Frank Paganis: A Paragon and a Hero Amongst Hairdressers

Pagani Hair Salon: Client focused, contemporary cuts, cutting edge coloring techniques

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By Christina Pippin

Local Shopping & Fashion Blogger

When a woman sees herself in the best light, the world is sure to follow. ~Frédéric Fekkai

A haircut is a great medium to express yourself. Women dream about the perfect, seemingly preternatural, haircut - the one that allows us to wash and go. We search high and low for a stylist talented enough to shear and shape our locks into an exquisite quaff that will decrease prep time and increase praises.

Cue Pagani Hair Salon in Oak Park (103 S. Oak Park Avenue). A master with scissors, Frank Paganis uses avant-garde cutting techniques and modern coloring methods (he’ll Balayage his way into your heart and hair) to achieve a distinctive, sexy style for each client.

It’s a creative business, but Frank understands and insists consultation is paramount. Many women have experienced the runaway-train stylist who decided to have a Picasso moment, using our head of hair as canvas. Frank reassures, “I would never style a cut before being absolutely sure that the client knows exactly what they are going to have done. I explain the features, benefits, or drawbacks. Nobody likes to be surprised.”

He has garnered the trust and loyalty of a discerning, sophisticated clientele who laud him for offering downtown style in the Chicago suburbs of Oak Park and River Forest. Frank’s focus is to bring out the best in everyone, creating an impeccable style that suits a woman and enhances her best features.

Frank Pagani is a devoted husband, dedicated father of five, and indefatigable worker. His natural charm, humor, eloquence and showmanship shine through. Frank is disarmingly honest, straightforward, and refreshingly down-to-earth. Although he is always driven by his creative energy to craft cutting edge styles and leave his mark, he talks about his journey and his work with great humility.

Frank Paganis was just five years old when he was exposed to the world of beauty salons. The distinct smells of shampoos, conditioners, and colorants still waft through his childhood memories. His father, Basili, emigrated from Greece and carefully built a burgeoning business, a hair salon that women considered their secret style weapon.

But Frank had already decided at a young age that the world of hairstyling was not for him. He remembers with earnestness, “I was never going to get into the styling business. It wasn’t going to happen.”

He attended Fenwick High School and later in college, he found he was searching for a path; he was uncertain about the direction of his future. And then he did something unexpected.

He made an appointment at a school for hair design. “Once I got in, it felt natural. It was fun, it was creative, and every day was different.” No one was more astonished than Frank at this unforeseen trajectory.

While at beauty school, Frank quickly achieved recognition when he was asked to represent the school at a styling contest – one of the country’s largest. The winner would be granted a contract as a platform artist and would be trained to teach others at large-scale conventions.

He expounds, “I was up against 32 other beauty school students from the Midwest and I won! I called my mom to let her know I’d won and she cried.” This experience solidified Frank’s path and expunged any doubt about his career decision.

Frank went on to work for Vidal Sassoon and studied under the tutorship of Joe Tristino, the renowned educational director and tough-love mentor who instilled the value of listening and hard work. In 1997, Frank made the monumental decision to purchase his father’s hair salon in River Forest. Having spent more than a decade working and styling in River Forest, Frank decided to expand to Oak Park.

In 2009, Frank opened the doors to his namesake salon nestled on Oak Park Avenue. Frank’s passion for his craft is evident in the details: luxe yet nurturing surroundings emphasize the whole person and showcase the synergy between stylist, colorist, and the women awaiting a transformation of the tresses.

His boutique salon is a haven where integrated color and styling facilities support his philosophy that rapport between stylist, colorist and client is essential to a truly personal and harmonious experience (and a drop-dead gorgeous hairstyle).

In addition to his present position as principal and master stylist, Frank also travels the country instructing and coaching others on the latest styling practices and the contemporary coloring technique Balayage, a hot new highlighting process in high demand. It’s time to forget what you know about foiling.

Balayage emerged in Paris in the 1970’s and is now taking our country by storm (think Giselle). Its mounting popularity is due to the natural mien resulting from a unique coloring process. Frank expounds, “There are no stripes or hard lines of demarcation. Clients can go longer between services. Balayage mimics the natural hue and growth pattern of a child’s hair, it creates dimension throughout hair.” Who doesn’t want flawless, sun-kissed locks?

There are thousands of people that cut hair, so what then distinguishes Frank’s salon? Frank offers, “We give clients a reason to want to come see us. We provide an unmatched level of service and a commitment to excellence. I identify ways of creating a point of difference, like Balayage.

I also have a tremendously talented team working alongside me who share the same philosophy and approach to the art of hairdressing. My sister Alisa is one of the artists on staff equally dedicated to creating beauty and promoting well-being.”

At Pagani Hair Salon in Oak Park (103 S. Oak Park Avenue) Frank charges a just fee for a hairdo (while appointments with many Chicago-area hairdressers would set you back at least twice as much). This is because his artistic work is his abiding passion, and he greatly values his clientele, thus he wants to offer accessibility while creating wonderfully wearable styles.

After all these years, styling continues to bring Frank great joy. New opportunities continue to present themselves, and for Frank this is exhilarating. With Balayage, he’s seizing the opportunity to be different and to offer a service that’s beautiful and hasn’t been tapped.

“I have a great feeling of hope and excitement, of being a pioneer. I like offering something new.” His voice rises with excitement as he shares with a wide smile: “I love making people happy. It involves forging relationships and being a positive force. I can be a bright spot in someone’s day.”

The versatile Pagani team provides a full range of services, from cuts for women and men to color, to evening hair and makeup, to styling an entire wedding party. Visit www.paganihair.com, stop by the salon, or call to schedule an appointment. You can expect the ultimate in personal service and of-the-minute styling.

 

 

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