Dave Ragona • Owner/Operator/Stylist

Dave is the brains behind the direction and muscle behind the design of Hairborn Salon. As a master stylist, published artist and designer, Dave’s talents lie in creating the perfect haircut for each individual, expertly catering to every detail. Specializing in barbering, Dave’s out of the box approach crushes men’s styling from pompadours to full color prints and graphics. By combining barbering techniques with salon styling, Dave executes the editorial look the modern man desires. He has also created and built concepts for large hair shows and events throughout Chicago, including the 2010 and 2011 Hairwars. Dave is also a co-founder of Crook County Clothing.

• Part of Hairborn since 2000

• Resident Hairborn Photographer & Content Creator

Maria Ragona • Owner/Stylist

Maria has over 40 years experience in the Beauty industry. She began her career assisting in a small Chicago salon after immigrating to the United States from Italy at the age of 14. She is most passionate about LCA Wigs, her company within Hairborn to help clients find wigs for any budget. Her sweet demeanor and caring heart will make you feel at ease in the wig selection process. Maria inspires the Hairborn Team by serving each client as if they were family. She has said that her greatest joy in the hair industry “is having the opportunity to influence someone’s life positively.” Maria is a firm believer that a good haircut can be your best accessory and she wants to help you see the beauty that she sees in the world through her craft.

• Owner and Founder of Hairborn Salon since 1996

• Advanced wig and hairpiece specialist

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Christina Lafkas • Owner/Operator/Stylist

Christina has been in the cosmetology industry for over 15 years. She has an eye for perfection and specializes in finding the perfect cut and color for her clients. Her passion lies in avant-garde up styles and editorial hair and makeup. Christina has participated in many hair competitions and enjoys everything from cultivating a natural look to performing intricate color corrections. Let Christina’s passion for this industry bring out your most becoming style. 

• Part of Hairborn since 2006

• Participated in Hairwars 2010 & 2011

• Certified in Hand Tied Extensions, Tape in Extensions, and Halo Couture Extensions

• Keratin Complex Certified

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Alex McLearen • Manager/Stylist

Alex is always striving to learn, grow and expand her craft. Up to date in all the newest Instagram trends Alex prides herself in constantly expanding her knowledge. Alex’s goal is to tailor a look for each client to make them feel beautiful while embracing their individuality.  She has worked as an educator for 5 years of her 14 year career in the beauty industry. She is passionate about blondes, balayage, dimensional natural color, and hair extensions. Alex works with each guest to find the best suited style for all their needs and believes that each guest should be an active participant in understanding the process of her artistry. Alex will make you feel at ease and confident while creating the hair of your dreams!

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2016

• Advanced Balayage Training

• Certified in Hand Tied Extensions, Tape in Extensions, and Halo Couture Extensions

• Keratin Complex Certified

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Melissa Liacone • Stylist/Educator

Melissa has been a color expert for over 15 years. Specializing in grey coverage, dimensional reds, and smoothing treatments, Melissa is well versed in all facets of cosmetology. Melissa is a source of knowledge for new stylists at Hairborn and an expert in precision cutting. She is most passionate about fantasy color and short women’s styles. She has attended advanced training in Keratin Complex Smoothing Treatments. Melissa will master any challenge and leave you feeling confident. 

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2014

• Revlon Professional Educator since 2019

• Advanced Educator Training in Toronto with Revlon Professional in 2019

• Keratin Complex Certified

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Melanie Sklodowski • Stylist/MUA

Melanie started her makeup career in 2011 and has been a licensed cosmetologist since 2013. She is known for her positive attitude and is always smiling. Growing up she was drawn towards the arts and using creativity to connect with others. Melanie is our brow and lash lift guru and can perfect any brow. In addition to hairstyling, Melanie has done makeup for several films, editorial, print, and runway events. She is also proficient in special effects makeup working in haunted houses since 2015. 

• With Hairborn Salon since 2015

• Advanced Color Theory & Vivid Color Certification

• Olaplex Certified

• Advanced Facial Wax training in Satin Smooth

• Published in Aqstrashot Magazine (2020), Marika Magazine (2020), Moevir Magazine (2020), Market Value Film (2017), Featured on Fox 32 (2019)

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Liza Russo • Stylist

Liza has been in the hair industry since she was a child - both of her parents are career hairdressers and much of her extended family also practices cosmetology. Hairdressing is very much in Liza’s blood, so it’s no surprise she started coloring her own hair at 14. In 2006, she graduated Pivot Point Academy and followed that with two additional years of specialty training in hair color. Liza’s funky personality and solid skill set will leave you rocking the best look for you.

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2018

• Keratin Complex Certified

• Advanced Color Education

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Frank "Cay" Krzanik • Stylist/Educator

You will not find another stylist more dedicated to the beauty industry than Cay. After starting his career in the late 70’s, Cay has explored every avenue from esthetics, barbering, education, and salon ownership. Cay takes a special place in Hairborn’s heart after mentoring Dave and Christina during their Cosmetology school years. After decades of experience he joined our team in 2020 pledging to cut hair until he can’t anymore. Cay’s good vibes and expert hand will leave you feeling confident and happy with your new look.

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2020

• Licenced Cosmetology, Aesthetic, and Barber educator

• Platform Education & Artist for Bonika Shears

• Founded and produced Cosmetology, Aesthetic, and Barber programs University of Aesthetics Downers Grove, Wicker Park

• Director of Cosmetology at the Technology Center of Dupage

• Educator for College of Dupage

• 15 year veteran of the Board of Directors for the Association of Cosmetology Schools

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Dave "Tiny" Reuland Jr. • Barber

From his hot lather shaves to classic fades, you are in for the full barber shop experience. Tiny, is the king of fades and old skool styles. His passion lies in the feel and tradition of barbershop culture. His love for his craft is reflected in his attention to detail from beginning to end. 

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2019

• Advanced Reuzel Education

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Jessica "Janks" Jankiewicz • Stylist

Specializing in creative color and her designer mullets & shags, Janks has a keen eye for detail. Her hardworking demeanor and creativity added a fire to the salon floor in 2020. After graduating Paul Mitchell School Chicago in 2014, she hit the ground running focusing her craft on fashion colors and funky cuts. Janks aims to make everyone who sits in her chair feel comfortable with themselves and excited to try new styles. 

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2020

• Participated in New York Fashion Week with the Fashion Gallery Team Summer/Spring 2020 & Fall/Winter 2020

• Platform Artist for Elevate Hair March 2019

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Sam Aultman • Apprentice/Reception

Recent Paul Mitchel School Lombard graduate Sam can often be seen behind the desk as part of our reception team or working behind the chair as an Apprentice. Her spectacular performance in Phase 1 of her Cosmetology program gained her access to an advanced more client focused Phase 2. Sam shows us each day her passion and  drive for this business by continuously learning from each member of our team and staying busy working in order to perfect her craft. When not at Hairborn Sam can be found playing with her bunny “Iggy,” reading, or going to see live shows.

• Part of Hairborn Salon since 2019

• Graduated with honors in Hair Color

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Betty Vargas • Apprentice/Reception

Betty came to Hairborn from Paul Mitchell School, Lombard. She graduated with Hair color honors in early 2019. Her passion for hair stems from an urge to be creative everyday. Balayage and natural lightening are her favorite color techniques. Betty also assists the Reception team ensuring each client is matched with the perfect Stylist. When not at Hairborn, Betty assists her mom, Bertha, at their family owned floral shop “Betty’s Flowers and Bridal.’

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2020

• Graduated with Honors in Hair Color

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Emma Hillyard • Esthetician/Reception

Brow Powdering & Microblading Specialist Emma brings another confidence boosting service to Hairborn Salon. This procedure is a meticulous one leaving clients feeling beautiful and empowered by enhancing their facial features. Keeping well shaped brows makes you look fresh, neat and beautiful. Emma can personalize each service to meet the needs of each individual. From those experiencing hair loss to those wanting to modernize or enhance their natural beauty, let Emma help you step up your brow game and revitalize your beauty and confidence. 

• Part of the Hairborn Family since 2020

• Triccoci University- Certificate of Esthetics 2017

• Thrive Skin Institute Microblading and Powder Ombré Brow Certification

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Jillian Bowler • Reception

Resident Crook County OG. Jillian will invite you to be part of our Hairborn family and make sure you're satisfied with your experience. Let Jillian know how we can better assist you and she will exceed your expectations.

• Part of the Hairborn & Crook County Family since 2017