doing it at that time. I started Pinterest pretty early on when it started and I was being re-pinned approximately 733,000 times a day. When I finally shut the blog down three years ago, we had close to 11 million followers. The success of that blog helped in eventually opening our salon.