DALLAS — Guy Mascolo, co-founder of the international hair salon Toni & Guy, suffered a fatal heart attack and died at his Dallas home Wednesday, family members said Thursday.
He was 65.
Guy Mascolo founded the renowned hairdressing company with his brother, Toni Mascolo, in London in 1963 when they were both teens.
With skills learned from their hairdresser father and an innate business sense, they created a global company known for its cutting-edge salons, commitment to training stylists and popular hair care products, such as Bed Head, S-factor and Catwalk.
Guy Mascolo was chairman of Dallas-based Toni & Guy USA, which has 56 salons and 11 cosmetology schools.
"I was impressed by his humility but blown away by his artistry," said close friend and business partner Paul Joseph, explaining that the company has been featured in top hair magazines worldwide.
"No one had ever dressed hair like Guy did," Joseph said. "He was a hairdresser’s hairdresser."
Guy Mascolo loved the industry and gave selflessly to the people in it, friends and family said.
"He was forever giving, probably a little too generous for his own good," said his brother, Bruno Mascolo, the company’s chief executive officer. "He was a very loving, kind, gentle soul … a natural hairdresser who helped us create the foundation to build Toni & Guy on."
Born Gaetano Mascolo in Southern Italy, Guy Mascolo was the second oldest of Francesco and Maria Mascolo’s five sons.
The Mascolos immigrated to the United Kingdom in the mid-1950s.
In 1983, Guy Mascolo and younger brother, Bruno, sought to expand the business in the United States. They moved to Dallas where they opened salons in shopping malls and began growing TIGI, their professional product line.
"We moved into a land that was phenomenally known for big ass hair," Joseph said. The company succeeded where others had failed because they adapted their techniques to the communities in which they did hair.
"Toni & Guy took hairdressing to a whole new level," Joseph said. "They were extraordinary."
Toni Mascolo remains in Europe where he retains ownership of the company’s international operations.
But eight years ago, Guy, Bruno and another brother took ownership of Toni & Guy USA and TIGI, the haircare products division.
In April, they sold TIGI for $415 million, Bruno Mascolo said.
Guy Mascolo had a passion for football as well as the culinary and fine arts. He played guitar and was an artist who sold his paintings to raise money for charities.
His brother said he was in his art studio painting when he died.
"He was building a brand new house and starting to enjoy the fruits of his work and now he’s gone," Joseph said.
Guy Mascolo is survived by his wife, Flora; two sons, Guy Jr. and Zak Mascolo; and two daughters, Emanuella and Zara Mascolo.
Salons across the world plan to release memorial balloons Friday, a company spokeswoman said.
His funeral will be Saturday. (Chron.com)