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From humble beginnings, Philip Ciampa credits hard work and education for his wild success as the founder of award-winning Philip Ciampa Salons. Ciampa left his native Italy at 14 to find work in Switzerland, but his strong connection to extended family allowed him to move to the United States in 1968. Ciampa explains, “I was scared to move to another country, but the moment I set my feet down I loved it. I found so many opportunities here that I didn’t have in Italy.” Living with a close uncle and cousin, Ciampa worked in a factory for several years. Then his cousin convinced him to try hairdressing; “I was really skeptical,” Ciampa says. “I thought, ‘Hairdressing? Me?’ But I tried it and loved it from the start.” After working several years at a salon on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Ciampa was made a manager of his company’s new Lexington location. After only two years, his popularity preceded him; clients waited for up to four months to book an appointment.

In 1972, ready to take the next step, Ciampa founded his own salon in Winchester with the help of his wife and brother-in-law Vincenzo Siniscalco. “For me, family and business are one and the same. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” Ciampa says. “My sons Joe and Philip help run the business side of things, and my son Tony is an excellent, experienced hairstylist.” Philip’s son Joe Ciampa adds, “All of us sit down together regularly and talk about ways to improve the company. We make a point to maintain great personal relationships with each other and with all our employees.” Both Joe and Philip regularly visit and meet clients at each of the salon’s four locations in Wakefield, Lexington, Andover, and Winchester. “My father’s not just a name to our employees,” explains Joe. “He’s a person they know and trust. There’s a lot of turnover in the hair-dressing business, but we don’t experience that nearly as much as other salons because our employees become a part of our family.” Philip adds, “It’s all about trust and respect. My family and our employees all have different voices—we don’t always agree, but we respect each other and incorporate everyone’s ideas.”

The Ciampas have grown the business to four salons 

The salon’s commitment to education is yet another reason employees remain excited, engaged, and creative. Ciampa’s new employees begin as assistants to experienced stylists, while attending a weekly class that allows them to develop their skills and learn new styles and trends. “Hairdressing school is necessary, but it really only gives new stylists the most basic skills,” explains Joe. “An aspiring stylist’s real education begins at the salon. We have a stylist with over 30 years of experience who teaches our new employees different techniques. At the end of each year, new stylists demonstrate their cutting and finishing techniques to prove that they are prepared to move on to color.” Even the salon’s experienced stylists have the opportunity to take classes. “We send our employees to seminars all over the country, especially New York City and California. We also invite knowledgeable instructors to come to our salons to help reignite our experienced stylists’ love for hair,” says Philip. “Hair styles change with seasons just like fashion does, and stylists get rejuvenated by learning new, exciting techniques.”

While the family focuses on making their business the best it can be, they still leave room to do their part for the greater good. Philip’s son Tony, a talented stylist with over 15 years of experience, has also raised thousands of dollars as a rider in the Pan-Mass Challenge, in addition to running the Boston Marathon for charity several years in a row. The salon also holds Cut-a-Thons frequently to raise money for various causes, and five members of the Ciampa family accepted the Ice Bucket Challenge. “If there’s one thing my dad taught me, it’s that you get what you give back,” Joe says. “We have so much, and it’s one of our greatest joys to share with others.”


Stylists at Philip Ciampa Salons identify the hottest holiday trends.

Clients are choosing chestnut shades over bright blondes.

Strawberry tones transition bleached blonde hair to the winter months.

Burgundy highlights add a fall/wintery richness.

Softer looks such as loose curls pulled back or low buns are popular for the holidays. Shiny, rich tones add dimension and brightness for the colder seasons.