A Livingston salon is redefining the idea of Man Power
By Alison Hemstitch
The words “men’s salon” conjure up different images for different people. It’s probably safe to say that none of those images include the words LEED-certified. Can a men’s salon actually be environmentally sensitive? No one even thought to ask that question until Paul and Marie Gaglioti took a course at Essex Community College in Newark to understand the finer points of green building practices. The Gagliotis, owners of the famously hopping Dieci Salon in Livingston (which is closing in on a 20th anniversary), wanted to create a space where their male customers would feel more at home and—in partnership with their son-in-law, builder Dan Staudinger—would set a new standard for the salon industry. The result was Dieci Uomo, which opened in 2013 on Northfield Road, a few minutes away.
“We are the first LEED-certified salon in New Jersey,” says Paul Gaglioti. “All of our water is low-flow, there are no VOCs—volatile organic compounds—in the paint or adhesives, our insulation is soy-based, our sheetrock is made from recycled materials, and the air quality is constantly monitored. My favorite feature is our countertops, which are made by a company in Brooklyn that creates a matrix of recycled beer and vodka bottles in the concrete. It’s a very unique look.”
The multilevel structure has the feel of an exclusive men’s club, with a sleek, understated interior, a secluded rooftop patio and free-flowing coffee, tea, beer, wine and water. Perhaps not surprisingly, about half of Dieci Uomo’s clients actually purchase a membership ($500 for 6 months, $850 for a year), which includes unlimited haircuts, express manicures and shoe shines. Members typically hit the place on the way into work, or on Thursday nights, when the salon stays open until 8:00 p.m. Weekend mornings are also high-traffic times. During the day, many members use Dieci Uomo as a casual business meeting spot.
Besides gender, what is the common thread among Dieci Uomo members?
“A majority of our clients are what I’d describe as time-stressed,” says Eva Humber, Dieci Uomo’s manager. “When we were preparing to open a year ago, we pictured our core clientele as doctors, lawyers, financial guys and other professionals—people who were already familiar with the men’s salon concept. We quickly found that it was much broader in terms of age and occupation. And we have a lot of commuters in a wide range of businesses.”
According to Marie Gaglioti, the idea for a men’s salon grew organically from the business the couple already knew. At Dieci—which features a predominantly female clientele—they noticed that the men in the salon and color room often appeared self-conscious. Conversely, some of the women seemed uncomfortable or inhibited when men were at the next station. Rather than changing the culture of Dieci, they put their heads together to come up with a space just for men. They researched the men’s salon business for about five years before embarking on their Uomo spinoff.
The result is an attractive standalone structure with the hair-cutting, coloring, facial and mani-pedi areas downstairs, reception and bar area on a transitional level, and an upstairs featuring private rooms for massages and waxing. along with the aforementioned rooftop patio. The building adheres to the standards developed by the U.S. Green Building Council as part of the LEED program; LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Dieci Uomo (which, by the way, is Italian for Ten Men) offers an extensive menu of services, including hot shaves, hair coloring, gray blending, four different facials (signature, classic, detox-oxygen and acne control), “back facials” and several different types of massages (including sports, warm-stone, bamboo, hot-pack, reflexology and upper-body).