GAETANO 'GUY' MASCOLO: Hairstylist helped lead Toni Guy to international success

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by By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News

wfaa.com

Posted on August 15, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 16 at 4:19 PM

Gaetano "Guy" Mascolo was the naturally gifted hairstylist who teamed with his brothers to help shape Toni & Guy, an international beauty business.

The five brothers built an international business of salons, beauty products and styling academies.

Guy Mascolo, the 65-year-old chairman of Toni & Guy USA, died Wednesday of a heart attack at his Dallas home.

Services will be at 2 p.m. today at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home in Dallas. He will be buried in Hillcrest Memorial Park.

"Guy had had the natural ability of hair-dressing since he was 14 years old," said Paul Joseph, a founding director of Toni & Guy in Dallas. "He could naturally do whatever he could visualize."

Mr. Mascolo was a humble man, Mr. Joseph said.

"He was truly a man of humility and let his art be his ego and his passion," Mr. Joseph said.

Mr. Mascolo was born in Scafati, near Pompeii in southern Italy, where his father, Franco Mascolo, was a hairstylist. In 1961, Franco Mascolo was invited to practice his craft in London, where he moved his family.

Guy Mascolo followed generations of his family and began styling hair. He was soon recognized for his natural ability, said his wife, Flora Mascolo of Dallas.

"Guy never went to [beauty] school," Mrs. Mascolo said. "I would joke, 'You could style hair with your eyes closed and still get it right.' "

The London salon owner that Mr. Mascolo worked for offered to sell him the shop, which he and his brothers were able to do within a year.

Bruno Mascolo - the business-minded brother - determined that they could market the Toni & Guy technique by publishing step-by-step books and making instructional videos. His business prowess would carry the brothers far.

"They were the perfect match," Mrs. Mascolo said, referring particularly to Guy and Bruno. "He [Bruno] created infrastructure within the company."

Bruno made two unsuccessful attempts to establish salons in California before he tested Toni & Guy on Sherry Lane in Dallas in the mid-1980s.

"It was third-time lucky, we always say," Mrs. Mascolo said.

A second salon was added at the Galleria. Guy Mascolo was brought in from London to open the NorthPark location, Mr. Joseph said.

"We thought it would give us more notoriety if we brought Guy out of Europe to Dallas, Texas, to start that particular salon," Mr. Joseph said.

Mr. Mascolo fell in love with America, and Toni & Guy was off and running, Mr. Joseph said.

Toni & Guy grew to have more than 450 salons and more than 50 academies worldwide, as well as a hair products division, TIGI, known for its Bed Head, Catwalk and S-factor products. The total company's operations, if still together, would be approaching $1 billion in annual sales, Mr. Joseph said.

About eight years ago, the four brothers divided their business. Toni Mascolo and his family retained the Toni & Guy business outside the United States, while the other brothers kept the Toni & Guy USA., with its 60 salons and 12 academies, Mr. Joseph said.

The family sold TIGI global operations last month to Unilever for more than $410 million.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Mascolo is survived by two sons, Zak Mascolo of New York and Guy Mascolo Jr. of Moncto, New Brunswick, Canada; two daughters, Emmanuella Mascolo and Zahra Mascolo, both of Dallas; his four brothers, Toni Mascolo of London, Bruno Mascolo of Dallas and Los Angeles, Andrea Mascolo of Dallas and Anthony Mascolo of London; and nine grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.

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