In Memoriam: Joe Tristino

It is with much heartfelt sadness that Estetica shares the news of the passing of hair icon Joseph F. “Joe” Tristino, who died in Chicago, IL on July 23rd.

Born 18 May 1937 to Antonio Tristino and Ida DeBartolo in San Vincenzo La Costa, Cosenza, Italy, Joe Tristino was the eldest son of four children, an older sister Maria and two younger siblings, Francesco and Emilia.

Joe started his legendary career as an apprentice under Coiffure Legendaire Guillaume Guglielmi in France. But after years with Guillaume, Joe returned to Rome and then soon left for the United States on September 21, 1958. He came through New York to Chicago where his uncles’ had decided to settle in the United States. When Joe arrived, he began to hone his skills even more until he had the opportunity to work in London with Vidal Sassoon.

After working with Sassoon, Joe Tristino returned to the States and opened many salons, two beauty schools, and a distribution business. He traveled the world and won over 90 awards for his platform work and multiple Hair Olympics for the United States and Italy. Joe held positions as a stylist, owner, educator, Director of Education, President of the Chicago Cosmetologist Association, Director of the Midwest Beauty Show –today America’s Beauty Show– and so much more. Also, he worked as the National Educational Director for Indola, traveling the world, performing shows and educating hairdressers with his Indola team. He was instrumental in developing an Indola competition at the Midwest Beauty Show for aspiring young beauty school students.

Joe was always humble and never once flaunted his accomplishments because he believed it was all for a purpose. His true passion was education. Any of the hundreds of students that had the privilege to study under Joe would agree. He poured his love, pride, creativity and even more so instilled discipline into each of his students. He loved watching all of his students strive and succeed and watch them turn into some of the best in the industry.

Joe had a late start on having a family of his own, but his passion for the beauty industry had him covered. In 1981, Joe met his beautiful, dedicated, and deep hearted Schazi (translation: Sweetheart or Little Treasure in German) Teresa at a hair show. 2 years later, they married (he did not wait once she chose him)! Together, they trained students at their school and salons, Joe for the practical and Teresa for the theoretical. These students had the best of both worlds, the discipline and skills from Joe and the understanding why they did what they did behind the chair from Teresa. In 1986, Joe was presented the opportunity to open a salon in Glen Ellyn by one of his clients. He seized that opportunity and they gave birth to their salon, Linea Hair Salon and Day Spa. The salon blossomed and continues to do so every day. In 1992, their love brought them their only son, Antonio (named after Joe’s father). They poured all their love into him and took him everywhere they went. Joe loved every moment, savored every second with his family and his Linea Family. There never was anything more that Joe wanted than to have his family and his second family at Linea.

Joe passed on July 23rd, 2022 after fighting hard against his aliments. But in his last days, he was never alone…ever! Joe was surrounded by the love from all his former students, his clients, his Linea family, family (and friends, but if you were his friend you knew you were family), and his wife and son. During the hard times, he never showed any pain or hurt. His strength and love was relentless, his dedication and pride was steadfast. Joe Tristino chose what he did, when he wanted to do anything, and how he wanted to do it. He lived his life his way and there was no other way this legend, mentor, leader, husband, and father would do it.

I Love You Papa, I miss your voice, your hugs, your kisses, your advice, and thank you, thank you, thank you for being the best protector, mentor, and father a son could ever have. I’m honored and proud to be your son. You will never be truly gone, your love lives on in my heart, mama’s heart and all of those you have blessed in your life. I love you and I am glad that we never left anything unsaid and that my last words to you before you passed were, “I Love You, Papa. I will always be here for you. I Love You.” – Antonio Tristino.

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