Boss Babes: Meet Laura Polko

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

There is a staggering number of hair stylists in our crazy city. Some work at salons, some own them, some freelance and do the editorial circuit. Today’s Boss Babe does the latter… and we can’t get enough of her work.

Meet Laura Polko, the TTS-proclaimed Queen of “sexy hair.” Her magic hands and cool-girl touch has landed her work in some major mags and on some major celebrities (Kylie Jenner, Chrissy Teigen, Vanessa Hudgens…basically every LA starlet that any stylist would want to get their hands on.) Now with her own Insta-fame, Laura finds herself busier than ever, balancing the bi-coastal lifestyle while still keeping a healthy and positive outlook on life. But hey, how could you not with a career like this?!

We headed to Nolita and chatted with the Boss Babe about all things hair, on-set divas, and staying the f*ck away from craft services. Here’s what went down…


Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Birth sign: 

Scorpio…pause for reaction…
Columbus, Ohio. Again, pause for reaction…
Current location: 
NYC but LA entirely too often.
Where you wish you were right now: 
On a beach where there were no carbs around so I’d come back tan AND skinny.
Your overall hair philosophy: 
Just touch up what you naturally have if possible. We’re so lucky that ‘undone’ is cool right now.
Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Hidden talent:

Sleeping so long it borders on coma status.

Guilty pleasure:

Laying in the sun at every opportunity possible.

Favorite hair product at this moment:

I still have my Middle America tendencies, so baby powder over dry shampoo for me. But as a professional on other people, I’m into Ouai Wave Spray.

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Favorite hair style for spring:

Side braid or loose low pony.

Hair style you can’t stand:

On me? A bun. Looks so stupid.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less:

Fun, hard working but low-key mega sensitive.

Best advice you’ve ever gotten pertaining to work or life:

Hmmm, with work: keep your emotions out of work and your opinions to yourself.

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Worst advice you’ve gotten and how it’s shaped you:

“You have to go to college” and “Don’t move to New York.” I’m the oldest of 3 and in Middle America that’s what you do but I skipped college and moved anyways.

We all have them: who is your biggest girl crush?

Actually I can’t think of one… but I also can’t think of any dudes I have a crush on right now so ask me again in a week.

You’re back and forth between NYC and LA a lot. Talk to us about the balance of living the freelancer life. How do you manage your time?

Oh God. I barely do, I’m running around like a crazy person and I have to book only one way flights to try to be honest about my lack of “making plans” ability. Work comes first and I work out everyday to keep my mind clear. Then, in every spare moment, I’m really good about hanging with friends.

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

 You work with a TON of celebrities. Have you ever been a victim of a diva moment? If so, how do you manage situations like that?

Everyone’s allowed their insecurities. I totally get that and there have been times when sometimes that takes over but whatever, it’s only hair at the end of the day and it’s an easy change. Not reacting is key as well as remaining calm.

You’ve styled a ton of editorial shoots in your career. What have been some highlights, and why?

I’ve done lots and it’s important to stay current. I actually just did Cosmo, Italian Vogue, and some on camera stuff for Harpers Bazaar last week — so that was a solid week.

Where can we find you on a night out?

The Bowery. That’s a guarantee actually.

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

 Love this article on HBFit about “sweat hairstyles“. Where can we find you sweating? Any secrets to staying fit when you’re always on the road and surrounded by craft services?

Craft service is so fucking dangerous. SO. MANY. CARBS… I love Y7 Yoga, spin, and running is my ultimate favorite.

Tell us something only your best friends know about you:

I’m really sensitive. It’s annoying. It annoys me.

Words of wisdom for aspiring boss babes, especially those looking to break into editorial:

Timing is everything. Keep working and say yes to everything and eventually a break will come and you’ll wish you could get a day off.

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda

Photo cred: Vanessa Granda


Photography by Vanessa Granda

Interview by Cyndi Ramirez

Follow Laura Polko on Instagram here.

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