Previously published on pamelaspunch.com
Salon Antoine, the cozy salon nestled amongst businesses off of Route 29 in Fairfax since 1997, have you heard of it? If you are one of the unfortunate few who have not, I’m here to open your eyes to a whole new world of salons.
What makes it so different? Is it the chocolate and beverages that all clients receive, or the abundance of hair products just waiting to put all your hair troubles at ease, or maybe, just maybe, is it the owner?
Yup, you guessed it. To merely say that Tony Chahine, owner of Salon Antoine is a “hair stylist,” simply wouldn’t do him justice. Averaging in at 12-15 clients a day and 60-65 a week, it’s no wonder why word is spreading about this mastermind behind all the latest hair trends. And, it’s time you learn a little more so that you know exactly what you’re getting when you book with this pro.
Pamela’s Punch: What makes your salon stand out amongst its competition?
Tony Chahine: We are always striving for excellence. We believe that the underlying reason for our success and, ultimately, our existence is due to the fact that we maintain very high standards and invest a lot of knowledge in our creative team.
PP: How do you connect with clients?
TC: I’m going to dissect this question into two parts. First, there is the connection with clients directly in the chairs. In these situations, first and foremost, we listen to our clients’ needs and interests. We make sure to ask them all the right questions pertaining to what they like about the style they’re going for and cover everything from maintenance to daily life style. Secondly, we connect through social media and emails to really get the word out about specials and style updates. We live in a world where we can’t survive without using viral technology to our advantage.
PP: What initially made/makes you interested in the beauty industry?
TC: I started back home in Lebanon when I was 15 years old; the Civil War started which led to the schools closing. My Dad had a friend who owned a salon that I started working for. I loved the job and it translated into a huge success that led me to opening my very own salon back home when I was only 19.
PP: How do you stay up to date on style trends/do you have news trends that you’re offering?
TC: We have a great partnership with our hair care distributors which allows us to have a calendar of educational seminars and classes in-house so that we can constantly be up-to-date on all the latest trends.
I recently developed a new highlight technique it’s called Ombiage a combination between Ombré and Balyage. I like Ombré but the line of demarcation was too severe for me and I found that only much younger women, who are a very small market share for my business, were coming in to get it done. I also like Balyage it blends nicely but the roots always appear darker while the ends remain extremely light which means that the maintenance is still high. So, I took it upon myself to come up with something new and voila! Ombiage was born. It requires zero maintenance and appeals to a huge spectrum of clients of all ages, which is exactly what I was looking for.
PP: What was the hardest part about starting your own salon?
TC: Due to the fact that I went through that process back home with my first salon, opening Salon Antoine really wasn’t that difficult for me here in the States.
However, I’ve always found that it takes a lot of hard work and commitment to build a solid talented team with a positive attitude to surround yourself with and who are going to stick around. I’m very lucky to be able to say that I have employees here who have been with me for 15 years, which is quite a feat in this industry.
PP: Do you have any advice for people out there hoping to embark on their own entrepreneurial journey in the beauty industry?
TC: When I started I was just a little boy with a dream. I went through a lot of rough times in the beginning, but here I am. We are artists and designers. You see, you can put ten hairstylists on a stage to do a simple bob and you will see ten different ways to do it—and that’s what’s so wonderful about our field, there’s not just one solution. The difficult part is to separate out talent as hairstylists from our abilities to own and manage a successful business. My advice to anyone who has a dream of being a salon owner is to do their entrepreneurial homework and get as educated as possible about that aspect of the business.
PP: If you had one piece of advice for a future client, what would it be?
TC: Every third visit your stylist should be recommending something new to you—whether that be the haircut, the color, highlights, and so on. Don’t settle for anything less than what you desire (within reason, of course). And, don’t be afraid to try something new. If you’re fearful, try finding a new stylist who you are confident will expand your horizons and give you the style you’ve been wishing for.
So, there you have it, just eight more reasons why you should head over to Salon Antoine when your next hair appointment is due (I’ve even provided the info for you!).
11092 Lee Highway | Fairfax, Virginia 22030
And, if you’re in the mood for a meal, keep in mind that Tony’s entrepreneurial spirit extends beyond the beauty industry and into franchise restaurants. Head over to Paisano’s in Burke or Woodbridge and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse (and a heavenly slice) there, as well.