Vasile European Hair Salon: News Articles
A CUT ABOVE
Stan and Lydia Vasile's European Hair Salon offers the latest in international fashion while maintaining a comfortable, family-friendly atmosphere
STORY AND PHOTOS BY KEITH TURAUSKY
Arizona Gourmet Magazine
DECEMBER 2002 | JANUARY 2003
In an age of, shall we say, cookie-cutter hair-cutting establishments, Stan and Lidia Vasile preside over what may well be Tucson's most distinctive salon.
Walking into European Hair Salon by Vasile, tucked as it is into a small strip mall across from Park Place, you'll be struck not only by the wide variety of hair styling products but also by the multitudinous paintings, photo graphs, and newspaper clippings covering most of the walls.
Indeed, the Vasile's have turned their salon into an ongoing scrapbook of their life with the hair business. Appreciative and artistically-inclined customers have donated portraits of Stan Vasile (known professionally as, simply, Vasile) and his family; visiting stars have signed publicity photos expressing thanks for a job well done; and the hairdressers themselves have collected every bit of press they've received since opening the salon nearly fifteen years ago.
And that's no small amount of press, either: European Hair Salon by Vasile was named Consumer Business Review's Award Winning Hair Styling Artists of the Year in 1998, and the establishment has been written up in such fashion-forward publications as Vogue and Elle. The local media has been quite kind too, eagerly singing the praises of a local, independ ently owned salon with a propensity for attracting high-caliber Tucson tourists.
What's the draw? First and foremost is Vasile's familiarity with different hair types and styles, honed through studies in France, Germany, Romania, Italy, Japan, Austria, and Great Britain. He comes from a family of hairdressers, and has won several European medals for his techniques, with which Lidia Vasile is equally familiar.
The diversity of the salon's offerings help too; customers can indulge in European styling and conditioning, perms, waxing, highlights, facials, nail sculpture and art, pedicures, and tanning. The in-house MP203 Sensor Hair Computer helps too, supplementing the hairdresser's instincts with modern technology. The computer can be set for resistant, normal, tinted, or bleached hair, as well as adjusting for hair porosity.
Perhaps the single most important reason for the European Hair Salon's success, however, is its specialization in "baby-fine" hair. In fact, Vasile has described his advertising emphasis on baby-fine hair as the best business decision he ever made.
"For fine hair, you've got to know how to frame the face," Vasile explains. "You've got to keep the length, and then you've got to know how to do the layers. With fine hair, you cannot put a lot of layers because there isn't a lot of hair- you've got to put in very gentle, long, and fluffy layers. It's a precision cut."
Vasile's has a secret weapon, however: the Graham Webb line of haircare products. "When I moved to America, I tried at least twenty different kinds of products in my shop until I found the right product,"Vasile says.
"Fine hair is very thirsty, very dry, and you've got to put in a lot of moisture," he continues, "but if the moisture is too heavy, fine hair is going to collapse very quickly and is going to get flat." Graham Webb's products giveVasile the exact balance he wants, softening and adding shine to fine hair while not weighing it down with greasiness.
Highlights are another of the salon's specialties. "Nowadays, everybody wants highlights, "Vasile notes. "But you've got to measure the color to match the skin, and then you've got to match the eye color."
This evident attention to detail has earned Vasile such notable customers as Sophia Loren, Julio Iglesias, Paul Rodriguez, Linda McCartney, John Candy, and Nadia Comanici. "I get lots of written compliments, "Vasile says," and I like to save them because that's why I work-to get compliments and to make people happy."
As if praise from Hollywood luminaries weren't gratifying enough, the Vasiles' daughter Maria attained abit of celebrity status herself as a member of the first group of young women allowed into Virginia Military Institute.
From August 1997 until her graduation in May 2001, Maria Vasile maintained a 3.7 GPA while also proving the Supreme Court had not been wrong to allow female cadets into the notoriously rigorous VMI. "I don't know where she works now," Vasile says of his "need-to know" daughter. "I know she's in intelligence somewhere, and she travels a lot. It's fantastic; it's so good. We are very proud of her." Appropriately, Maria features prominently in the artwork and clippings that adorn her parents' salon.
The resulting mood is friendly, family-oriented, and helps customers relax while the Vasile's employ the most cut ting-edge techniques in hair styling.
"My wife and I go every year to Italy, so we come back with new hairstyle ideas that are always changing," Vasile says. "Sometimes we go a couple times a year. You have to go; people see the movie stars, and they want to get these new haircuts. Then they come to us."
Next: Vasilé European Hair Salon Brings Old World Traditions to Tucson. Arizona Gourmet 2008.
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