By James Miranda
It was 1988 when Tara Colavecchio first met her future mother-in-law, Agnes Colavecchio. Tara was a hair stylist with a dream to open her own salon someday; Agnes an artist with an undying fascination with dragonflies.
They’d tease Agnes but she always teased back, saying that when she died to look out for her – as a dragonfly.
“When I knew I was ready to open up a salon and I was searching for the space in Croton, I didn’t know what to name it and I said of course I have to name it Dragonfly Hair Studio,” said Tara Colavecchio, who spent more than 25 years as a hair stylist and worked with high-profile hair studios including Chaz Dean, Frédéric Fekkai and Pierre Michel. “[A dragonfly’s] life is about transformation and beauty. We’re building and growing and looking to do something special in this industry.”
The 2012 Westchester Magazine Best of Westchester-winning hair studio was founded the previous year in Croton-on-Hudson, one of the few green and eco-friendly salons in the county. Their services range from haircuts and stylings, organic haircoloring and treatments, body waxing, eyebrow tinting and hair extensions for professional and special events.
They’ve moved locations twice since – Millwood being the most recent opening on Sept. 6 – but the objective stays the same.
Many cosmetic products in the industry such as lotions, deodorants or makeup contain parabens, which act as a preservative. Although the effects aren’t completely known, parabens can possibly be linked to chronic diseases and cancer, according to published reports.
That inspired Dragonfly’s offerings of only green care products like Phyto, Surface Hair and Organic Color and Loreal Professional Ammonia-Free Hair Color. The salon’s most popular item is the dragon oil, which acts as a multipurpose makeup remover.
“It’s hard to find people who really use top-quality products like that don’t have a lot of additives and all sorts of chemicals in it and that’s important to me and another reason why I go to [Dragonfly],” said Virginia Giordano, a five-year Dragonfly customer.
This green approach is seen within the salon. All the cups are made by a local potter, they use energy-efficient lighting, their furniture and mirror frames were created from recycled wood and steel and one of the walls is biodegradable.
“[Colavecchio] served me tea in a real cup that they’re going to wash, so they don’t waste paper or use non-recyclable products,” said Millie Jasper, an eight-year Dragonfly customer. “You have somebody here that’s highly qualified, has worked with famous people and she doesn’t have her own agenda that she pushes forward. She listens to her clients.”
Colavecchio and co-owner Tori Bracco opened the Millwood location to mark a new beginning, however, and it’s a step toward an expansion of sorts. They also hope to create a product or two of their own.
“We’re also hoping to create an educational program for different hair stylists in the area and maybe beyond,” Colavecchio said. “There are always different trade shows around the country and usually they offer education or extended educational classes while the trade show is going on. I’m hoping to go out there and educate other stylists and also offer education within the salon.”
Dragonfly will host its grand opening of the Millwood salon to the general public this Thursday, Nov. 1 between 5 and 9 p.m.
Dragonfly Hair Studio is located at 238 Saw Mill River Rd. in Millwood. It’s open Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 914-271-1336, visit dfhairstudios.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.