Monday, August 24, 2009
EXIT HAIR SALON: Bringing Great Hair to the People
We all care about what lays up there. Yes Im speaking of hair. I had the opportunity to discuss everything you can possible want to know about our crowning glory with Rob Pizzuti, owner of fresh, funky and cutting-edge Exit Hair Salon in Toronto.
P: Can you tell me a little about your training and why you decided to enter the hair salon industry?
R: I started training when I was 14. I was always asking my dads friend about his salon and all the funny stories he had made it sound more like play than work. By the end of that summer, I not only had mastered the social skills to entertain clients but had a few requests for services. It became my part time job until I finished university. I then decided to leave my home town Windsor Ontario, and move to Toronto at the age of 21 with $500 in my pocket and free rent (thanks to my brother who lives here). That was 18 years ago and I am so glad I made the move; I have had the pleasure to train and work with the best in the industry. I have to say that most of my training though comes from years of experience of working in top salons in Toronto, LA and New York and now back home in Toronto. I love the diversity in Toronto, because you can really be yourself, no matter what that is.
P: Can you give me a brief bio of Exit Hair Salon, and the ambiance and services you offer to your clients?
R: EXIT was created in January 2004. My grandmother used to always say (in Italian): Everyone looks good going into a party, but when you can EXIT in style that's when everyone notices. Our goal is to make sure our clients always get noticed. EXIT is a place you come to relax and surround yourself with beauty. Toronto Fashion has nominated us one of the 10 best salons in Toronto 6 years in a row, continually being described as: having all the right tools without a drop of pretension. The salon is set up like a New York loft with 12-15 foot ceilings and floor to ceiling windows facing an always bustling Yonge Street. We have a living room set up for clients to relax in and enjoy a coffee and the whole salon has a secure Wi-Fi set up for those who need to keep working on laptops as there hair is being done.
EXIT is comprised of 4 colourists and 9 stylists. We offer exclusive custom blended colour that each of our colourists mix to meet the specifics needs of each guest. All of our stylists have awards and magazine covers and continue to take classes to ensure we stay on top of the latest techniques.
P: What do you believe makes Exit Hair Salon attractive enough to keep your clients coming back for more?
R: The quality of the work and the salons atmosphere are the two major reasons guests are so loyal.
All of our colour work is guaranteed. We have built a reputation of being able to fix anything from bad home colour to a not-quite-there-yet blonde. Once you have fixed someones bad hair colour, they are sure to remain loyal. Our stylists have received not only numerous awards for their work, but have graced magazine covers and have worked on celebrities. There are no junior stylists so everyone gets A-list treatment and leaves the salon looking amazing. All my team knows I refuse to have any drama or attitude in my salon. As a result, I have the luxury of having the most talented group of professionals working in a soothing and positive environment unlike any other salon in the city.
P: I know you have worked with some A-listers, can you name a few? Do you have one particular experience that stands out as cool to you?
R: Petra Nemcova- Victoria Secret Super Model, Petra is so cool! The first time we met her for Film festival she seemed like just an ordinary pretty girl. But once we finished her hair, make-up, and she slipped on her killer heels and stood up those six feet of legs screamed super model! It didn't hurt that she had an amazing personality and was such a sweetie. I have to say, I'd switch teams for her.
Other celebrities we've done are: Sarah Ferguson -The Duchess of York, Jacqueline Bissett, Nina Dobrev, and Tara Spencer Nairn.
P: Exit Hair Salon is a flagship REDKEN salon in Toronto--can you tell me a little about your relationship with REDKEN and what makes you believe that the vision of your salon is inline with the REDKENs appeal?
R: Fashion leader REDKEN asked for a sneak peek before we opened the EXIT doors on January 13th 2004. When they witnessed the salon design and the stylists that would be involved, EXIT was offered the exclusive invitation to be their 1st Canadian Flagship salon!
REDKENs leadership in providing top notch products is a result of their keen awareness of fashion, street trends and modern hair needs. EXIT strives to provide the same level of excellence in all of our work.
REDKEN Vice-President Doriane Dalati says: "This salon is a perfect blend of urban chic and sexy that REDKEN is known for. Rob and his team are inspired by beauty and understand the importance of business expertise."
P: What are clients approaching you with that seems to be hot for Summer 09? Styles? Cuts? Colours?
R: Top of the request list:
1)High definition blonde, I can make an Asian girl look like a natural blonde.
2)Creamy tones with lots of shine. Silky strands not brittle broom whiskers-
no mo' dull faded ends. We all know that girl with highlights that starts out strong at the root, okay at eyebrow level, but disappear into bland at the mashed up ends.
3)Flaming coppers & reds. Our multi-layering technique guarantees to stop traffic.
1)Super girly-girl soft waves and curls that bounce (think: Giselle)
2)Hard clean angles (think: Katie Holmes, Victoria Bekham)
P: What attracts you to hire a colourist and stylist as part of your team?
R: Level of education and experience, an ability to work well on the team and you must be able to fit the salons positive and no drama vibe.
P: Has Exit Hair Salon participated in any recent fashion shoots and/or competitions? If so, how did they go, and is there a place where we can see your work?
R: I was recently asked to compete for the first ever Master Colourist Award at the Contessas- Canadian Hairstyling Awards. Its a real honor to have been invited to submit my work as the award is open only to those who are nominated as possible recipients based on various criteria such as the level and quality of work, years in the industry and being a recipient of previous awards. As such, my team will also be competing in this years awards in various other categories, as well. We recently have completed the photo shoot and are geared to send our submissions for consideration at the end of the summer!
The best place to see our work is to check out the website: www.exitsalon.com. We constantly update the site and have photos, magazine work all our services and EXIT News Updates.
This year, for the 6th year in a row, we've been nominated by Toronto Fashion as one of Toronto's 10 best salons. We've also been featured in ELLE Canada Magazine, Hello! Canada, Faze Teen, In Touch, Flare and Eye Candy for 2009.
P: What motivates you to keep coming back each day to the salon? What is in your future and what's next for Exit Hair Salon?
R: I still have fun at work. Not many adults can say that.
I really enjoy the fact that guest comes in and look and feel better after we are done. I really like and respect my team and the fact that we work together and help each other out. Its funny when someone asks me about the teams rules.. I don't have many but I really enforce the few I have. The important rules for my team are saying good morning and good night to each other -every day. Do your best work and ask for help when you need it, and remember that we work with the best in the industry, there is NO room for attitude, just good work.
I hope to expand with my dear friend Marc one day. He is a very well known plastic surgeon (Visage Clinic) and we both share the need for perfection. I think we could open a beauty institute for one shop glam make overs from head to toe.
P: What era represents your favorite hair styles and do you pull influence from any particular time in history?
R: This is a toss up I love the fact that in the 80s (don't boo yet!!). Boys were encouraged to do there hair and search out the stores for the strongest hairspray a la cure coif.
But I have to say my all time favorites were the severe angles that Vidal Sassoon gave the world. I have been strictly a Colourist for 12 years and you can have a lot of fun with colour when you have strong lines and a great base to start with.
P: What is good hair?!!!!!!!
R: Good Hair makes you look like the best version of yourself in 20 min flat. That's all it should take in the morning when its cut right.
Good Colour Hair- Shines and reflects light, even if your born with the blackest ruffed up nest and you want to be golden smooth. Its got to be shiny, soft and reflective. If you cant do that now, its time to go to another salon.
I highly recommend visiting Rob and his talented team at the Exit Hair Salon, I'm confident you'll walk away feeling sexy, sophisticated and strong. Located at 1360 Yonge St just south of St.Clair, its worth a trip uptown to take in the serene ambiance and interact with the friendly staff.
It seems great hair is always a prime way to feel shiny and new, no matter the season or the trend. Mold and create a fresh new look for yourself with the help of some insightful professionals at Exit Hair Salon, they are willing to offer you advice and work with your overall style vision. Now is the time for you to dazzle those around you!
Also join the Exit Salon Facebook group and you will receive a 20% discount and free product when you book your first appointment!