has been washing, cutting, and styling the tresses of Massapequa residents for over 27 years.
A fun and flashy full-service salon, Impulse handles pretty much any treatment you’d care to mention, including hair coloring, manicures and pedicures, Brazilian Keratin treatments, waxing, and more.
Impulse is a family-run business currently owned and operated by Gail Agostinacchio. The salon got its start in Massapequa back in April of 1985 by her father, John, an Italian immigrant who had been cutting hair in Queens for 25 years prior.
“He came over to America when he was 17...his parents came here to make a better life,” she said. “He worked several jobs and went to school to learn English. Eventually, he went to school to become a hairstylist, and worked in Bayside, Queens, where he eventually took over the shop he worked at and ran it for 25 years.”
Her father sold the Queens location and purchased a new a salon in Massapequa, wanting to work closer his family’s home in Bellmore, where they had been living since 1971.
From her formative teenage years, Agostinacchio herself has been an active part of the family business.
“I started in Queens when I was a teenager and still in high school, washing hair and sweeping floors,” she said. “I went to beauty school in high school...I spent half the day in school, half the day in Cosmetology. So, I got out with my license and my diploma. And when my father moved the business here to Massapequa, I came with him.”
Agostinacchio‘s father finally hung up his scissors and retired five years ago (although has since started working at the salon again part-time), and his daughter stepped up and took over.
“My kids were a little older, and I had more time on my hands to be here full-time,” she said. “I wanted to keep the family tradition...I didn’t want the business in a stranger’s hands.”
Upon taking over Impulse Haircutters, Agostinacchio gave the establishment a sharp facelift, renovating the lights, furniture, haircutting stations, bathroom and curtains, among other things.
“I just dressed it up a lot,” she said.
However, being suddenly thrust into the role of boss after all these years took some getting used to.
“It was a hard transition...I’m still a worker at heart,” Agostinacchio said. “However, I like to take charge and run things. But it was a hard transition from working with my co-workers to being their boss. But I guess they’re happy, as no one’s left me yet.”
But with the triumphs of business ownership also come the occasional tribulations; something many businesses are dealing with these days.
“The economy has definitely taken a toll...people wait longer between haircuts or cut their own hair,” she said. “But it’s been better lately...Spring’s brought in more clients, and hopefully the neighborhood shopping center will have more stores move in, and we’ll get better business again.”
Agostinacchio said that her shop’s customer service and skilled staff are what sets Impulse Haircutters apart from the competition, something that will surely help usher in new clientele.
“We’re not a big, corporate shop...we’re a small shop that takes pride in our work and our customers,” she said. “We have customers who have been coming for 20 years, and they come back for a reason."