In this day and age, with so much happening all the time, popping into a hair salon to get a haircut may seem like a chore to some. There’s the waiting, then the cutting, then the touching-up, maybe even some dye or styling.
Maybe, as you sit in the chair, trying to check your emails while the stylist snips away, you think you should be elsewhere, working on something else. You think, hurry, hurry, hurry and utter a quick, “looks great,” when the stylist asks what you think and make a dash out the door to your next appointment, meeting, job, etc.
But that’s not the case at Renew Hair Salon, owned by Aurora resident Diane Gonzalez.
The name itself gives away what the salon is trying to accomplish. Gonzalez spotted the word in a bible verse and said, “Renew just spoke to me. It was that ‘ah ha!’ moment.”
The salon, located in Mason Square, has been open since 2003, but it is not Gonazelz’s first hair salon.
She first worked for the Mario Tricoci salon in Chicago for ten years once she graduated from beauty school. While there, Gonzalez had the opportunity to do makeover shows for Oprah and Jenny Jones, which she said she was invited to do based on her client list, personality and passion.
But Gonzalez had always wanted her own salon and decided to go out on her own. She started with the first “Renew” out of her basement and built up even more of a client list from the surrounding area.
Then, when friends told her about the location at Mason Square, Gonzalez knew it was the one.
“My clientele was loyal enough to follow me,” she said of the new location.
The salon started out with Gonzalez and two additional stylists, and has now grown to over 15.
The idea behind the salon has stayed the same though: “Create an experience.”
“We’re a different type of business,” Gonzalez said, in reference to what she called the ‘fifteen minute hair salon.’ “We try very hard to create an experience.”
Renew’s goal is to be a “day maker.” We build relationships, make people feel better when they leave than they did when they walked in,” said Gonzalez.
Hair styling is like that too for Gonzlez. She would visit a hair salon about once a week with her mother growing up, and said she “fell in love” with the entire experience.
The trend continues as Gonzalez’s daughter, Vanessa, works at Renew alongside her mom.
“I just really love what I do,” said Gonzalez.
So do her clients.
Despite not being an option on Patch’s “Reader’s Choice” awards last year, Renew garnered plenty of love in the comments from fans and customers of Gonzalez and her crew.
Lisa Talip wrote that Renew is “a great gem in the Western suburbs!” and Alex added, “Their stylists are awesome and they always make me feel like a celebrity from the moment I walk in, to the moment I leave!”
“[Diane] is a true artist,” said user Tracy. “There is no one else I would trust with my hair. Renew is the best, hands down.”
The salon is open Monday – Saturday with walk-ins welcome.