Ross Bartolomei is an American hair stylist who has made a name for himself in Chicago as the go-to stylist for gorgeous, wearable hair. He is best known for combining his considerable styling talent with entrepreneurial instincts to create the Salon Hype brand. He has been on the Chicago salon scene since April 1993 at the age of 25 when he first received national acclaim when Allure magazine named him the “Hair Doctor” for his ability to cut, style, and tame thick, curly hair. He then caught the attention of Hollywood and local directors, and began earning his reputation as the on-set stylist for television and movie productions filmed in Chicago. He had the pleasure of working with the late, great John Hughes. Another World and Blue Bloods actress Amy Carlson is a client and so is actor Jack Wagner. He was responsible for Martina Navratilova’s short haircut in the 1990’s. Grammy award-winning rock legend Jim Peterik is a dear friend. Ross turned Jim’s world purple 10 years ago, and his purple hair is now part of his former Survivor band and current Ides of March member’s brand and identity. Ross has styled album covers and music videos. He has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, Modern Salon, American Salon, ABC, Fox 32, WGN, and Real People magazine. All the while, Ross’ growing roster of faithful clients followed him from top Chicago salons Ivan Noel to Salon Buzz where he became the go-to-stylist for “wearable” hair. In 2006, Ross realized his dream of opening his own salon where he not only nurtures new talent, but he brought his own brand of wearable, gorgeous hair to his upscale clientele. Since opening Salon Hype, which has grown to two locations in the Chicagoland area, Ross’ “city chic, suburban street” philosophy holds true to this day, and the hair doctor that Allure magazine discovered years ago is quite successfully living his dream of creating gorgeous and wearable hair.
Help Your Personality Explode
From the start Bartolomei set out to offer something not easily found in the suburbs. “I knew there was a need in this area,” said Bartolomei, who worked in some of Chicago’s best salons before taking his skills to the suburbs. Salon Hype is more than a name. It’s a philosophy for Bartolomei and his 66 employees. It stands for Help Your Personality Explode — something Bartolomei said he and his staff strive to do with every cut, color and style. Bartolomei said Salon Hype is about creating classic shapes with modern lines. “Trends always fail,” said Bartolomei, who discourages most clients from doings something drastic just because it’s the latest fad. But that’s not to mean he isn’t in favor of keeping things fresh. Subtle refinements with each color and cut keep things interesting and modern, he said. His stylists all are trained in balayage, a modern take on hair color that involves hand-applied highlights. “It is going to take color to a whole new level,” said Bartolomei. “People want softer, more natural color.” And balayage is the way to achieve the look.
Over Thirteen Years and Growing
The Burr Ridge location is undergoing some change and updating of its own. An open dispensary, also known as a color bar, is being constructed. The area will allow customers to watch as experts mix each client’s color from a palette of 400 shades. Carissa Bartolomei, Ross’ wife and business partner, said a similar project is planned for the La Grange salon. “It’s going to bring it all out in the open,” she said. Bartolomei said every person who leaves one of his salons is a walking advertisement for his business. “They see our work out there,” he said. “Every head is a billboard.”
Rock Legend Jim Peterik
James Michael “Jim” Peterik is an American musician and songwriter. He is best known as the founder of the band Survivor, as vocalist and songwriter of “Vehicle” by the Ides of March, and as co-writer of the anthem “Eye of the Tiger”, the theme from the motion picture Rocky III.
Salon Hype is proud to have Jim as our long-time friend and client.