Remembering Cheryl Tricoci

Mario and Cheryl Tricoci

With incredible sadness, Tricoci Salons & Spas announce the passing of founder and beauty business icon, Cheryl Tricoci. Cheryl passed away at her Chicago home on May 2, 2022, surrounded by her family. Cheryl leaves behind a thriving beauty empire and a legacy of love.

As a native of Chicago’s south side, Cheryl’s admiration for Chicago and the Chicagoland area permeated her soul. Known for her incredible beauty and her sense of style, Cheryl’s career began as a successful fashion model. After stepping off the runway, she remained captivated by the industry. Her eventual role as the director of training for Patricia Stevens Modeling Agency linked her path with that of famed hairdresser, Mario Tricoci. Together they embarked on a journey that would escalate and forever disrupt the beauty industry. 

In tandem with Mario, business partner, soulmate and husband of 51 years, Cheryl transformed the historically transactional hair appointment into an aspirational beauty experience. To render her vision, Cheryl relentlessly pursued famed interior designer Richard Himmel in the 70’s to design the Mario Tricoci Salon in Woodfield Mall. It was the first privately owned hair salon in North America to be located inside a major shopping mall. The salon was unprecedented in its field. The Mario Tricoci brand was born, and Cheryl was just getting started. 

After remarkable growth and success, Cheryl sought to elevate the salon experience once again. Determined to break away from the barriers of the conventional hair salon, Cheryl drew upon her command of fashion and her training in skincare to conceptualize a modern salon integrated with comprehensive luxury spa services. Seizing the opportunity set yet another trend, in 1986, the Mario Tricoci Hair Salon and Day Spa in Arlington Heights opened. Often credited as the pioneer of the first “Day Spa” in the United States, her trailblazing concepts are that of legend.

The Tricoci Day Spa experience was not only first of its kind, it continued to revolutionize, with Cheryl ideating advanced and defining spa treatment trends with guest experience as the focal point. An illustration of this is that all pedicure specialists were trained and certified by podiatrists before working with a Tricoci guest. After exhaustive research in the healing properties of pumpkin, Cheryl invented the Pumpkin Facial in the 1980’s, igniting a beloved beauty experience and trend that endures today. 

In a field that continues to be male dominated, Cheryl shattered glass ceilings, empowering women to demand their seat at the decision-making table. Her innovative ideas and reinvention of self-care reshaped the beauty industry and inspired countless luxury salons and spas. The name Tricoci carries global industry recognition and tremendous respect. Celebrity stylists and business executives continue to travel from all over the world to visit and draw inspiration from Cheryl and Mario’s beauty empire.

“Our mom balanced effortless grace with fierce tenacity and was omnipotent in every aspect of her life. She was strikingly devoted to her family and friends, loved harder than most and lived life with an abundantly grateful heart,” says one of her two sons, Mario Jr. 

For Cheryl, “family” also included the Tricoci staff. Often seen attending a baby shower, wedding, or other personal event for one of their 1,172 staff members, Cheryl’s love for the Tricoci team was palpable. Her generosity and love knew no bounds and Cheryl became a passionate advocate for Bear Necessities, a non-profit foundation for pediatric cancer. She also championed Misericordia, a community of care for people with developmental disabilities. One can safely assume that Cheryl’s favorite salon in the world sits on the Misericordia campus where she and Mario built a Tricoci salon for the residents to enjoy. 

Her family says that Cheryl was nothing less than pure magic and she leaves behind a gaping hole in countless hearts.