Santa Rosa resident Vanessa Colombo is a mom, Tubbs hearth survivor and a whizbang hair and make-up stylist.
To a few of these in her inside circle, nevertheless, she’s generally known as “Hollywood Vanessa.”
This flashy nickname refers to Colombo’s profession as a hair-and-makeup specialist for most of the hit films and TV exhibits which were filmed over the previous couple of years in and round Sonoma County. Since 2017, she’s labored on “13 Causes Why,” “Bumblebee,” “Wine Nation” and “Venom 2,” to call just a few. She’s styled hair and make-up for a number of commercials, as properly.
When Colombo isn’t working with celebrities and actors, she runs her personal enterprise, hairdressing and doing make-up for ladies everywhere in the Bay Space. The 39-year-old, who’s Black, clothes all types of hair for all types of individuals, however focuses on styling members of the native Black neighborhood.
“I bought into this enterprise to make individuals be ok with themselves,” she stated just lately. “My principal objective is that they really feel snug and exquisite.”
Colombo grew up in Petaluma, attended Casa Grande Excessive College for one 12 months earlier than shifting to Pennsylvania along with her father, and returned to Sonoma County in 1999. After 5 years working gross sales within the house guarantee enterprise, she determined to go to magnificence college at age 25.
She sharpened her craft at native salons together with Joe Hamer Salon in Petaluma and Salon Luxe in Santa Rosa.
In 2015, she went out on her personal.
Considered one of her first solo purchasers within the Santa Rosa space was Letitia Hanke, CEO of ARS Roofing. Hanke requested Colombo to take away her relaxer, which basically straightens curly hair, and reduce her hair. For Black girls, that is an extremely private request. Some confer with it as “the massive chop.” Colombo was moved.
“Chopping a girl of coloration’s hair whose hair doesn’t develop quick, particularly in the event that they’ve by no means worn their pure hair — it’s a extremely large deal,” Colombo stated. “She cried. I cried. It was life altering.”
Colombo bought related with “13 Causes Why” in 2017. She began as an intern within the hair division and joined the stagehand union, Worldwide Alliance of Theatrical Stage Workers Native 16, two weeks after that. Then she went full-time, reducing hair, styling actors, fixing hairdos earlier than cameras began rolling, and loving each minute of it.
Nonetheless, it was arduous work. Most days ran a minimum of 12 hours, if no more. First calls often had been earlier than 5 a.m.
She had been engaged on the present for just a few weeks when she went again to her house in Coffey Park one breezy October night. That evening she, her husband, Brent, and her then-6-year-old son misplaced all the things within the Tubbs hearth.
What adopted had been days of disappointment, anger and grief. Colombo’s coworkers arrange a GoFundMe for her and reassured her that her job could be ready for her when she was prepared to return to work.
“My love for ’13 Causes’ got here from that,” she stated. “I don’t know what I’d have completed with out them.”
The subsequent season — Season 3 — Colombo’s profession with “13 Causes” skyrocketed. Present producers launched a brand new character named Annie, performed by the British actor Grace Saif. The 25-year-old Saif is Black and needed to work with a stylist whom she felt she may belief along with her textured hair. Colombo fortunately accepted the project.
Over the course of the season, the ladies turned buddies. Each morning, as Colombo took down Saif’s hair and bought her prepared for the day on set, the 2 would discuss concerning the significance of hair to Black ladies.
“It was so essential to her that the message she needed to convey was that you just don’t need to straighten your hair or put on a wig,” Colombo stated. “You will be lovely and put on your pure hair. You don’t have to adapt to what individuals suppose is gorgeous. I believe we actually achieved that.”
Daniel Curet, a hairstylist who served because the division head on the present, agreed.
“It meant the world to me that (Colombo) was so versatile,” stated Curet, who relies in Los Angeles and is now working to grow to be an actual property agent.
Curet cited one look that Colombo did for Saif as “genius,” and stated it stole a scene filmed at a promenade.
“The 2 of them got here up with this concept for (Saif) to put on a wig that was all braids all the way down to the center of her again,” he remembered. “It was unbelievable. A show-stopper for certain. For (Colombo), it was simply one other look. However I’ll always remember it.”
Colombo stayed with “13 Causes” for the fourth and closing season, then moved on to different tasks. She labored on “Bumblebee,” the Transformers movie, doing hair in 111-degree warmth within the Marin Headlands. Subsequent she traveled to Oakville to work on “Wine Nation,” and laughed her manner by way of styling a forged that included Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Ana Gasteyer.