Capturing the Essence of a Man and a Woman

L. A. (March 14, 2013)
Meet Fabio Scalia – a young hair stylist from Sicily who considers himself an image consultant. “I’m not a shampoo that you take off the shelf and bring home.”

There are many fashionable places with hidden Italian character in New York City. This time we’re focusing on Sicilian hair designer, Fabio Scalia, and his New York salon. He left Catania for New York City after having worked in Europe and Los Angeles. In New York, he honed his skills by working for Warren Tricomi and Jose Eber until opening his own salon in Brooklyn Heights in 2003.

Visiting his salon is like walking into a corner of Italy. You’re definitely breathing New York City air but Fabio gives his place a particular Italian touch. Clients are, of course, offered a cup of espresso. Books on Italian art along with fashion magazines are set out for clients to peruse. Even the music that’s playing in the background is Italian. The salon hosts events and parties, and when the weather gets warmer the backyard terrace is a fantastic place to relax.

“Hair is not all the same. That’s the first thing to keep in mind. Hair is like fabric. It has structure, elasticity, substance. Experience is essential in understanding how to value it. Not all techniques should be adapted to all hair types. If hair is frizzy, curly, and porous, it needs to be treated differently than curly hair that’s soft and less frizzy. The same applies to straight hair. Experience is important. Traveling is important. Discovering and working with different types of hair. Studying is also fundamental. We hold classes every third Wednesday. Everyone has to attend – even the senior stylists.”

Fabio’s strong suit? “My impression of clients. I try to capture their essence. I manage to see what there is to improve and what there is to keep. I’m not just talking about hair but the entire image. I observe what jewelry and clothes they wear and know what professions they are in. I try to become familiar with their lifestyle. I’m also a little bit of a psychologist. I listen. My aim is to be an image consultant. If a client comes in and dictates, and I can’t manage to focus, it’s a failure on my part. I have to have their trust. I’m not a shampoo that you take off the shelf and bring home.”