Cathy O’Hara has established a long and successful career in the hair and beauty industry, and despite all the things she’s learned over the decades, one lesson stands out: it’s not just what you do; it’s who you are.
And for her clients at O’Hara and Friends Salon—as well as the community at large—Cathy has been a friend.
Her motto over the past eight years is also her statement of dedication to customer service: “May all who enter as guests, leave as friends.”
That philosophy has served her well, as witnessed by the salon’s move last year to a bigger space at 7008 W. 127th St., in Palos Heights.
As a family business and a full-service Paul Mitchell Focus Salon that specializes in haircutting, hair coloring, deep conditioning, special-occasion styling, makeup, waxing and facial services, O’Hara and Friends Salon provides outstanding personal service and technical expertise, which have enabled the salon to serve a large clientele, including many residents of Mt. Greenwood.
With its new facility, O’Hara & Friends has expanded its services to facials, waxing, reflexology, raindrop therapy, foot detox, emotion code, hypnosis, manicures and pedicures.
Cathy has earned recognition for her skills in business, winning the Moraine Valley Community College Women in Business Award in 2015 and the Professional Irish Women in Business Award for Hair and Beauty in 2017. O’Hara & Friends has also won the Best of Chicago Southland Award 2014-2017.
In order to maintain their edge on products and technical skills, the staff annually attends advanced-education courses.
As a friend to the community, the salon has partnerships with organizations such as Little Company of Mary Breast Cancer Center, Almost Home services for the homeless, and Stuffed Love, which provides comfort and support to all and raises awareness about congenital heart defects.
Kathy’s newest charitable effort is to give recognition to America’s military personnel through the Hometown Heroes program.
After seeing Hometown Heroes banners displayed from light posts lining the streets of Manteno, Ill., on Memorial Day 2019, Kathy decided to bring the program to the South Side of Chicago.
Each banner features a photo, name and branch of military service of each veteran, and families and friends purchase banners to commemorate their loved ones. Banners are on display from Memorial Day through Veterans Day for two years.
Kathy said Hometown Heroes would be great for this area, and she has already met with local officials to discuss the idea. Stars and Stripes has agreed to print the banners at a discount, and Kathy is seeking local businesses to donate/sponsor banners to lower the purchase price for families.
The salon also participates in St. Baldrick’s Day events every year, fundraising and shaving hundreds of heads in the fight against pediatric cancer.
In serving its clients, O’Hara & Friends conducts classes at the salon on topics ranging from auto mechanics, to hair braiding, wedding hair and make-up. It also teaches anti bullying classes that promote “Be Kind. Be a Friend.”
To keep things fun, O’Hara & Friends holds special events at the salon such as Santa Night, Frozen Night, Haircuts with a Ninja Turtle, paint nights and bake sales.
Cathy brings more than 35 years of experience to her business, and she takes pride in sharing her knowledge and skills with young stylists who are just entering the beauty field.
She is dedicated to hiring stylists directly from school and mentoring them in building their clientele. She loves seeing her staff members achieve personal goals and professional success. It’s always thrilling, she said, to see young professionals buy their first car or move out to live in their own place.
O’Hara & Friends is open Monday, from 4 to 8 p.m., for facials and body waxing; Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
To make an appointment at O’Hara & Friends Salon or for more information, call (708) 239-1111 or visit oharaandfriendssalon.com.