From Italy, with love

When we think of Italy, we think of food, culture and hospitality.

While situated in New England, Pirri Hair Studio in Greenwich evokes that same Italian energy thanks to its owners, Piero and Luigi Pirri. 

Hailing from Cosenza, Italy, a city in the southern region of Calabria, the brothers opened Pirri Hair Studio on Greenwich Avenue in 1992. On a recent trip to the salon, we were greeted by Piero and his wife, Giulia, who quickly offered us water or espresso and made us feel immediately welcomed. True to form, we thought — Italian hospitality could surely give Southern hospitality a run for its money.

Luigi and Piero are just 18 months apart in age. Piero recalls being a young man unsure of what he wanted to do with his life when Luigi, who had already begun his career as a stylist, suggested he start training and join him in the industry. Lo and behold, after apprenticeships in Italy, training in London and then a brief stint styling in New York City, the brothers have now held their spot as one of Greenwich’s most trusted salons for more than 26 years.

“When you have someone in your family you can trust, it’s perfect,” Piero said of running the salon with his older brother. 

“I want to kill him sometimes,” Luigi said jokingly, as any elder child might. “But we love each other,” he continued. “Everyone has their own ideas, but at the end of the day we compromise and work together.”

The Pirri brothers ooze charisma, so it’s no surprise that their salon has loyal clients, some of whom have been seeing the brothers since the beginning. During our visit, we had the chance to meet a 26-year-long client of Piero’s, who sang his praises.

“We’ve been here so long now that we get the children, the grandchildren. We get all of the generations,” Luigi said of their loyal clientele. The duo has also styled for some of the area’s biggest celebrities, including Diana Ross and Gretchen Carlson.

The Pirri brothers attribute much of their success to their Italian background, explaining that people associate Italy with being ahead on trends and style. But they also credit much of their success to the fact that they are a family-run business. 

They initially opened as a Toni & Guy salon (part of a British franchise). However, they made the change to Pirri Hair Studio because using their own family name separates them from being just another chain salon. 

“It’s more original and represents our family,” Luigi said.  

Piero’s talent was recognized this summer when he was selected as a finalist for the North American Hairstyling Awards in Las Vegas. His styles, inspired by the Renaissance, earned him a top spot in the texture category. While Piero may not have won the grand prize, his designs certainly show how versatile his skills can be. Whether you visit the salon for a basic cut or an out-of-the-box style, the brothers offer everything from the classic to the avant-garde.

As for upcoming trends in hair, Piero recalled that in recent years pastel colors and even icy gray tones have been all over the scene. However, trends are shifting back to natural, he said, with brown natural brown tones (no more damage from bleach) and French-inspired cuts like bangs — for those of us bold enough to rock them. 

For more, visit pirrihair.com.

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