Maxine’s Color Bar

Maxine Salon has long been a stopping point for coif-conscious Chicagoans since it opened in 1986. Now, with a new open-concept, laboratory-style Color Bar, Maxine offers clients a veritable candy store of hair colors. We caught up with the owner, Maxine Kroll, to talk color, balayage and the secret behind her salon’s success.

Which brands are featured at the color bar? We exclusively feature L’Oréal Professionnel color. We believe our clients deserve the best professional hair color available to us. The line has consistently impressed us over these last eight years of working with it through its innovation and educational opportunities.

Can you tell us a little bit about Maxine Salon? We opened in 1986 with just a team of five people. Today, we continue to specialize in cutting, styling and color services, along with waxing, and have grown to a team of nearly 50. We own our townhouse on Rush and Superior and, as such, can continuously develop and morph the space to cater to our clients and current industry trends.

Tell us more about the staff. It’s important for them to focus on specialization and education. It starts with the in-house education program complimented by a world-view approach to hair through fashion. The team travels around the globe to stay fresh and add international exposure to their styling, coloring and teaching abilities. This ongoing education and freedom to experiment produce exciting new trends, which have received national recognition in top publications.

Can you describe the color bar and the services available? The color bar has become so successful since it opened eight years ago that it now has its own floor. Over these past few years we moved from five color specialists to 11. It’s accessible on both ends, much like a high-tech kitchen in a beautiful restaurant. We formulate and mix and collaborate at the bar and then move to either area to service the client. The service areas are complete with the latest processors on the market. Having this set up also allows us to spread the color love over more space for a more comfortable client experience.

What are some of your more popular services? We’re particularly known for our balayage techniques. Balayage is a hair painting technique that lends itself to many variations, which include ombré and sombré (the darker or less contrasting version). Additionally, our color correction capabilities have saved many a new client from their existing dilemma, converting them to regular clients forever.

Michael Schwartz Photograph

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About Irish Mae Silvestre

Irish Mae Silvestre is TCW’s Assistant Editor. She earned her master’s degree in journalism at DePaul University and has worked in the magazine industry for over seven years. She grew up in Dubai, wrote for The Dubai Mall magazine and is a self-appointed KitKat connoisseur.