MEET THE TEAM
Owner/ Platform Artist
Ash Fortis Owner /Stylist since 2011
At 23 Ash decided to pursue her passion for the hair industry. She excelled quickly, graduated with honors and went on to spend time at a high end salon apprenticing. While apprenticing Ash further developed her passions and skills of hair dressing. Ash took to heart the importance of professionalism and being a team player which has led to a great deal of her success. Over the course of her career she’s never stopped learning and dedicating her time to creating and fostering one of a kind experiences for her guests, Ash has never shied away from a challenge and that driving force has made her at the top of her game when it comes to transforming clients. Ash’s passion for her craft has given her national and international publications, award nominations, and she is recognized as an innovative trailblazer in the hair industry. Ash Fortis went on to help build and co create Pulp Riot hair care from the ground up as an original co creator/owner. Pulp Riot sold to Loreal and Ash Fortis continues to educate for Pulp Riot, and work closely with the company and its team. Being at the hight of her career Ash knew that she wanted to build a salon & spa that would bring her dreams of providing the best hair and skin care to our community. Her dream of creating an inclusive space where our team brings out the beauty in one another and our guests is why the Xo Culture is like none other. At Xo Ash is proud to inspire and foster Team work,Creativity,Professionalism, Collaboration, Education and Value to our team & Guests. When Ash is not behind the chair she is leading our team and growing our stylists and business. Ash also spends time sharing her knowledge digitally, as well as in salons, and on stages across the world. She is a proud Author of Hair to dye for Published May 2020 and loves spending time with her friends, family, pets and her community of bad ass’s.
Kyle Shepherd is a veteran hairstylist of 14 + years and the general manager of XO Hair Lab. Kyle has 20+ years of management experience as a Navy Veteran and previous salon manager. Excellent management skills and working with different personalities was taught to him early in his career and works hard to learn and perfect those skills to a higher level. As Kyle went on in his career he decided to go back to college and finish his bachelor’s degree in Business Management so he would be more of an asset for the next company he worked for. Kyle met the owner Ash Fortis at Phenix Salon Suites where they had studio suites across from each other and would discuss the salon industry from time to time. Kyle was impressed with the vision and the drive that Ash had for the salon industry and knew that being part of the “Lab” was definitely the move he needed to make in his career. Kyle knew he could help build a team that others would want to be part of for years to come. Kyle loves to help people grow professionally and personally and will do anything he can to help every team member succeed. When Kyle is not in the Xo Hair Lab he is spending time with his family Fishing, Hiking, Camping, going to the beach, or listening to live music at a local venue.
Level 3 stylist/ Director of Edu
Influenced by the modern day individual, Jodi enjoys creating beautiful dual identity looks, that can be both classic and progressive. When she is not behind the chair she is photographing imagery for salon collections,fashion weeks, and continuing to further her education as well as educating others. Jodi has been dedicated over the last year and half with our company and has shown great skills and leadership which has made her an impactful mentor for our team.
Front Desk Manager
Brenda is a military spouse that recently moved to Virginia Beach from New Jersey where she previously worked in the corporate world for over 20 years. She decided to take the leap into the salon and spa industry during her transition to Virginia, as she enjoys being in an industry that helps people feel their best.
Whether it’s at the front desk welcoming our guests or assisting guests by guiding them through booking their appointments to fit their schedules, she always strives to do her best to accommodate them. Because of her work ethic, she never hesitates to adapt and be of service wherever she is needed at our salon.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three doodle pups.
Level 2 Stylist
Rebecca is a creative, versatile and passionate hair stylists who has grown quickly since joining Xo.
Rebecca has been able to establish herself quickly as a successful level 2 stylist at XO Hair Lab. Rebecca was on the path towards a career in marketing in Richmond when she decided to pursue her true calling in the beauty Industry. She began her career at XO Hair Lab over two years ago where she completed her mentorship as Ash Fortis’s personal assistant. Rebecca is passionate about blondes, bold tones, large transformation & extensions.
Rebecca has a passion for cultivating a unique experience for each guest. Rebecca prides herself on her ability to draw inspiration from Richmond’s trendy vibe and the East Coast’s effortlessly chic style. This distinctive edge and natural skill led her to XO Hair Lab where she’s been serving up some beautiful transformations.
Lead Master Esthetician
Amie is an experienced Master Esthetician who has dedicated over 6 years to treating the Hampton Roads community. Receiving her Professional license in 2015, and Master license in 2018, She dedicates her time to continuing her education and her two daughters. Since completing her master program, she has became certified in various brands, like PCA & Skinscript to ensure she provides the best services possible. She specializes in Brazilians, Vajacials, Brows & Corrective facials. But, you can catch her at the lab doing various services, like body treatments, chemical peels, and more. Making people not only look good, but feel good is her passion as a skin care professional and she takes pride in her work daily.
Carmela is currently a receptionist/assistant at XO Hair Lab. She currently goes to school part time at Rudy and Kelly. She loves to be creative and have fun on her free time and aspires to get behind the chair as soon as possible after graduating cosmetology school in 2022 by obtaining all the knowledge she is currently receiving both from school and her position at XO Hair Lab.
Elena is a recent graduate from Rudy & Kelly Academy. She has always loved to help people in any way she can and decided that behind the chair is the best way for her to do so. She's always ready to listen and learn and takes a special interest in all things color. In her spare time, Elena enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, reading, and crocheting
Level 1 Stylist
Elise is a level 1 stylist that has been licensed since 2019. She has had a passion for hair and the beauty industry since she got her very first doll And it has never really died since! She’s especially passionate about color and cut transformations/enhancements and seeing the happy faces of her clients when they are done. She also prides herself in hair integrity helping you achieve your dream hair from the inside out. You can see her work for yourself on Instagram at @EliseRomaine.beauty.
Level 1 Stylist
Megan Brown joins XO Hair Lab with over a decade of experience exercising her passion within the beauty industry for styling and color. As a graduate of the Paul Mitchell School, she trained at Vidal Sassoon for two years, where she specialized in classic color techniques. Megan was one of the original stylists at Drybar in Washington, D.C. While she excels in these areas, Megan’s passion is color formulating and special occasion styling; many of her clients were published in Weddings Unveiled, the Washingtonian, and Capital File. Megan’s clients have included many Congressional leaders and aides through the years. Megan recently moved to the Chesapeake area and joined the XO Hair Lab. Megan is excited to expand her clientele and showcase her creativity and talents with innovative color and industry techniques, providing signature looks for her clients.
Level 2 Stylist
Taylor Perry has been a stylist for 7 years. Taylor started out in Tennessee and worked in a Redken elite salon, top 200. Taylor , her husband, and 2 dogs made the big move to Virginia in 2020 and she’s been a great addition to the Xo team. Taylor specializes in color melts and balayages whether its Blondes or Brunettes but Coppers and Reds are some of her specialties.
Taylor also has an affinity for fashion and that really brings her personal flavor into her work.
Level 2 Stylist
Timothy Is a Hairstylist with over twelve years of experience In Cutting, Color And Styling. Originally From Nyc, Timothy is Trained and certified in Multiple color and cutting systems and Loves using his knowledge to create exactly what his guests envision when they are in his chair. Timothy enjoys working with editorial hair and diverse hair types which allows him to be a stylist for any client.
Level 3 Stylist
Catherine has over 5 years experience behind the chair and 3rd generation stylist, she gives a home grown feel to every service. She has a passion for transformations and collaborating with clients to bring out their most beautiful selves with every service. She is a seasoned colorist and is certified in hand tied, tape in, and other forms of extensions. From simplistic naturals to kaleidoscopic creations, Catherine is your go-to for a one of a kind experience.
Chelsea is originally from Baltimore Maryland, she is a recent graduate from Rudy and Kelly Academy a Paul Mitchell partner school. Her recent graduation has motivated her to be apart of the Xo assistant/ front desk team. Chelsea has a passion for Creative Color & Colormelting. Chelsea loves thinking outside the box and turning her art into reality that her guests can love and feel transformed by. "Hairstyling, isn't just a trade its an artform" 🎨