The Modafino Salon Story

Our Story | "We Innovate"

It’s not every day when a groundbreaking and trend-making beauty destination opens, much less in Lincoln, Nebraska. On the coasts you will see salons that make you ponder your own existence and make you feel like you are in another dimension. But the reason a Southeast Lincoln salon called Modafino is becoming an immediate cult sensation is due to a business model that can only be described as “Lifetime Fitness” meets “Andy Warhol’s Factory.”

Always stunning, never artificial, the vision of Modafino Salon’s founder, Tommy O was to bridge the gap between how we look outside and how we feel inside, between motivations and intentions. With only five chairs and one VIP suite, salon visits are serene, attentive, and so spontaneously sensitive and inspiring that Tommy O publishes regular articles with solutions to Modafino Salon customer questions and needs.

The salon is a destination, nestled into a cozy spot in South Lincoln’s Heritage Park. Though, according to Tommy O they don’t call it a hair salon. “It’s an organic studio salon,” he says. “We don’t have a huge salon floor filled with anonymous faces like typical salons. We’re really focused on creating something friendly with higher purpose.” The unconventional organic and re-purposed elements in the new Modafino Salon space speak for themselves.

First, you are greeted by the, Jun Kaneko inspired, front desk made by kinetic artist Lance Daly. Then, a full-sized driftwood tree stands tall over the deco-couches. And just behind the driftwood tree is the “selfie-station,” a professionally lit and designed backdrop ready for before and after pictures to post to your social media. Adjacent to the salon floor, you will find the VIP suite and the “Dream Room” where the entire Modafino corporate team is working around a huge table like a Silicon Valley startup, developing their haircare, skincare, hair color and groundbreaking patents on new beauty-industry devices. The entire space is so personalized and comfortable, it makes you feel like you are part of your own former life, in school, surrounded by enticing characters and spontaneous philosophical conversations.

The Modafino Salon Story

Tommy O | Q&A

Question: You have always been known for total hair makeovers, and you have video production in-house showcasing those transformations. What do you do when a woman comes in and asks to totally change her look?

Tommy O: “Total makeover clients are the best. Some have no fear and say, ‘just do whatever you think.’ I Love that Client. Others are working on emotion and usually there is a life event that is inspiring them to produce a physical revelation to the people in their lives or they need a shot in the arm, to create a change that will give them the confidence to make a change that affects the people in their lives. I think, most people can challenge themselves and the people in their lives by simply being themselves. And it all starts with a real conversation during the consultation. It’s all about reading between the lines and listening through the words to the true meaning of what the person is saying and feeling. Finally, finding that true need and fulfilling it through cut, style and/or color. Sometimes it is as simple as changing where they part their hair and other times it is more drastic. But the purpose is making sure that the client can express themselves and be themselves, all the while, looking incredible, organic and genuine.”

Question: When you do a consultation, is it difficult to put a person on the right personal path with their look, especially if they want something that will not work for them?

Tommy O: “I don’t feel as though it’s ‘difficult. I think that a person’s hair is sometimes a security blanket. It’s hard for some people to step out of their comfort zone. I like to take them in a completely new direction and work back from an opposite extreme. Usually, the answer to one extreme is not the other extreme but somewhere in the middle. Finding out limits is the key to a good consultation. I look at three things; facial structure, personality and lifestyle. With facial structure I look at 7 points; eyes, lips, cheekbones, nose, jawline, skin and hairline. The most important being the eyes and lips, all the other points should accentuate both. I think it’s so important to see the reality of their limitations. Most of the time what people think is a limitation is not. Then, I find out what their personality will dictate. Are they reserved or outgoing, introverted or extroverted? In my mind, this plays a huge role in how I can expand their comfort zone. Finally, I look at lifestyle. Do they work out twice a day? What is their profession? How much time can they, and more importantly, will they spend on their hair per day? I talk about these things  thoroughly during every consultation, so I know exactly how to blend what they want and what they need.”

What are your favorite things about the Modafino Salon?

Tommy O: “I like the people and the culture we have created together in the space. The energy here is different. It ‘s not just a hair salon for showcasing our products, it’s a ‘creativity-incubator’. We are a startup product developer and manufacturer, which involves so many things; social media campaigning, e-commerce, new hardware innovations, handheld technology and franchise development. We have finance experts, videographers, engineers, graphic designers, web designers, lawyers, entrepreneurs and hairdressers all working together toward a common goal, the Modafino Brand. It’s SO much fun to see ideas being bounced back and forth from a PhD to an intern. Everyone’s opinion is valued and respected no matter who you are. I love that! Most of the time, I feel like the dumbest guy in the room so, it’s nice to have so many smart people to build on ideas. I can’t put a price on having the abundance of talent and knowledge we have, overflowing in the same place. It’s a wonderful environment to work in.”