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When you think about hair salons on the North Shore, you probably envision well-trained stylists who use only the best products and offer only the best services. But unless a salon uses environmentally-responsible and safe beauty products, your hair services may not be as harmless as you think. Gordon Salon—an Aveda salon that has been named one of the top 200 American salons for nine years—is the perfect option for those who are interested in keeping the world, and themselves, healthy. Combining beauty, sophistication, and intelligence with their strong focus on environmentally-safe products and treatments, the staff at Gordon Salon creates exceptional hairdressing experiences for their guests.
Gordon Salon sets the standard for eco-friendly and healthy hair products in the hairdressing world. “Environmentalism is a value that I think we share with a lot of our guests. Our guests are very much aware of the issue around environmentalism, but they also think about the environment within salons and the personal products that they use on themselves,” Gordon Salon founder Tony Gordon says. “When you go into salons that use chemicals, you might not be getting a chemical process done, but you’re sitting next to someone who is, and you are exposed to that. Because we are so focused on environmentalism, we are concerned about the health of our staff, the health of our guests, and the whole concept of environmentalism in general.”
In fact, Aveda has long been known as an environmentally-responsible brand. Several years ago, when the keratin hair straightening treatment became a popular service in the hairdressing industry, the public eventually discovered that the treatments contained formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Aveda, in the meantime, had developed a tourmaline treatment, which produces similar results to keratin treatments but is entirely formaldehyde-free and safe. “Aveda puts out very safe products; they’re very focused in that way,” Gordon says. “Many companies try to mimic what they do but haven’t been able to do so without using a lot of synthetic ingredients.”
Because of their focus on healthy products, Gordon Salon and Aveda are also proponents of many earth-friendly projects. Together, the Aveda salons raise money for organizations such as the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Green Grants Foundation. “Last year, Aveda raised about $4.3 million for clean water,” Gordon says. The most recent goal involves working toward clean water for both Lake Michigan and for Third World countries. This year, Gordon Salon is also sending a few of its staff members to Peru, where they will teach the native people how to set up hair salons in their own villages.
Understanding the importance of creating an eco-friendly salon environment factors into a few of Gordon Salon’s other core values: intelligence and beauty. At each of the Gordon Salon locations, the hairdressers have both the expertise and the creative insight to develop beautiful hairstyles that fit your personality, style, and budget. The salons are part of Intercoiffure, a high-level hair organization that only a handful of other North Shore and Chicago salons belong to, and the staff members go through an extensive training program before they begin their careers. Gordon Salon is also very team-oriented, which is another aspect of their intelligence value. “What’s neat about the way that we do hair is that each stylist does cut and color,” Gordon explains. “We know that most customers prefer that. And, from a design perspective, it’s better for the way the cut and color blend together.” Also, because the stylists do not work on commission, guests can easily try new hairdressers without feeling guilty. “You’re not taking anything away from a stylist if you decide to try someone new,” Gordon says. “And you can really trust the whole group.”
Trustworthiness at Gordon Salon can be traced back to Gordon himself. As a fourth-generation hair designer, he has an extensive background in the hair industry. “My family has a long history of doing hair in the Chicago area. My great-grandmother was a wig maker. My grandmother was one of the top hair colorists in Chicago and was Principal of the American Beauty Academy in Chicago. My father owns a salon in Chicago. My sister is also a hairdresser. My wife, Pam, is a hairdresser and a co-owner. My daughter is considering hair as a career,” Gordon says with a laugh. With 20 years of hairdressing experience himself, Gordon knows what it takes to be successful in the hair industry—and his salons are proof of that. “We’re an award-winning company that really offers an exceptional experience for every person who comes in,” he says. “And I think this might be the place to find your next best hairdresser.”
Visit Gordon Salon at one of its four locations: 653 Central Avenue in Highland Park, 465 Roger Williams Avenue in Ravinia, 3232 Lake Avenue in Wilmette, and 3336 North Clark Street in Chicago. For more information, visit gordonsalon.com.