By: Merilyn E. Ulrich,
Contributing Editor/Senior Staff Writer
The Hair Society
In speaking to Danielle Grillo there was a running theme throughout our interview….continuing education and trust building with clients.
Danielle is a success story in a world where maintaining a business of any kind can be a challenge yet she has managed to not only stay in business but to expand and grow. How is that possible in these tough economic times? After our interview with Danielle the answer becomes clear, as you shall see.
Danielle is not only a successful hair restoration specialist but a member of many organizations including serving as a Board Member of The Hair Society. She travels the world in her quest for continuing education and her main goals are to know the techniques that she uses from A-Z and to instill trust in her clients.
She herself says, “It is an exciting and fulfilling industry to be a part of. To be able to help people every day is amazing!”
In her own words, “At Transitions Hair Solutions we welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver the best services in the industry.”
H.S.: When did you begin your career in the hair restoration field?
D.G.: I actually began working in at Transitions Hair Salon in September, 1995 when I was 20 years old. There came a time when the owner of the Salon wanted to close shop but because I wanted to accomplish my own goals and techniques I bought the salon and that’s where my journey began.
H.S.: Why did you choose hair restoration over just doing hair in general?
D.G.: I was already a cosmetologist with lots of experience but I felt that something was missing. I wanted to help people who were losing their hair. I began to research the subject of hair loss and the various treatments available and I found the best possible training for all the methods of non-surgical hair loss treatments, brought in products and went from there. I also had noticed over the 16 years that I worked for the original owner of Transitions Hair Salon that the available treatments were mostly for men and I wanted to bring the best possible hair loss solutions to women as well. Being the best and most educated was my goal.
H.S.: Is there someone that inspires you in this business?
D.G.: My inspiration comes from seeing my clients satisfied and happy with the finished product. It is my personal mission.
H.S.: Tell us about your staff.
D.G.: Right now I employ Lacey VanMater who is an extremely dedicated Hair restoration expert. She diligently hones her craft to ensure that she meets the expectations of our clientele and she is constantly learning hew techniques and solutions that help her in the hair replacement industry. Lacy is my Manager as well as a hair loss technician. Patty, is my assistant and works the front desk. In the very near future I will be hiring more staff as we are constantly growing.
H.S.: Of all the hair replacement and restoration solution options, what if any stands out to you the most and why?
D.G.: Cesare Ragazzi (CNC systems, an advanced, non-invasive, dermatologically tested, full or partial hair replacement system that restores beautiful hair-seamlessly) stands out above all else. This is considered to be a medical device
H.S.: Most people seem to be struggling to hang on to what they have in this tight economy but you are actually expanding. What is your secret?
D.G.: To provide a service for people in need, both women and men. To give them peace of mind. It’s not about selling, it’s about determining their particular hair issues and letting them know about all of the methods that we use. This isn’t about “one size fits all” but about establishing trust and a real relationship with the client. It’s about delivering on what you promise, realistic expectations and above all…TRUST and HONESTY. It’s also about ongoing education so that I am always aware of every single treatment available.
H.S.: What are some of the business challenges that you face when expanding your salon?
D.G.: The biggest challenge is hiring staff. They must be able to establish an honest relationship with our clients and I have to be confident that I can entrust them with my brand and my way of doing business and serving our clientele.
H.S.: Let’s talk about Trichology. Your studio offers a complete trichological solution to those who are experiencing thinning hair and hair loss. How important is it to someone to seek out a complete archeological treatment?
D.G.: I find that Trichology is extremely important. You cannot have good hair and scalp without understanding the condition of the scalp. Trichology allows you to know everything about the scalp and its condition and issues. The scalp is the soil and the hair is the tree.
H.S.: What are the benefits that come out of a trichological treatment?
D.G.: A healthier scalp and the best possible environment to grow hair.
H.S.: How important is it to your business to include PR, marketing and always keeping your current and prospective clients up to date via your website, social networking, etc.?
D.G.: They are all very important and it is essential to get the word out about who you are and what you do. It also serves to keep clients educated, creates credibility and helps to keep up with the latest and best treatments. We must offer the most current services to our clients so reaching the public is essential to our brand.
H.S.: What advice would you give to someone who is entering the hair restoration business?
D.G.: That would be education…above all else. They must understand the methods and treatments when dealing with hair loss but also the psychological aspects of how the clients feel and view themselves. It’s not just about the money; it’s about being knowledgeable and respectful.
H.S.: If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
D.G.: Nothing. Although there have been rough patches and bumps in the road I am pleased with my journey and everything that I’ve gone through has made me who I am today. I would do nothing differently.
H.S.: What is your least favorite aspect of the business?
D.G.: Dealing with people who have been traumatized elsewhere in the industry and having to undo what others have done before they come to me. Sometimes I have to talk them off the ledge and instill trust that I know what I am doing and will be able to fix the problems that they come in with and find the right solutions for them as individuals.
H.S.: What is your favorite aspect of the business?
D.G.: When someone tells me “You have given me my life back.” There is nothing more satisfying than hearing those words and seeing their happiness and renewed confidence.
H.S.: What is your feeling regarding continuing education?
D.G.: It is an absolute must!!
H.S.: One of the products and services that you provide at your salon is from Italy…Cesare Ragazzi. It seems that only a few years ago that was a name only synonymous to Europe. Now, it seems to be offered at select salons across our country. What is it about Cesare Regazzi’s product line, hair, etc that makes you and others like you want to offer it?
D.G.: Cesare Regazzi offers extreme dedication to quality and offers the best in non-surgical methods and solutions.
H.S.: How does the Cesare Ragazzi product line stack up against others that have already been here in the U.S. and Canada?
D.G.: They surpass everything else like the speed of light and offer the highest quality.
H.S.: You have traveled to many foreign countries during your career as a salon owner. What have you learned by doing this and how has this helped in your business?
D.G.: I have been able to learn how hair pieces are actually made, how other people work and new methods and techniques. Even though the training may be different, we are all affected the same way and all methods can be translated here in the USA. I always pick up something new which I can apply to my own business.
H.S.: You are a member of many different and diverse groups within your industry as well as a valued member of the board of advisors of The Hair Society. What has being a member brought you and why should others within your industry join these groups?
D.G.: To connect! To communicate different ideas and to meet ethical people. It gives credibility.
H.S.: Do you find it more of a challenge to style a hair system rather than natural hair?
D.G.: If you use quality products and have an arsenal of education behind you it all comes out the same. You must understand the challenges but in the end, you should not be able to tell the difference between natural hair and new hair. Anyone can spot bad work but no one can spot the good work. It should all look natural.
H.S.: You have helped countless people regain their youthful looks and confidence with your techniques in hair restoration. Is there any one individual that stands out from the rest that you are most proud of?
D.G.: There are many. Seeing a woman who is completely satisfied with the finished product and herself is the most satisfying and makes me proud to be a part of that transformation.
H.S.: Many of your colleagues have said that your style and artistry is on a level all its own. How does that make you feel to be singled out in a tough and competitive industry and by your peers?
D.G.: It feels very good to be respected and it makes me feel proud.
H.S.: Any last thought before we conclude?
D.G.: Whatever you are doing, you must make it your own. You can’t copy and paste. You must really know your clientele, products and techniques. The keys are education, trust and dedication to what you do.
1860 Highway 35, Suite 3
Wall Township, NJ 07719
(Located upstairs in Bentley Diamond Building)