PopSugar April 13, 2011

Maxine Salon owner Maxine Kroll featured in PopSugar Chicago April 13th, 2011PopSugar

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Local Talent: Chicago Salon Maven Maxine Kroll


Ask any Chicago woman where she gets her hair cut or colored, and she's likely to say Maxine (712 N. Rush St., 312-751-1511) in the Gold Coast. Even stylemaker Korey Huyler goes there for her regular snip and touchup. What's the phenomenon? Maxine Kroll has a successful business built on extensive experience for starters. She began her career as a stylist at Vidal Sassoon and ultimately developed its management teams in Chicago, New York, and LA. In 1986, she went on to open her own salon on Walton Street with a staff of just four stylists and one colorist. Within a year, Maxine quickly outgrew the space, so she moved to the three-story brownstone on Rush Street that's considered one of the most popular salons in the city. Maxine now employs a staff of more than 50, with 21 hair stylists and 10 colorists. What does that mean for your tresses? Read on to find out.


PopSugar Chicago: How are Chicago women different from the client bases you've worked with in New York and LA?
Maxine Kroll: In Chicago, women have a great balance; they want it right now, and they want a relationship with their salon, which is something we thrive on at Maxine. In New York, the pace of the city is so fast that the first goal is the service, then the relationship. In LA I always joked it was about "lunch" before the service, meaning the relationship was the all-important first. In all cases discriminating women abound on both coasts and in the center. Not one of them will settle for a less-than-great service. The dance is the difference.

PSC: How have you seen women's hair care maintenance change with the down economy?
MK: The dollars spent per appointment are the same or even greater; it’s the frequency factor! Clients that came four to six weeks now come every six to eight weeks or even every eight to 10 weeks. In fact, this less-frequent routine is going to stick no matter what the economy does. The clients have learned that they still love their hair just as much. Therefore, we have embraced the new frequency factor. Our solution is simple: add more clients to the mix. Win-win.

PSC: Can you dish on any celeb clients?
MK: Check out our February 2011 blog for Sarah’s little soiree with Ozzy Osbourne. Then there is Anika Noni Rose and Giada De Laurentiis, Eliza Dushku, and Pink in past years.

Maxine's Top Three Spring Hair Tips:

The "now bobs" vary in length with softer edges and layered texture throughout — think Jennifer Aniston.
The "now bangs" are a big bang theory! You can’t miss them. They are long on the eyebrow and very deep at the temples — think Katy Perry.
Color; I think my absolute favorite color on long layers or a textured bob is ombré hair color. It is a fabulous effect done with a balayage technique (color is painted on the ends of the hair versus wrapped in foils.)


Maxine's Favorite Things:

Favorite hair care products: Kerastase (especially its Elixir Ultime) and Shu Uemura (especially its Kengo Feather.)

Favorite way to relax: Yoga, especially when I make it over to the Peninsula (108 E. Superior St., 312-337-2888) for a class. They have the absolute best private club experience around, as well as the best instructors.

Favorite restaurants: Chicago Cut Steakhouse (300 N. Lasalle St., 312-329-1800) is perfect for a vegetarian and her guests, believe it or not. Just ask for off-the-menu suggestions, and you will be surprised. The Lobby at the Peninsula for music and drinks and the truffled popcorn!

Favorite shops: John Fluevog shoes (1539 N. Milwaukee Ave., 773-772-1983), 2 Sisters Boutique (3828 N. Lincoln Ave., 773-525-7999), and I am excited about the arrival of All Saints!

Favorite hairstyle she's ever had:
Right now (and why would it ever be anything other than right now for any of us?) with express balayage and long bangs that work on my face or off. Short hair always for this gal.

Favorite Chicago spot: I am blessed with living above the salon in the center of the greatest area of Chicago! So I would have to say my favorite spot is my balcony; it overlooks the corner of Rush and Superior Streets. Great people watching for me, my husband, and my canine family of Havanese, Zoom, and Bear. Ask anyone on the street, and they are sure to say they have heard them barking hello.