Patience has paid off for Ross Bartolomei, a Western Springs resident who will open his third Salon Hype location March 1.
With his original salon opened in 2006 in LaGrange and a second in 2011 in Burr Ridge, Bartolomei, whose business partner is his wife, Carissa, is excited about the debut of his third location in Oakbrook Terrace.
“I always wanted to be in this market, even before Burr Ridge,” Bartolomei said. “Finding space here is tough, but I’m very excited about this location. The visibility is amazing.”
The new salon is along a heavily traveled 22nd Street, with an easy-access entrance at a traffic light.
The 2,200-square-foot Oakbrook Terrace Salon Hype will offer hair, skin and nail care, the same as does the 3,000-square-foot La Grange shop. Burr Ridge, which has about 1,650 square feet, offers only hair care, Bartolomei said.
The storefront in Oakbrook Terrace previously was occupied by a hair salon, which closed in June 2015 after 25 years in business, Bartolomei said.
“It was really quite a mess in here,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of work to get this space ready, but it’s going to be great. I call our look ‘industrial, but yet chic.'”
Bartolomei, 47, employs 63 people between La Grange and Burr Ridge. He said he plans to start with five new employees in Oakbrook Terrace and increase that number to 25. The Oakbrook Terrace salon will have 10 styling stations.
As is the case with Bartolomei’s salons in La Grange and Burr Ridge, Oakbrook Terrace will offer products from Kerastase, a L’Oreal Professional brand known for its safe, sulfate-free products.
Bartolomei had already started transitioning to products more conducive to a healthy environment when he was diagnosed two years ago with lymphoma.
Research on his part led Bartolomei to conclude that with no family history of cancer, it was likely that the chemicals with which he had come into contact over the past 25 years, among those ammonia and sulfates, were the root of the problem.
Bartolomei, who said he is now cancer free, transitioned his salons to be chemical free and has developed his own Hype Solutions brand of natural and organic shampoos, conditioners and treatments that are free of sulfate and paraben, a preservative used in a wide variety of personal care products.
“Our industry has been so neglectful, in terms of what’s in products,” Bartolomei said. “Making our salons as chemically free as possible and environmentally safer is our top priority, and I want to continue challenging the salon industry to move away from products and treatments that are laced with toxic chemicals.”
As an example, Bartolomei mentioned ammonia, a key ingredient in many household cleaning products that also is often used in hair products.
“That can’t really be good to use on your hair,” he said.
Bartolomei’s entry into the salon business began many years ago, as his mother and brother worked in the business, and he first enrolled in beauty school and began to cut hair.
In 1993, Bartolomei was featured in Allure Magazine, a beauty publication. He worked with the late John Hughes, a Chicago-area filmmaker known for the “The Breakfast Club,” “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Sixteen Candles.”
Among his clients, Bartolomei lists Glen Ellyn native, Amy Carlson, one of the stars on the TV show “Blue Bloods;” actor Jack Wagner, reality TV personality “Big Ang” and former Mrs. America, April Lufriu.
Another client, and good friend, is Burr Ridge resident Jim Peterik, founder of the bands The Ides of March and Survivor, and the writer/co-writer of several hit songs, including “Eye of the Tiger.”
Peterik said he was excited to hear that the Bartolomeis are opening a new Salon Hype in Oakbrook Terrace.
“Ross and his expert team have been doing my hair for about eight years now at their Burr Ridge and La Grange locations, but Ross does more than hair — he creates an image for a person,” Peterik said. “Together, we created my purple quaff that has served me well on and off stage. He brought me into the ‘now.'”
Source: Chicago Tribune
Salon Hype details
Locations/phone numbers: 17W408 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace, 630-607-0579; 917 Hillgrove Ave., La Grange, 708-352-4222; and 110 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, 630-323-4222
Business hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday; 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, for Oakbrook Terrace and La Grange locations. Call for Burr Ridge hours