DONN BYRNE
DONN BYRNE

The family of industry stalwart Donn Byrne shared news of his recent death and details of his start in the beauty industry.  

His father, Joseph Byrne, founded The International Beauty Show (IBS) and acquired Beauty Culture and The Barber’s Journal magazines, as well as starting the Beauty and Barber Supply Institute (BBSI). Donn Byrne founded the National Beauty & Barber’s Manufacturing Association to give manufacturers an industry voice and platform.

In the 1950’s, Byrne acquired IBS and its magazines including American Salon, expanding them under the umbrella Service Publications & International Trade Shows.

“The magazine’s and the show suited his larger-than-life, double-barreled personality and style. It was important to him to leave the industry a better place than he found it,” his daughter Jody Byrne said.  “The accomplishment he was most proud of was The Full Service Salon crusade,” Jody Byrne said. “Back in the ‘50’s, many salons did weekly sets and some manicures.  Only some offered ‘perms’ and fewer offered color. One day he heard a Texaco jingle on the radio that went: ‘Trust your car to the man who wears the star. He’s got everything for your car.’

He asked manufacturers, distributors and salons to endorse The Full Service Salon Campaign (‘How can you call yourself a professional salon today if you don’t offer perm and color?’)  It became his goal to see every salon in the United States with a front door decal –‘Welcome! We Are A Full Service Salon.’ “

 “Donn – or DB as he was known to friends -- had the touch of the Blarney Stone in his personality,” says Jon Shakour, owner of Interiors By G. Shakour and the former owner of Essential Salon Supplies, a leading Massachusetts distributorship.  “I often saw him bring manufacturer and distributor together when there was a serious disagreement. As arbitrator he always knew that the best deal was one in which both parties walked away with a win.”