how a westerleigh salon combines beauty services with client education

by Jessica Jones-Gorman Photos By Alex Barreto

After working in the beauty industry for several years, Lisa Marrocolo and Stephanie Ragucci decided to pool their talents and open their own enterprise.

“We wanted to create a salon environment where we would not only deliver great services to our clients, but would also teach them how to work with their own hair and achieve that same look when they leave,” noted Ragucci. “When you’re a busy hairdresser, it’s easy to just rush through the day, taking care of appointment after appointment, but our goal here was to book accordingly and give each client more personal attention.”

The pair scouted out several locations before finding a central spot on Watchogue Road, which they completely renovated.

“We wanted a tranquil yet modern environment that would still feel like home for our customers,” explained Ragucci. “But this building was just a shell, and needed a lot of work. Our families helped us design and build, and it was definitely challenging to turn this space into our exact vision, but we did it. We also designed an outdoor patio where clients can sip coffee and read magazines in between services. That was a nice touch.”

Marrocolo and Ragucci chose the name Marucci Hair Design (a combination of their last names), and officially opened its doors in 2013.

“We’ve built a successful name for ourselves in this business over the past three years, and are proud of that accomplishment,” Marrocolo said. “There are, of course, so many salons on Staten Island, because this industry has really blown up in the past 10 years, so to succeed amidst all of that competition is a very big deal. We offer and really stand by our gluten-free, paraben-free, and formaldehyde-free products. Many people don’t realize, too, that the outside of the body can also suffer from gluten intolerance and respond negatively to products used on the skin, which is the body’s largest organ. They are absorbed and could potentially cause reactions. That is why we choose product lines that are completely hypoallergenic.”

The salon also specializes in techniques for curly hair, bringing out the beauty of clients’ natural waves, another reason why Ragucci and Marrocolo make special effort to keep their staff of seven stylists ahead of the beauty trend curve.

“Lisa and I take classes at Wella Studio as well as with other companies, then take the techniques we learn and teach them to our staff,” Ragucci said. “Education is very important in this business; we have to stay with the trends and constantly further our own learning.”

The hair design team is currently focusing on Balayage, a trending technique for highlighting in which dye is painted on in a way that creates a graduated, natural-looking effect. They also provide a more natural hair extension that adheres to the hair with no heating or glue.

“We also do a happy hour treatment Tuesday through Friday when clients can get our signature Jessica Rabbit blowout or other featured service, as well as a complimentary glass of wine,” Ragucci said. “And each of our stylists is trained to provide the same techniques, so regardless of which stylist you get, there will be the same beautiful results.”

In the future, Ragucci and Marrocolo hope to build upon the Marucci Hair Design brand, but for now, they are happy to revel in a dream come true.

“I always loved doing hair, even when I was a kid,” Marrocolo concluded. “To have this salon where Stephanie and I have created this incredible atmosphere based on this career that we love…it really is very special.”

Marucci Hair Design
128 Watchogue Road
718.477.5051 /