In a place like Rome, bursting at the seams with architecture, culture, and fashion, one could find reason upon reason to stick around and continue exploring. But for Luigi Parasmo, his hometown just didn’t feel like enough. “I was bored,” he says. So 20-odd years ago, he packed his bags and headed for the States.
Parasmo has been styling hair worldwide for more than 30 years. His clients have ranged from ABC7’s Alison Starling to Condoleezza Rice, and he’s also styled backstage at Tory Burch runway shows. He began his Washington career at the Watergate Salon back in the early ’90s, where he met his partner and co-owner Javier Calvo. He worked there for 17 years alongside Calvo (who stayed for 28 years himself), and after stints at Erwin Gomez and Toka, he came up with the idea to open his own self-titled outpost. “This has been the biggest dream of my life,” Parasmo says. “Hair is my passion.”
Patrons will surely feel a sense of delight as soon as they walk in. Between the candy dishes, the espresso, and the free wi-fi, it's easy to get comfortable. Especially when you're waiting for your hair color to set--Luigi's granite-table drying station is equipped with four iPads customers can play with while sitting under the heater.
In addition to offering free consultations, the salon also provides nail and waxing services, wedding and special-event makeup, eyelash and eyebrow tinting, extensions, perms, and a Japanese hair-straightening treatment that helps naturally curly hair towel-dry straight for up to five months at a time.
Georgetown was chosen as the salon's home for its neighborhood feel, says Parasmo. "In big cities like Rome, Madrid, you still have the neighborhoods where everybody knows everybody. To me, coming back up here was like going back home to a place I really, really liked."
Thanks to the salon's eight chairs, four shampoo bowls, and a semi-secluded mani-pedi outpost, clients can remain relaxed and uninterrupted during their visit. "We hate to move clients," says Parasmo, who designed his floor plan to ensure that each customer will have a comfortable space while waiting for treatments to work their magic. "Once you're sitting down, it's about you. You should relax--[and] do anything you want as you please."
Luigi Parasmo Salon. 1510 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-333-2244. Haircut and coloring $100 and up, blowdry $55 and up, manicures $25 and up. Open Tuesday 10 to 7, Wednesday through Friday 10 to 8, and Saturday 9 to 7. Earlier appointments available upon request.