ep60 – Anna Pacitto

 Even if literally dragged into her career by her father, barber and businessman himself, Anna has soared to the highest levels of international recognition in our industry.

Today’s hair hero is Anna Pacitto. Her brain for business and artistic eye combine to create a multi award winning master stylist. Join Chris and Anna as they discuss her start in the industry, imposter syndrome, winning NAHA and so much more!    

  • Anna discusses her start in the industry, taking care of her father’s salons to going to school in Italy.
  • Business school plays a large role in Anna’s success
  • ‘I bore easily’. Anna discusses setting goals and targets and how she measures them with competitions.
  • What does research mean to Anna? They discuss the process of looking for new inspiration outside of the industry.
  • Check out some of Anna’s amazing work in the images Chris brings up in the video. – https://youtu.be/rXCOPdITgwM
  • ‘Be a little less cookie cutter’. Where does the industry need to go now?

Chris Baran (00:00:00):

When I was working my way up, I always wish that I had the chance to be able to have a little chat with the people that I looked up to and the ones that I saw on stage and really wish that I could be like, well my name is Chris Baron and I have been aang them probably about 40 plus years now. Couple of hair awards behind me. And I figured I’ve got the opportunity that I can bring to you the hair heroes that we look up to and admire and let you have and listen in while we have a conversation and find out their mistakes, find out what they did right and wrong. Welcome to Chris Baron’s Head Cases.


I am super pumped about this week’s head cases guest because she hails out of Montreal Pure Salon and it is my friend Anna Petito. And I have to tell you this, she has this innate ability in her photographic work to be able to really push the boundaries so that it just about borders on avant garde yet is super tasteful and really feminine. So currently I just wanted to give you some of her accolades here. She is currently the artistic director for qfi Daves international artist as well as catch this was also L’Oreal profession from Canada was their art director for 17 years. Now her awards are numerous. The Between Naja Canada Awards as well as all the other international awards she’s been involved with has been a winner or the finalist at least 20 plus times. And in this week’s podcast, for those of you that are listening, it’s really important that you check in the description for the links to her works as we’re going to be talking about that. So in the meantime, let’s get ahead with this week’s head case.


I’m going to warn everybody right now in this one I’m probably going to gush. I’m probably going to be stuttering a lot while this is going on because right now I have somebody on with me that I look up to is one of my hair heroes. I have admired her work my whole life and I am just absolutely in love with this person’s work. And so it gives me no greater pleasure in the world than to be sitting here. Well, me and my chair you in Montreal, Anna, but with Anna Petito. And I have to say Anna, it is just a pleasure to have you on board here.

Anna Pacitto (00:02:54):

Oh, Chris I don’t know if you see me blush or get teary-eyed, but thank you so much. And the respect and admiration is mutual.

Chris Baran (00:03:05):

Yeah, well I think part of it comes from, we have a lot in common because Canadians we both into the competition work, but we had both had sort of interesting backgrounds and I don’t know if you know it cause I did a little bit of research and I understand that we have kind of a similar beginning in the industry had my mother was in the industry, your dad was a barber and in the industry and speaking for myself, I never really wanted to be a hairdresser, it was just, I kind of fell into it. But I understand it was a bit similar for you. So tell us a little bit about the background, your dad, et cetera. How did you get involved in the business? What was the key points?

Anna Pacitto (00:03:53):

Absolutely. I’ve been in the industry forever. I used to sweep my dad’s barbershop and he would give me 5 cents every time I would sweep his barbershop. And I absolutely did not want to be a hairdresser. And I was in college and my dad, contrary to most parents who absolutely want their children to go on in school, he wanted me to take over or work with him and taking care of his salons. And it was a trip to Italy one year. I used to used spend a lot of my summers in Italy and it was after the two months and I hadn’t had enough and of my vacation in Italy. And I said I phoned my daddy up and I said, that idea of yours being in your industry what if I take a hairdressing course here in Italy?

Chris Baran (00:04:51):


Anna Pacitto (00:04:52):

Basically his answer was, what’s his name? <laugh>. Because he thought, come on, who are you kidding? You know, wanna stay there?

Chris Baran (00:05:00):

Oh I get it.

Anna Pacitto (00:05:02):

And I said, no, no, let’s give this a try. And I did take my hairdressing course in Italy and then when I came back he had a chair ready for me in one of his shops. And that’s when I started going to university in business administration classes because I

Chris Baran (00:05:20):

Oh smart.

Anna Pacitto (00:05:21):

And I was working in one of his salons in the daytime and then salary was interesting and I started to appreciate

Chris Baran (00:05:32):

It’s interesting, I think that if people, let me back this up. I think that what I heard you say and what really tweaked in my brain was when you said, after I got my hairdressing, I went and I got a business degree, you got your business schooling. And I think that is so incredible for our business there. And I only wish that was me. I was one of those hairdressers, probably like 99% of the other people I got outta hairdressing school. Well quite frankly, I just got outta hairdressing school and I say I’ve been 55 years in the business, but it was only 53 because the first two years of my business I wouldn’t have wanted to hire me. I was, all I wanna do is party my brains out, et cetera. That was it. But the reality was it wasn’t until you get a wake up call and I’m not going to go down the rabbit hole of that was all I wanna say is when I finally got the hair bug and I finally got hooked on education, the problem was probably many other people, I didn’t have the business acumen that went along with it until way later in my life.


So what was it about having that business? How did the business and the hairdressing skill, how did that work for you? If was there a benefit to it? How did that work out in this dad’s business? How did that manage you forward?

Anna Pacitto (00:07:01):

Oh, I give total credit to my dad for that. To me, being in the industry at the very beginning was all about business at the time when I started, I think basically my dad worked as a barber in Rome, came to Montreal over 60 years ago and with nothing when I started in the industry, he probably had about 20, 20, 20, 24 salons. And to me was, it was about wow, if he can do this, imagine where I could bring it. So to me it was, and then the first job I had with him was, wow, this is interesting. And the more clients I do, the bigger the pay is. And this is good. And it was really about the business and how I could help my dad because I was so in admiration with what he had accomplished. And I only got the passion for the art, the artistic part of things.


Later when I was bored out of my mind when business was good, but I still don’t love it. I love the numbers, I love where the business is going, but I want to love what I’m doing since I’m going to be doing this forever. And it’s only like I said, when I was really bored that I started taking more and more classes. And then I watched a young girl win an award at the ABA for cut and blow dry that you wanna a provincial title gold medal. And I said, if I can only win one of those, just one, I will be accomplished. And that’s all I want. I want to

Chris Baran (00:08:56):

Stop you there for just one second because yeah, here to so many people that are out there right now, I just want them to get the gist of what just happened in there. Because I don’t imagine many people getting up in the morning. I’m in a little stretch, oh yeah, having a cup of coffee in the morning, they’re espresso in the morning and then saying, I just can’t wait to go out in front of a whole group of people and have my work judged by my peers and everyone else to say whether I win, lose, fail, et cetera. What was, to most people, that’s the hardest thing to do. It just say, look, I wanna do some creative work. I’m going to make something, I’m going to do a photo collection, I’m going to have that opportunity as one thing. But it’s another thing to really put the risk out there when your work stands out there. Because you can put a photo together and have it on your wall and you can say, I love it. But when somebody comes back to you and says, that’s a piece of crap, I don’t like it. I pick other people first, I’m just over this.


What was that like for you in order to make that initial step?

Anna Pacitto (00:10:18):

Well that was the biggest fear to be up on that podium and have everybody around you judge you. But you see, I felt that I was doing it just for the business


And I was bored out of my mind and that I’m thinking, oh my God, I’m going to be doing this forever so I better like it. So maybe this could spark some interest and this could keep me going cuz I bore easily. So I just wanted to see, first of all, I wanted to measure myself. I needed to measure myself. I needed to know, okay, I know why I’m doing it business wise, but am I any good? Am I any good? And that was very important to me and to have a goal and a target. And I think all of my life it’s been about setting goals and targets for myself. And to me that was a target. And I knew that I was, well I had my dad to guide me on the business side of things, but I needed to bring his businesses forward on a different level. And I felt, what if I’m able to prove to myself that I’m any good and this is a way to measure it, do this. And yeah, that’s how it started really.

Chris Baran (00:11:57):

So you and I were chatting the other day and we were talking about, well first of all I wanna set this up. And as we introduced you in the very beginning it was, there’s not too many awards that you haven’t won. I, whether you look at it from a provincial, national, international standpoint your name is out there. But the point is that sometimes we do the collections, but we only really love a very small percentage of what we actually do. So tell me a little bit about this. Why do you think that is with the artists like us that go out there? Why do you think that is? Do you think we’re so hard on ourselves when it comes to our work.

Anna Pacitto (00:12:48):

We’re striving for excellence, we’re striving for perfection. We’re hard on ourselves. And that is a great, call it quality to have because I rarely sit back and say, oh I am, wow, there are some images that I am. I say, oh think good job Anna. But even as I sent you what were supposed to be my favorite images, I said, really? They’re not that great. Yeah. Did I just send these to Chris Baron and say these are my favorites because I’m not sure about that anymore. I’m very hard on myself and I’m sure you must be as well.

Chris Baran (00:13:33):

Yeah, I have to say this is that I always say, hi, my name is Chris and I’m a perfectionist, which everybody goes, hi Chris. I feel like I’m a perfectionist anonymous but my coach one day I said to me, you know what Chris, if you are a perfectionist than you are, and I want everybody that’s listening out their way, listening or watching, I want you to really listen to this, is he said, you are doomed to a life of frustration. So the biggest thing in my life has always been now to try to get through instead of perfection, just instead of what do I need to just elevate it just that little bit more. So instead of trying to do perfection, what do I need to do just to get progress instead of perfection? And I think based on that, on that, and we always tend to look at ourselves and say, darn, I wish I could have done just a little bit better.


I should have shoulda, woulda, coulda. We always end up shoulding all over ourselves and especially when we do competition work. And I wanna go back, I wanna just go back as in just a few minutes. I wanna show some of your work and some of the ones that you really love and I absolutely adore cause I want people to really see it those cuz there’s so many people on that are going to be watching and listening this that know you. I’m not going to bring them up right away, Lee. I just want to talk about something else first. But I want to go back to the competition work. And I remember distinctly when I had won a couple competitions, I thought, oh I’m really good. And then all of a sudden I just bombed and I got nothing. And I just wanted to go home and put my thumb in my mouth, cook it over my nose, curl up in the fetal position, pull my webi over my head and cry myself to sleep because I didn’t know what to do. Have you ever had something like that? They always see you as winning, but then they don’t know about people when they have their times when you’ve lost something and how you feel about that.

Anna Pacitto (00:15:45):

So my first competition, I came in, I think it was third, got the merit points, came in fourth. But I was so enthralled and happy with the thrill that I asked immediately when is the next competition? And the next competition was in New York City. Yes, Jacob Javit center, cut, blow, dry, ladies cut and blow dry and over 80 competitors I won gold.

Chris Baran (00:16:16):


Anna Pacitto (00:16:18):

I’m there. And right it’s like, are you kidding me? My dad literally picked me off the floor cause I fell to my knees. How are you? What? You know you’ve been there, I’m sure. So I come back feeling, oh, so I’m not half bad. So the following year I want to win the provincial title that led you to possibly compete for the Canadian championship. And this is live competition. And in that competition I came in 10th for a provincial when the previous year I had won gold in North America.

Chris Baran (00:17:01):


Anna Pacitto (00:17:02):

That was, oh my god, you’re a fluke. That was a fluke. You’re a fake. It was pure luck. That 10th physician did more for me than any.

Chris Baran (00:17:18):

In what way? In what way. So I heard you say, well first of all I wanna know that you felt that you got a little bit of that imposter syndrome I imagine that we all talk about. But what did that do? How did that propel you? What did it do for you when that came in? I’d like to really know what happened to you first and then what did you do? Cause I’m sure that there’s everybody else that’s out there that’s listening and watching and saying, that’s happened to me. So what do I need to do?

Anna Pacitto (00:17:48):

That was the best learning experience of my life because in my mind I says, oh my God, I’m not all, that was pure luck last year. And then the other side said, never again Anna. You are going to prove to yourself and to everybody who just watched you bomb that you are better than this. And it just made me strive for excellence. This is never going to happen to me again. And I do your homework, work hard, remember how hard you worked the first time and never take it for granted. Never take it for granted and keep working harder than you can ever imagine, for you to never be in this position again. So welcome failure, welcome failure.

Chris Baran (00:18:41):

Yeah. Yeah. I think that, see the moment that people can realize that when they’re, especially if they’re working with in full photography, if they’re working for competition work, to really push themselves is just to remember, I mean I think that both you and I were lucky at the very beginning and I’m just going to call it luck because we happened to win provincially, we happened to, whether it was talent, whether it was whatever it was, believe in yourself hitting the right thing, right? Judges, all of those variables that come in. But you got it right at the beginning. But maybe it’s even harder for us when we win and then lose rather than people climbing. But I guess the other thing to remember is that even still right now, you’ve still gotta work hard to do it, but you don’t win every time. I I’m sure what, when going for Naja or you’re going for the A I F F awards or whatever award that you’re entering, what do you tend to look for? You’re trying to make the, I always hear people when they say them, do you wanna win? Oh well no, it’s just about the competition. And what do you say to that is if you’re going into award, what do you do? Are you going into win? Are you going in to make the finals? What is it for you? Oh

Anna Pacitto (00:20:06):

Let’s get real. Of course you go in to win. If you don’t go in with that attitude, there’s just no way you’re going to win.

Chris Baran (00:20:14):


Anna Pacitto (00:20:15):

And then when you have a few under your belt, then you analyze the whole situation and of course all of the journey the way you got there, you know, start constant struggle for perfection, for excellence, perfection is, shouldn’t even use that word. But for excellence, for all the practice, that’s what makes you a better hair stylist. And of course that is the prize. What you become while you’re striving for that prize is what is real, what is really worth something that is just a way to measure. But I mean what you keep is definitely all of the practice, the research, the work that goes into being the hairdresser that you are. Now, of course that is the big prize the whole journey, everything that it takes to get there. But if anybody says I am, yes, of course you honored to be a finalist, to be named top five in North America is Wow. That is a prize in itself. You wanna win.

Chris Baran (00:21:29):

Exactly. Yeah. You wanna

Anna Pacitto (00:21:32):

Stop lying to it cannot be, yes, I am honored, I want to be top five. But ultimately we have gimme that darn award.

Chris Baran (00:21:44):

Yeah, exactly. See and I’ll give you a little insight. In our family we have this expression just do that. If you wanna do that with me, just, you gotta turn your hand and put one finger up and that’s our signal when people are talking around our family and we think it’s El toto kaka, if you know what I mean. Our expression is, I’m calling bullshit on this, I’m bullshit on this is when people say to me, well it’s just nice to compete. And I went, well because if you didn’t wanna win you shouldn’t have go there. But what I loved, and I want to talk about this just one second, one second after we’re done talking about this, then I’m going to bring up your pictures to prove to everybody how absolutely stellar that you are when it comes to creating excellence in here. But I want to talk about the word that you were used that most people don’t do and the word is research. So tell me a little bit about what research means to you. What does that mean when you put in your time researching something, what is that?

Anna Pacitto (00:22:58):

I think one of the hardest things to do is to innovate when absolutely practically everything has been invented. And to me, when somebody innovates with a very new idea or something that I’ve never seen before, that to me is, oh my goodness, you’ve got me now. So I try to look for some things that are new and for me to do that I feel that I need to go outside the industry because if you focus only and then of course my mentors are the likes of you and so many others that I look up to then you tend to, I love his work. I love her work. It ends up being similar to or your version of.


So I try to be inspired. My may sound corny by nature, by when I’m on my various trips and I am totally blown away by something in nature, a certain texture, an old door. Recently I’ve been looking at doors and I’ve been blown away by doors. But certain textures in nature, colors in nature seem to make me tick these days. And it’s never the same thing. Of course we’re inspired by fashion designers, what they’re doing in fashion and we need to be simply because that’s how the media gets to your work. If it’s exactly relatable to, because we are in the fashion industry, if it’s relatable to the fashion industry, that’s how the fashion media picks up on your work. And I think that’s one of our faults. Very often our photos are so, and I’m guilty of this too, are so out of reach for fashion that the media cannot relate to them. So I try to bring it back to fashion. So yes, I am inspired by fashion designers, what’s happening in fashion music videos. But when I want to innovate and it’s really difficult, there are very few of us that in innovate, I can name a couple of us, not many that able that can still do stuff that is, oh I’ve never seen this before.


I try to go outside of the beauty industry. Yeah.

Chris Baran (00:25:43):

And tell me about, so you say, I’m going to do a collection cuz here’s what most people think. Anna wakes up in the morning, has a little stretch, has her cup of coffee, she can go outside, she’s going to come up with an idea, and by 9 30, 9 45, she has a winning collection on her hand. How much time, from the time that you say I’m going to do, how much, what’s the research time, the time that you have to put in, coming up with the idea how the failures that you have to go through before you get to what actually works and then creating it, recreating it again and again so you can do it on the set. How much, what’s the amount of time that takes you

Anna Pacitto (00:26:27):

A lot of time? That is the hard part. That is the hard part. And you never know when it’s going to hit you. So one time it could come to you in a flash and you go, I got it, I got it. And then you work on it and trial and error. But there are other times where it takes forever. My very last collection that I just presented in Parma for Worldwide Hair tour for Davina took me forever to come up with a concept that I was pleased with. And I spent so many sleepless nights and so much trial and error because I love simplicity, I love simplicity. I don’t like things that are too elaborate. But that is a personal thing and it is so difficult to have a spectacular image and keep it simple that I don’t have to tell you. Yeah. But that is the hard part, Chris, that is the hard

Chris Baran (00:27:32):

Part. Just before I bring up your photos here and I wanna talk about those is I think that’s just the key part is most people aren’t willing to put in the time, aren’t willing to put in the effort to get there. They just want to do a photo and then just do it. And that’s where I take my hats off to you because I think that your work mean even if I had to put mine work and your work, I’d still always be elevating yours up higher. And again, just my opinion, I’m not blowing smoke, but because of that simplicity, I think that somebody that can take a work that everybody sees every day, but you do something that’s so innovative on that kind of head of hair. One of them is just even on the way that on one of these photos, there’s two in particular that I really wanna pay homage to in here because I just think it’s spectacular the way that you can bring simplicity in but make it look so elegant and so out of the, it’s the difference. So I was just gone on a tangent there, but Lee, I just wanna bring up some of our photos in here and just give us some of the insight in here. There’s things that I’m drawn to right away on here, but what, give us some, in some detail on this. What was this about? Where did you go?

Anna Pacitto (00:28:52):

I asked, this was unexpected.


Collection was called Unex. It’s too bad I don’t, didn’t send you the whole collection. I really wanted to work with most, I mean in here there, this is all of the model’s hair, her own hair, it was enhanced obviously ever so slightly with finest pigment, which is just a color enhancer that washes away in a few washes. But she had the most incredible natural texture, natural color that I said, I want to create something that is a little unusual and unexpected using her own texture hair, her hair length and not do too much to it. And then I worked with a fabulous makeup artist. This photograph is from Brian iga. And so I think what makes it unique is the makeup around the hairline.

Chris Baran (00:30:01):

Yes. Yeah. I mean cuz it, you’ve got this diamond shape in all of it. And the thing that, what I appeals to me about this is, and when I’m trying to coach people on their work is that so many times it, it’s, I call it the kitchen sink syndrome, is they try to throw everything into it rather than just make one thing stand out. And I think what’s so clever in this is the hair has got an incredible shape in it. It works with a texture, but the way that the diamond and the makeup on her face fits in with it and the makeup doesn’t l you don’t automatically see the makeup first. You’re drawn at it, you look at the hair it’s drawn in, draws to her face. She has an amazing emotion on her eyes. In her eyes alone. I just think it’s just spectacular. And then to me, what tops it off is what most people the necklace that they have on the piece that you have around on her neck, it just brings the whole thing together for me. I just love it.

Anna Pacitto (00:31:15):

The stylist Han, I’ve been working for her with her for a while and I don’t know if I mentioned the makeup artist Alex. And you have to connect and bring together the people that are in tune with your sense of beauty because if you’re on opposite ends it just will not come together. Yeah,

Chris Baran (00:31:41):

I love it. I love it. So Lee, let us show us the next one.

Anna Pacitto (00:31:49):

Yeah. Naha, win.

Chris Baran (00:31:53):

Yeah. Did you win masters on this one?

Anna Pacitto (00:31:56):

Yeah, master North American Hair Stylist. Yeah, that wow, that shocking.

Chris Baran (00:32:01):

And for people that are listening, people that are watching this to understand that this is masters is only a category, you have to be invited to it. So you have to be in a certain echelon. So I mean this, to win in that category is a super achievement. But to that is it, when you do this, give us a little insight on how you created this because quite frankly the other model that we had, you are working with their own hair but oftentimes that people always think, well how do you get them to cut hair? How do you get them to do that? Kind of cut the hair that short on that side, leave it long on the other side and have a professional model that has a modeling career

Anna Pacitto (00:32:51):

Professional model. Again obviously it’s her hair at the base, that is the short part that is her hair cut in that way. Absolutely. And extensions are in there totally on the long side and not only for the length but also for the color. So the base was a beautiful icy blonde and all of the extensions I added in were to create the length, the shape, and the color dimension as well. But the beauty, the magic of this photo is also this girl <laugh>, this girl [inaudible] who is absolutely stunning and the right photographer. The makeup here I think was a cat and the photographer is Aris sunk, who is a hairdresser who is able to, it’s all of that combination of

Chris Baran (00:33:59):

Does a lot of your photographic work that Yes,

Anna Pacitto (00:34:03):

Arab has done a lot of my photographic work, A lot of it, not exclusively, but a lot. And he captures it brilliantly because he sees hair as a hairdresser and you knows what to focus on. Yeah, for

Chris Baran (00:34:22):

Sure. So with this mean, obviously you’ve got it on her hair. She’s got that pulled in and which year was this again?

Anna Pacitto (00:34:31):

This was 2 14.

Chris Baran (00:34:34):

2 14, 14. And so what I love about this was is most people would’ve taken that blonde hair and then they would’ve tried to put a crazy wild color. Cause I don’t two 4,014, I don’t think we were as into the mermaid colors as we were later. I can’t remember

Anna Pacitto (00:34:57):

It became more popular later. But certainly there was a lot of it going

Chris Baran (00:35:01):

On and most people would wanna take in and put a screaming red in there or something to that point. But the fact that you kept everything so subtle inside here is just absolutely stunning. It’s got that natural feel and love. The browns in there are beautiful. The blondes in there are just absolutely stunning with it. And then obviously as most, and I’m as I’m sure that was I, my guess happening here is doing a little flick of wind in order to give that hair some movement. So, so static was beautiful.

Anna Pacitto (00:35:35):

Yeah. Thank you. Thank you.

Chris Baran (00:35:39):

<laugh> Lee, what us the next one, and by the way, we’re going to have, for those people that are listening to this, if you, we’ve got a u r URL that’s on here. You just have to go onto that. You’ll be able to see these photos at the same time. So you’ve got a collection of six people in here. So tell us a little bit about this.

Anna Pacitto (00:36:03):

So this one’s a little special. It was 2020, September 20, late 2020 in full pandemic era in Italy. This was shot in Italy. Wow. I was there to film a show for anti, and I was supposed to do it in Montreal. And DNE says, no, you’re going to come over to the village and we the D village and we’re going to film it there. And I called John Rosson, fabulous photographer from England who also used to be a hairdresser many years ago worked at Sasoon and others. So the way he views hair is also right the way we view it.


And I said, I have all of these beautiful girls, beautiful models. The styling is there, the hair is already done, we’re in Italy, in London is just to hop away. So we brought ’em in and makeup by a fabulous Milan makeup artist, Marco Zita put the clothing together. And most of these models maybe except for well half of these models, three are from Montreal and three I got in Italy and wow, this collection came about. And I like it that this one was entered and did not make finals. So I did won. Oh it’s not here. Oh, with the top girl with a D. Different clothing. Oh, I won with I a international beauty. Yeah,

Chris Baran (00:37:59):

I’m going to just take anybody’s eye just down to the bottom right though. If you’re looking at it long hair and for anybody that knows a long hair is really difficult to shoot because it can end up just look like nothing. So you have to have the model being able to pull it off and the talent to work with it. But what I love about it is how it looks. So commercial number one, until you look at the color number two, but then just the way that you added that element to the center of the head, that to me it just pulls that whole thing together. And cuz it’s the hardest thing to do and I’m not brave enough to do it, I to, I’ll be really honest here. So I take my hat off to you on that one.

Anna Pacitto (00:38:43):

That is not, that’s me out of the box or not even knowing where the box is because it’s not my usual thing bling. And that is not usually me. But the whole collection was based on sustainability and recycling. So the clothing, all of was clothing from old collections because nobody was producing anything in 2020. And the jewelry was all old jewelry and stuff that I bought in flea markets and it was about using things that were not new. So I said I wanna bring a little bit of sparkle and that is for hope that for a better future hopefully. And yeah, it started with the girl center bottom row just putting in all of these braids and embellishing them with all of this old jewelry. And then it took off from there. And obviously on the male model it was on his face and it just off from there. There’s always one that is

Chris Baran (00:40:01):

The key jumps out at you

Anna Pacitto (00:40:03):

Is the key is the inspiration. It maybe not the best one necessarily, but it’s the one that leads the collection creating all of the others. And then I have to give credit to the colorists who are able to color according to <laugh> what I’m trying to portray. And for this one in particular, it is some of it, the last one you were talking about some of it of course is extensions use a professional model. I actually drew in with a marker wherever I wanted all of the effects to be. And usual made ome nick, they all worked on the hair pieces for me.

Chris Baran (00:40:53):

Stunning. Absolutely stunning.

Anna Pacitto (00:40:55):

And you have to give credit to the team because

Chris Baran (00:40:58):

Absolutely I, that’s one thing that I, I believe and I know you do all the time, is that it’s never just, it’s a whole group of people. And I’ve always said, look it, I don’t do makeup so you do. You tell me what you should be. Quite frankly I did colored a hundred years ago, but I don’t anymore. So I want other people to do it. But also when you win, it’s really important that they get credit too because it wouldn’t have happened without ’em.

Anna Pacitto (00:41:24):

Takes a village. Absolutely.

Chris Baran (00:41:25):

Yeah, it takes a village. So Lee, show us the next one. This is just, well the whole mood in it, number one, and the finish in the editing at the end is also absolutely stunning.

Anna Pacitto (00:41:44):

And this is era and I wanted the focus to be the hair. And so I just said, just try to blur out just so that we do focus on that one piece. Correct. And he captured it. He captured it. And long hair is not easy to do something that’s a little bit different is not easy. This is 2021. 2021.

Chris Baran (00:42:14):

Wow. And you know what? But most people don’t like, I’m going to just focus just above her left eye. And that, see this is, to me, what makes something so incredible is you’ve got this wild piece of long hair and you’ve got it embellished along the side. So if I’m judging, I’m looking, yeah that’s amazing, but how else are you really making it look like it’s her hair? But it’s the way that you’ve taken her own hair up on that other side so it’s not so perfect on that left side. So it doesn’t look like just a ponytail was pushed back and then something plunked on her head. And to me that’s those little things, those little details that you put in that are what really captivate. Even if somebody, that’s not the first thing you notice, but when you go in on it, that’s what really makes part of that photograph is just those little extra things that you do to the hair. And that just comes from experience on working with hair in front of a camera all the time. Because most people always think of it as 3d and it’s not, it’s 2d. You have to think of it just in two dimensions.

Anna Pacitto (00:43:26):

And it is a question of balance. And balance is so important. And I just felt that if it was just, I was looking at the screen and I said, oh, there’s something that is off here and to make an asymmetric be balanced is not easy. And it’s a question of her shoulders the way she’s positioned. And it needed absolutely something on the other side. So I extended the hairpiece because obviously to the other side to create that balance for me. But love it. Yeah, it’s experience. Sometimes it’s luck <laugh> that it just happened.

Chris Baran (00:44:09):

And the thing that I don’t think people realize when they’re start starting to get into photography on hair is how, and this is controversial, is that so many people say, well it you’ve got Photoshop in there, but the number one is

Anna Pacitto (00:44:26):

Not on the hair though. Not here.

Chris Baran (00:44:27):

No, no on not in the hair but on the background. On the image and the model. But even on the most, people don’t realize that a camera can never capture, no matter what you do, you can never capture it exactly the color, the whatever way, the particularly color that you get in real life. And so in the camera you have to adjust the camera in Photoshop in order to make it look like it was real life. If you ever see what are called camera, they take in all the information and they’re flat. So you have to adjust in just to make it look like it did in real life. But the fact of the manipulation that was done in Photoshop here is the same thing that they would do in a vogue shoot to make a look, the background, the model, whatever you need to do to make it look and draw attention to the incredible shapes. And so I Kimmy, that’s all about the art. I love it.

Anna Pacitto (00:45:34):

Thank you

Chris Baran (00:45:35):

 So Lee, the next one. Yeah, this was a shot that was in the collection that you showed us.

Anna Pacitto (00:45:45):

So before, because it was such a big project before leaving for Italy, I test shot cuz I was doing a collection for Pure as well. Before leaving, I promised the whole team that we were going to do a collection. So I had Brian, this was shot in my home right in the middle of the pandemic before going to Italy. So it was the summer of 2020. And this is a different photographer. So it was a test run. And if you notice it’s a totally different model. And so I’m going to call this CO one and CO2 was the one that was shot in Italy. And this has something pretty magical about it that I cannot say. This is one that I can say I really like this one.

Chris Baran (00:46:40):

And yeah, back to what we talked about that you do your work, but yet only 10% of it is the ones that you really love

Anna Pacitto (00:46:47):

And it’s imperfect. Yeah,

Chris Baran (00:46:50):


Anna Pacitto (00:46:51):

It’s not perfect. The hair in the face and the model, the way she wears it, obviously. Yeah. So this was like I said, shop before the other

Chris Baran (00:47:04):

Election. Yeah, no, but it’s still what it takes talent to place hair that, I mean that’s what often in movies you’ll see their hair is done but it’s not perfect. And in this they make some still look sensuous. And that’s what I love about this. It’s dry hair that could have been wet and dried that way, but just the way that it was placed on the face, et cetera is just pigs talent. That’s just absolutely beautiful. Thank you. And what blows me away in your house in the middle of a pandemic. Wow.

Anna Pacitto (00:47:43):

It was yeah, it was fun. 2020 was not hard on me. No. 2021. A different story. But 2020 was a wasn’t I cherished the, not cherished the situation obviously, but the time off to be able to regroup my thoughts. We all went through it, we know. Yeah,

Chris Baran (00:48:08):

Yeah. Well I think it’s just about life choice, isn’t it? I can choose to have a mindset of one thing or I can choose to have a mindset and I can take my time off and now I can do what I love. And that’s hair. Okay. Yeah. So this next shot here, this is stunning.

Anna Pacitto (00:48:27):

Thank you.

Chris Baran (00:48:28):

Give us the backstory on this.

Anna Pacitto (00:48:31):

Well the backstory actually starts with the, there’s one with veil in the face as well as a whole lot of beads. I think you have it as well. Yes, you do. That was the inspiration. That was the inspiration to the shoot. It was again, striving for, I need some to create something that looks different, unique. So this idea of weads came in and how do I create this model obviously wouldn’t make me color or hair. I want color in here. How do I create this different texture and bring in color to this? It was just a nice blonde, but it’s just a very ordinary blonde. And I said, you know what, let me create it with beads and this is how it started. And I had so much fun doing this. There’s some shoots that are heavy and hard to do. I totally enjoyed. But it did start with the other one that was also featured in a magazine. And I try to remember what the magazine this is and Catina ov his wife they’re both friends of mine that the makeup and no clothing as you can see.

Chris Baran (00:49:54):

Yeah, no, it’s it absolutely stunning. And Lee, I want you to go to the next one now cuz I’m not taking anything away from any of the ones, but this is one, this happens to be one of my favorite ones that you’ve done. And I just, this mean because it’s so raw. I mean I just love the way that the different textures are in it and how hair is in a place that it almost shouldn’t be, but is, and it looks perfect. Give us a little bit of what happened with this. Where did this come from? How did it,

Anna Pacitto (00:50:30):

Again, a professional model who wouldn’t make me color her hair. This is from the same collection and the actual veiling, the hair that’s in front of her face. I wanted to create a veil and while I was prepping for this, I didn’t have any straight hair to be able to create the veil. You know what I’m talking about, right? Yeah. Mm-hmm. Veil with hair. And I only had very textured real hair in my bag of tricks. So what happened with very textured hair, it kind of lumped in together. And as I was preparing it, I said, wow, I like this better. I’m really enjoying this texture. So instead of it being equally spread out, it kind of clumped together. And so then I exaggerated that and the way Ara photographed, it looks like a painting from the 14th century.

Chris Baran (00:51:32):

Yeah, almost mosaic. It’s unbelievable.

Anna Pacitto (00:51:36):

And see some, and I created the color effects with the beads. The tiny, tiny little beads. So then the others came about, there’s about, I have five more Wow photos from this collection

Chris Baran (00:51:55):

Mean it blows me away. It makes me wanna go out and shoot right now is what it wants me, what I

Anna Pacitto (00:52:00):

Wanna do. Do it Chris.

Chris Baran (00:52:01):

Yeah. Well I still think I wanna do that where I, there’s nothing more than I would like is if we could get just some people together manufacturers aside, brands aside, just shoot hair, just bring in some models, come prepared with something. It even, what would even be better is if we just got together, brought your stuff along and then just jammed and created something. Like say, okay, let’s create a collection together and do something. I just think that other than I would be, it would terrify me when, because everybody else’s work would be so good. The only thing that would get in my way. So listen, I swear to God I have probably about 20 more questions that I want to ask you about. But the things that I just want to throw this out at you right now is, and I hate, and I’m not going to ask you, where are trends going and what’s that? Because when everybody says where are the trends going? I hate it when people ask me that. You on the other hand probably tell me what it is. But I want to reverse engineer that question. And what is it that you see happening right now in all the salons that is tending to be overdone and that we need to change direction on? Okay, what do you think that is?

Anna Pacitto (00:53:24):

And it’s hard because I sometimes even wear my hair that way. But if I see one more wave, beach wave and I sometimes wear it that way and there’s nothing new about what I’m wearing, but you know, go on some of the sites, the Instagram sites and the whole page is just that.


It started with the last couple of years of friends. That’s how Rachel was wearing her hair. So how long has it been? Yeah, how long has it been? And by the way, I need a haircut. I know but

Chris Baran (00:54:10):

You come out right there for you mind. Do you have Daniel <inaudible> in there? I don’t know why you would even want me to cut your hair, but Daniel is business partner and he’s absolutely stunning and amazing as well. What do you think our industry needs to go? What do we need to do? What needs to happen? What do we need to get together on and shift in our industry right now?

Anna Pacitto (00:54:33):

Be a little more creative, less cookie cutter. Mm-hmm. Stand in some way. Get back to showing beautiful haircuts. And it’s fine. Long hair is, yes, there’s a place for it. But I remember a time when you had shorter hair, mid length, longer hair. But now everybody is wearing the absolute same hairstyle. And

Chris Baran (00:55:04):

Even at hair shows, I mean you’d go to the hair shows now everybody wears the same thing. And I, I’ve always held Canada in very high regard because I think that Canadians take which would you agree that, cause it’s been like 20 some odd years since I’ve lived in Canada. But I always held in high regard because we tended to take our influence from Europe, from Britain, from Australia. And is it the same in the rest of North America where everybody’s still got long hair now and mm-hmm Nothing more. If we would start to go back to cutting hair.

Anna Pacitto (00:55:44):

Yeah, I’m wearing longish hair and I understand that the pandemic certainly, but it was before then. It was before then. Yeah. Just less cookie cutter stand out show something different. Whether it’s in color, whether it’s in texture, whether it’s in length. I’m liking the fact that we’re seeing a lot of shags, extremely layered haircuts these days. Still keeping the length, I think there is options if you wanna keep your hair long. Yeah, just try to stand out. If you’re exactly like everyone else, people could go anywhere, why come to you?

Chris Baran (00:56:28):

Yeah. Yeah. I agree. What, I’ve got so much more that I want to ask you, I’m going to have give you one more just before we close out here. But I think what we need to do next is I want to either have you back on and talk about some more things that were on here. Or perhaps even, I think it would be great if we could get Danielle and you on together and do something together where we talk about what’s going on in the industry that, I’d love to hear how you guys collaborate when it comes to for pure et cetera, what you’re doing. But if people, that’s, that’ll be a down the pike thing. But right now is I know that you’re on the road traveling and if people wanna see you on the road, if they wanna know where you’re going and what you’re doing, is there some place, something that they could do to know if I want to see Anna, if I wanna see a program that she’s doing? Cause I know you also have your and I believe it’s called your Pure Academy as well, where people could go to learn as well. Do they not? How can you tell us? Well the,

Anna Pacitto (00:57:38):

The Pure Academy now is only Advanced Academy and we have a space inure to do that and through our distribution company. Cuz I think I’m a distributor

Chris Baran (00:57:50):

As well. No, that’s one thing I’ve gotta do my research better. I did not know that. Yeah, but how do they find out? Where can we go? What distribution is that? Well

Anna Pacitto (00:58:00):

The only that’s, that is Aura distribution and so all of any classes that I give for Davina obviously, you know could go through the Davina program and find out where I’m giving classes or through Aura and you could find out or just contact me directly and I usually post, yeah, and through Instagram.

Chris Baran (00:58:23):

You wanna bring, so that’s from Instagram or whatever that I’ve got. If you’ve got take out your cameras right now and if you just focus on that QR code, that’ll take you directly to Anna’s Instagram page and you can directly connect with her there and find out all the information.

Anna Pacitto (00:58:40):

I usually post my next classes. The next thing is is that, which one comes first, but definitely the beginning of October <inaudible> show in New York City.

Chris Baran (00:58:54):

Wow. That’s going to be, and I tell you that’s something cuz you can’t, people can check it out. If they’re willing to become a member as well, they can check it out and go in as a guest as well. Can they not?

Anna Pacitto (00:59:05):

Right? That’s right. Yes. Yeah.

Chris Baran (00:59:07):

So it’s a great, great especially for salon owners that are out there. It’s an amazing organization part of

Anna Pacitto (00:59:15):


Chris Baran (00:59:17):

So Anna, I just wanna say wow that’s all I can say is just that it’s quite frankly, we’ve known of each other. We’ve seen one another at shows, we’ve talked to one another, but I just feel like a real kindred spirit and there’s nothing that would make me happier than to be able to get together one today and just jam on some hair and just do some really cool

Anna Pacitto (00:59:40):

Stuff. I would love that, Chris. I would love that. And what’s amazing is that even if we’ve only had minutes to say hello to each other at the various events, it’s always been a beautiful connection. The respect, like I said, and the admiration is absolutely yeah there. And I would love to jam with you.

Chris Baran (01:00:04):

Oh that was nothing that would please be more scare the hell outta me. I have to tell you, it would scare me to death. And

Anna Pacitto (01:00:10):

Congratulations on your last award.

Chris Baran (01:00:13):

Oh, thank you. That was very kind,

Anna Pacitto (01:00:15):

Beautiful collections. I saw two collections and they were absolutely, they’re absolutely beautiful. That was all for Big Behind the Chair.

Chris Baran (01:00:25):

Yeah, that was behind the, the one shot stuff. So listen it was amazing to have you on board. I can’t thank you enough. And to all our listeners that are out there, I just wanna say this is somebody that if you are not following Anna right now you saw her Insta, come up there go back, get that up again and you need to follow her. She is just absolutely brilliant in the hair that she does. Anna ear, it’s up again. So if you haven’t done it before, I command you <laugh> of that right now. The follower on there. So my friends, I just wanna say thank you Anna, thank you so much to all my friends that are out there whether you’re listening or watching, I just wanna say thank you for being a part of Chris Baron’s head cases and I just say thank you very much and good bless, God bless to you all. Take care.

Anna Pacitto (01:01:17):

Thank you so much, Chris. Thank you. Bye. See you soon. Bye.

Chris Baran (01:01:24):

Okay, thank you. And swear, God, I’ve still got 20 more questions I was going to ask and I know better than that’s, but there was so much, so I’m going to have to have you back on again at some point. Would Danielle be open to being on with us?

Anna Pacitto (01:01:42):

Speak to him, why not? I’ll speak to him and I’m sure he will be.

Chris Baran (01:01:48):

Yeah, I have to say probably one of the high, I remember it was at Naja, I can’t remember a hundred years ago or 10 years ago, whatever it was. And they had asked, I think Chris Zerbe, myself, Nick French and a couple of other people to be on a panel and to bring up awards and to score them in front of everybody, just so everybody see how it went. Saw how the scoring went. I, I’ll never forget this. When Daniel’s work, remember the work that he did with all the chains and they brought it up and I scored him, I scored him perfect marks all the way through. And apparently he didn’t win on that collection that year. Nope. No, but

Anna Pacitto (01:02:39):

You won Canadian, but not

Chris Baran (01:02:41):

Not, yeah. But I remember that when him walking up to me after and he said, you know what, I didn’t win with North America on that one, but just the fact that you gave me perfect tens, I’m okay with that now. So I’ll, that memory, you have to tell ’em how that has stuck with me to this day of him coming up and saying that. So his work is stunning.

Anna Pacitto (01:03:07):

Absolutely. Absolutely. That collection was before, I mean it was before its time. I, I’m going to say yeah, it was before its time and not enough people understood it.

Chris Baran (01:03:20):

Yeah. But that, that’s what happens when you innovate, right? Yeah, for sure. If you’re innovating, you’re innovating something and nobody’s seen it before, they don’t understand it. Yeah. So the part is that you’re going to put it out there, it’s just like it’s octopus haircut and everything. I mean, that literally was a trend that was started about five years ago with just really sharp geometric shapes and everybody can went, oh, and then now it’s out there in the soft form. And that’s just the difference between couture and ready to wear. It’s you’ve gotta get innovators that push this stuff

Anna Pacitto (01:04:03):

Anyway. Absolutely. Absolutely. Without a doubt.

Chris Baran (01:04:06):

Well listen honey, I wanna just say thank you again. I know I’ve been gushing the whole while. If I say it again, it’s just going to get cheesy. But if I’m everyone in Montreal your husband, my wife and I, we can get together and have some dinner talk about, well, Rita’s sitting over here listening. So if I say we’re going to talk here, she, she’ll say, well then I’m not going.

Anna Pacitto (01:04:35):

Please do let me know. And my husband co-owns a restaurant and we take you to Luca. Yes, absolutely.

Chris Baran (01:04:45):

Your husband co-owns the restaurant. So

Anna Pacitto (01:04:48):

We’re going, you’re on. Let me know when, and you’re on. Absolutely.

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