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Last updated: August 04, 2020

Mario Tricoci on Salon Rebrand, Product Line and COVID-19

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Tricoci's Old Orchard Location in Skokie, Ill. Image courtesy Tricoci.

Mario Tricoci Salons & Spas Rebrand To Tricoci, Invest $1 Million In COVID-19 Protocols

Opening a new salon and undergoing an entire rebrand during the COVID-19 pandemic—the pro beauty industry’s most tumultuous time—isn’t easy. But with 43 years of experience as a salon and spa owner and industry icon, Mario Tricoci knows it’s crucial to change with the times. Keep reading to find out how he’s leading 1,300 employees through new COVID-19 protocols, opening his 14th salon location and launching the new Tricoci Collection product line.


Since 1977, the Chicagoland area Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Spas have been innovative. The company brought the first “day spa” concept to the Midwest, and were among the first to offer blow-dry styling services instead of roller sets. The salons and spas and cosmetology schools employ nearly 1,300 people across 14 locations, including a new 5,000 square foot salon and spa opening in Deerfield, Ill. After establishing an empire, it’s no surprise Mario has learned many lessons.


“We are students of ourselves. We learn every day and we must be ready to make changes every day if necessary,” he said. “You cannot do the same thing over and over and expect different results.”


Watch Mario and Cheryl Tricoci Talk About Opening Their First Salon & Spa


The New “Tricoci” Brand

The transition to “Tricoci” marks a move that is larger than Mario himself, designed to be timeless.


“Our staff and professionals feel like they are family. We are all Tricoci,” Mario said. “People really take ownership and they are part of the team…it’s a ‘we’ situation—it’s not ‘I.’ Tricoci belongs to everybody who has always been with us and who always believed in us. That’s who Tricoci is and so, going forward, it’s Tricoci. Every professional that has ever been with us, they own that.”



The Tricoci Collection: Clean Haircare Product Launch

With the rebranding comes the launch of 15 haircare products, the Tricoci Collection, designed to be an extension of the Tricoci beauty provider. “We want the guest to feel like she is taking the beauty provider home with her,” Mario said. The signature line of products contains ginestra oil, a fragrance Mario remembers growing up in Italy.


“I have a childhood memory from Italy, this yellow roadside flower,” he said. “It produces an oil that keeps the hair shiny—it’s not artificial, it’s a true shine and true fragrance,” he said.


Mario and his team interviewed more than 50 chemists to create the product line, with Tricoci professionals testing iterations along the way.


“When we tested the hairspray within the company, they said, ‘Do not change anything with the hairspray or fragrance,’” he said. “It is absolutely phenomenal…This is developed by professionals, not some company that just decides to put a new product out.”


The clean product line will launch in salons and spas and online nationwide on Aug. 17.


Tricoci’s Schaumburg, Ill. location. Image courtesy Tricoci.


COVID-19 Protocols

Tricoci Salons & Spas closed in mid-March and reopened in mid-May. “From the moment we started to close, we were working on reopening,”  Mario said. The company’s goal was to surpass the basic reopening standards to ensure its beauty pros and guests felt as safe as possible.


“We have committed to spend over $1 million a year to maintain and elevate the standards so it’s safe for pros, safe for guests and safe for the environment as well,” Mario said. Besides socially distant stations and lots of hand sanitizing and washing, some of those standards include no-contact temperature checks, digital health questionnaires, personal protective equipment for beauty pros and guests and contact-free front desk and payment options. Some locations even have nurses available for wellness checks.



To show how safe the beauty industry is and to be an example to other local businesses, Tricoci Salons & Spas submitted their reopening plans to local governments and health boards. “I really believe they were amazed at what we created,” Mario said. “We showed that we really care.”


Mario is clear that Tricoci wasn’t immune to COVID-19. “Challenging? Absolutely,” he said. But he credits the desire to learn and evolve for the company making it through.  


“I’ve been in the industry too many years to say that I know everything. I’ve been friends with some of the biggest icons in the business, like Horst, Paul Mitchell, Vidal, Leo Passage. They were always willing to learn and to listen to the climate of what’s new and what’s happening,” he said. “Forever, I am a student.”