Hairstylist Rita Ambourn remains passionate about her calling after 50 years of experience

Nothing means more to Rita Ambourn than doing what she loves for her clients.
Wig styling by Rita Ambourn; makeup by Ana Silva

With 50 years of experience and 103 trophies at styling competitions, Rita Ambourn is still as passionate about hair as she was as a student at Oliver Thein Beauty School in Burnsville in the 1960s.

Ambourn proved her incredible dedication to clients from the start, working seven days a week and on holidays. “I would work 24 hours a day if I could. Whenever you need me, I’ll be there,” she says. Her hard work has paid off, as Ambourn is one of two Minnesota members of the elite hair association Intercoiffure. She has worked everything from international hair shows and TV shows such as P.M. Magazine to weddings and the Miss Minnesota pageant.

Ambourn prides herself on being innovative and staying up-to-date with the field. She has always been on the cutting edge of hair trends, using bright colors and dye in hair. Ambourn also created short, pixie-cut wigs before they became popular.

Over the years, Ambourn has formed lasting friendships with clients, seeing third and fourth generations of clients come into her salon. And she isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon. “I’m 74 now, so I might retire when I’m 94 or 95. But if you love what you do, why would you want to stop?”