We love checking in with our scholarship winners and we get super excited to see them thriving in the beauty industry. Dallas-based Aveda graduate and educator Kayla Ruffino won the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Scholarship in the Fall of 2016. Not only is she a Beauty Changes Lives scholarship alum, she is also a two-times NAHA Finalist including NAHA Newcomer Stylist of the Year, two-times Bangstyle Supreme, and a Paul Mitchell 2017 Color Outside the Lines Best New Talent Finalist. Her work has also been published in Sophisticate’s Hairstyle Guide. She’s clearly been very busy, so we were grateful that she took some time to answer a few of our questions.

BCL: How did winning the Vidal Sassoon Advanced Scholarship change your life and your career?

KR: I think when you are new in the Cosmetology industry the first thing that you want to do is broaden your education, but the down fall of that is that education, especially elite education, can get really expensive. I knew that I wanted to take a Sassoon class as soon as I was able to afford it, so having the opportunity to win a scholarship to take it for free seemed like a good option to try. I would have never thought that I would have actually won! Getting to take the course was such an amazing experience and I was able to really work on perfecting my craft. It has helped me in my career of education, as well as landing a spot in one of the top salons in Dallas.

BCL: What was it like attending the Sassoon Academy? Which course did you take?

KR: I attended the Sassoon Academy in Santa Monica, the team there was absolutely amazing! I chose to take the ABC Cut 1 – 5 Day and took the class with 5 others which made it the perfect learning environment.

BCL: What advice do you have for fellow hairstylists, or aspiring stylists, who might be thinking about applying for a Beauty Changes Lives scholarship?

KR: I think my biggest advice is to put yourself out there and don’t be lazy! As long as you have passion in your career it shows, even through writing. If you want to make it in this industry you have to fight for it.

BCL: What are your favorite hair trends right now?

KR: Sleek, shine and straight are coming back! I saw a lot of it on the runway for spring and I am super excited because healthy hair is beautiful hair.

BCL: What are you up to right now?

KR: I am currently a hair-cutting specialist at Osgood O’Neil Dallas, and still working on competitions and photo shoots in my down time. I also get to do hair for the Dallas Mavs Dancers.

BCL: Where can people find you?

KR: If you want to catch me in the Salon I am at Osgood O’neil Lovers Ln. and my Instagram with my work is at @KaylaRuffino.