Alicia Acuna-Vacca- Master Stylist
Becoming an expert hair stylist and salon owner may have been destiny for Alicia, who spent her teens coloring friends’ hair in the high school locker room before deciding to turn her first love into her life’ work.
A licensed stylist since 1997, Alicia is a master in her craft with a passion for hair color, keeping up with the latest techniques and hair trends on the fashion scene. She specializes in creating long, sexy cuts, short precise bobs, and of course, creative, dramatic funky color. whatever her clients’ needs, Alicia creates individualized styles that flatter. A firm believer in continuous education, Alicia stays ahead of the curve by organizing & attending classes with her staff. For four years, she also worked as a color educator, traveling to salons and stylists across the region to share her skills and knowledge.
Partner with his wife Alicia, Joe is a Montclair high school alumni and has resided in Montclair ever since. With a BA degree from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) Joe entered the corporate world building his sales and management experience before venturing into self employment. As highly motivated entrepreneurs and business owners, Joe and Alicia decided to combine there artistic and business skills to create their first hair salon formally known as Alicia’s Hair Design. With the help of a great team and staff the move to “Hair491” at the vault at 491 Bloomfield Ave was a natural transition and growth path for their successful hair salon.
Natalie Kasak- Master Stylist
After becoming a professional stylist 15 years ago, Natalie joined our team in 2006. For the last 13 years, she has provided her clients with exceptional service, plus a positive attitude that always puts people at ease. She loves how a simple cut, color, and style can have a positive impact on clients, and her expertise creating fresh, unique looks have earned Natalie high praise from her loyal following.
Growing up, Natalie shared a love for hair and make-up with her mother. In her early teens, she started asking her hair stylists questions about hair color at every appointment. It wasn’t long before she made her passion her profession.
Today, Natalie loves her work more than ever. She prides herself on listening to clients and making sure they feel comfortable and heard throughout their appointments. For Natalie, each day at Hair491 is a new opportunity to make her clients feel as beautiful both inside and out.
Gabrielle Neira- Senior Stylist
Searching for an avenue to release creativity, Gabrielle enrolled in beauty school. There she learned that beauty is much more than what is on the outside, it comes from within; and when you feel good with how you look, it radiates from within. Gabrielle learned very quickly that she loved making people feel good about themselves. With her form of creativity, she captures the essence of her client’s happiness.
Gabrielle went to Capri Institute and delighted in the many facets of beauty; she is certified in Keratin, make-up, and hair extensions. Gabrielle learned from her very first clients as a student that art speaks in so many ways and touches a person’s soul. She is reminded that one should take time to care for themselves, even with a simple trim and blow dry – as she made one of her very first clients so happy, they cried with tears of joy. This was a pivotal moment for Gabrielle because she knew that she wanted to do so much more for her clients and sees them not only with her creative eyes, but her heart.
Marcelo Arruda-Senior Stylist
For Marcelo, his work as a stylist is a calling. Inspired by the way hair can transform the way we feel about ourselves, he knew from an early age that expressing himself through hair was going to fulfill an instinct to bring more beauty into the world. Marcelo is particularly known for the special care and attention to detail he gives each of his clients.
Marcelo has been a hairstylist for more than 20 years. He studied in Brazil, where he perfected his skills and eventually established his own salon in São Paulo. Marcelo moved to the US in 2004. Throughout his time here, he has built a varied, diverse client base. He specializes in men and women’s cuts, color, highlights, and up-do’s. Marcelo’s love of the profession is evident to every client who walks through the door at Hair491; join him and you’ll witness a true artist at work.