Meet Stylist Chiara Lazzara

chicago hair extensions

What attracted you to a career as a stylist?

I grew up in the beauty industry! My mom has been a stylist for 30 years. When I was 9 she took me to the Midwest Beauty Show and I immediately fell in love with the industry. I dreamed of being one of the people on stage!

How long have you been in the industry?

I got my first job in a salon as a shampoo girl my freshman year in high school. So I would say… 17 years or so!

What is your favorite part about being a cosmetologist?

All of it! But mostly making my guests feel beautiful!

Tell us about your salon.

Chiara Salon is located in Elmwood Park–where I grew up. We are a Paul Mitchell focus salon, and cater to all your hair needs!

What motivates you daily?

My kids.

How do you approach creating a style for your client?

Sometimes my clients come in with ideas and other times they ask me for advice. When asked for suggestions, I always ask very detailed questions to make sure the hairstyle we choose fits their lifestyle. We discuss limitations, at-home maintenance, how often they want to come back to the salon, and their budget.

What do you do to make sure your clients leave feeling happy and beautiful?

I try to create an experience for them from the minute they walk in to when they leave!
Consultation is number one, and then the shampoo! I always make sure my guests get the best shampoo. After all, everyone always says it’s the best part!

What is your favorite service to perform?

I have always loved long hair design. Updos and, of course, extensions!

How long have you been offering extensions?

10 years

What are some of the reasons you offer extensions?

To give woman the fullness they have always dreamed of, add dimension in color, correct haircuts, and enhance updos. I encourage most of my brides to get extensions to have fuller, longer hair for their special day.

What type of extensions method do you prefer and why?

I favor using fusion extensions because I feel like they’re the most comfortable and long lasting.

How have extensions impacted your business?

When I offer extensions to my clients I present it as a lifestyle. Having extensions is a chosen lifestyle, similar to being a platinum blonde– it takes maintenance and financial investment. Offering this service has made my business more successful because once my clients try extensions, they become addicted!

How do you encourage your clients to take care of their hair, including their extensions?

I compare it to fabric–take care of it as if it’s the most expensive silk.

How do you see the hair industry changing?

There are too many classes taught online and not enough hands-on education! I feel like there is so much available on the internet and in stores even for our clients.

What have you learned over the years about the industry and yourself as an artist?

I have learned that good hairdressers are hard to find, fashion continuously repeats itself, and continuing education is key- no matter how long you have been a hairdresser.
I have learned to not underestimate myself!

What advice would you offer to new stylists entering the industry?

My husband gave me the option of staying home when I had my kids, but that was not an option for me. Being a hairstylist is a part of who I am. I consider the industry to be the first love of my life. And that is the number one thing—you have to love what you do. “If you love what you do, you will never have to work a day in your life!” And love who you do it with! Build relationships with your guests- most of my clients have been my clients since I was 18 years old, and they too, are a part of who I am.

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