Celebrating 25 Years with Gila Rut: Karla Lopez-Martinez
Aug 17, 2017

What’s your relationship with Gila Rut?
Co-owner and longest standing Rution!

How has Gila Rut changed the course of your career?
It has defined my career and lifestyle! I started my career at Gila Rut Aveda Salons in 1998, as an assistant to co-founder Keri Davis-Duffy. I was blessed to be part of a company that provided a strong advanced-education program. That foundation was the start to my skill set and success. I saw many other opportunities on the horizon and set my goals to achieve them.

I’ve had the pleasure to wear many hats along the way. In addition to building a strong clientele as a colorist, I become an educational director, followed by holding leadership and mentorship positions. When our second location opened, I saw an opportunity to become an owner myself. I even enrolled in Cosmetology College with the dream of owning my own salon. My vision was to create my own path, build my own future and provide a space where like-minded people could thrive, enjoy coming to work, be passionate in their craft and create the lifestyles they had dreamed of.

If you could do anyone’s hair, whose would it be?
Ellen DeGeneres. Her show always makes me smile. Ooh, I could do her hair live while the show is going on. That would be the best of both worlds… maybe?

Have you done the hair or makeup of a celebrity?
I have worked on many celebrities and public figures through the years. Some events where I did hair backstage were the Daytime Emmy Awards, local television, New York Fashion Week, San Diego Fashion Week, industry hair shows and more.

Karla Lopez-Martinez

How often do you change your hairstyle?
Having the freedom to be a trendsetter is one of the perks of being in the industry. I have had pretty much every hair color there is and have worn my hair every length. Straight, permed and natural waves. It just depends on the day and on my mood. LOL!

When did you know you’d be a stylist?
My family knew before I did. I was the teenager doing all of my friends and family’s hair and makeup for special events. It was so much fun to watch them transform. Seeing their faces light up after I enhanced their beauty made my heart sing. I was too young at that point to see it as a possible career path. As my high school graduation approached, I enrolled in community college, but it didn’t feel like the right fit. Still, I had no clear path on what I was going to do, so my dad took me for a tour of Marinello Cosmetology College. It opened my mind to all the different paths this career has to offer. I started the following week and never turned back.

What’s your worst hair moment?
When I gave one of my favorite clients red highlights! We had worked so hard for over a year to make her hair the perfect, sunny blonde with soft golden highlights, and then I accidentally mixed the wrong color!!!! The tube of color was placed back in the wrong box with the wrong label. Without knowing, I mixed it and applied it to her hair. I wanted to die! I was able to rescue her hair, but not without a small heart attack first. Hahahaha!

What’s the craziest thing anyone’s ever said in your chair?
What I consider crazy is the fact that my clients open up to me more, and about more intimate topics, than they would with their own spouses or friends. I guess they know about the stylist code: be their listening ear and forever keep their secrets.