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A ‘People’ Business

Paul Hyland has grown his modest beauty shop into a full-service salon and day spa.

Paul Hyland Salon & Day Spa in Crystal Lake is an example of what dedication, consistently great service and the willingness to adapt to trends and demands can yield. Add to that a growing community, and it’s a surefire recipe for success.

Twenty-seven years ago, owner Paul Hyland started out with a small, three-chair salon on Oak Street. As the county grew, Hyland followed with several moves. In 2007, he expanded to his current location in Crystal Lake, featuring a comfortably upscale decor with 12 styling stations, two treatment rooms and a nail/pedicure suite. Today, the salon employs 40 staff members who, despite different ages, backgrounds and responsibilities, “support each other and help each other with wonderful teamwork,” Paul said. “We have a well-trained and dedicated staff that has strong people skills to make clients feel welcomed, comfortable and valued. This really is a ‘people’ business with a little hairstyling and nail polish in between.”

Paul’s perspective as a stylist ensures the salon maintains its core values. “I think a strong reason for our success is that Paul has always been an owner-operator who is in the trenches with his staff and Paul has always led by example,” added Shelly Hyland, his wife and salon co-owner. “As we expanded and moved over the years, Paul has always remained behind the chair. I think his presence in the salon, work ethic and dedication to the client has been key to developing an important service-oriented culture among all of our employees. Good service is what sets you apart from your competitors.”

His background also means he knows how to retain a strong staff. “He understands what incentives will attract talented staff members and lead to low turnover,” Shelly said. “For example, we help employees with marketing, referral programs and provide continuing education classes that our industry requires to maintain licenses.”

Another employee incentive is flexibility. “We have always worked around employees’ life changes over the years to retain them,” she said. “Many employees have cut back their hours to raise their families and jump back into full-time hours when their kids leave for college. We understand that family comes first and we are more than willing to work out schedules to accommodate and retain our valued staff.”

Growing with the County

Paul Hyland’s growth over the years is very much a reflection of the growth of McHenry County and Crystal Lake, according to the Hylands. “When we started out, we only offered about 10 hair services,” Paul said. “As Crystal Lake grew, we recognized that we had to evolve and meet the expectations of the city’s changing demographic, so we expanded our space as leases came due, hired more staff and offered more services/products, and eventually expanded into nail and spa services.”

Listening to clients has been key. “We frequently polled our clients to gauge their interest in new services before jumping in, trying to avoid short-lived, unsuccessful trends and hoping to capture new services and products with staying power,” Shelly said.

Measured growth is another approach that has helped Paul Hyland succeed, even during recessions. The company’s mantra has been to carefully calculate each expansion, which has helped overcome economic hurdles. “We never expanded until we were absolutely busting at the seams,” she said.

When it was time to make a move to a new space in 2007, a lot of consideration went into choosing the location and ambiance. “Our location is removed from busy roads, offering a quiet, private atmosphere,” Shelly said. “People feel relaxed when they enter. The salon décor is subdued and understated. Our styling area is private and our nail suite has its own room. Large windows across the back of the salon face an open area where we frequently see deer. Our two treatment rooms in the back of the salon are decorated in hues of relaxing green and gold.”

A Memorable Experience

A great salon experience begins the moment a client walks through the door. To that end, Paul Hyland prides itself on an invaluable support staff.

“Our front desk staff does an amazing job directing the activities in the salon including greeting clients when they arrive, appointment scheduling for 20 stylists and technicians, checking out clients, and keeping up with our Client Reward Program and ever-changing monthly promotions,” Paul said. “Our support staff keeps our salon operations running smoothly and they add that extra measure of service that clients appreciate. It’s the many personal touches and all the little extra things that our staff does that makes an impact on our clients.”

In return for its many efforts, Paul Hyland has earned some of the most loyal clients in the county. “I think we always anticipated that we would be in business in this community for the long haul and many of the children that we trimmed up years ago have grown up, married and are now bringing their kids in for haircuts,” Paul said. “We have raised our family in Crystal Lake and so have many of our employees. Our connection to our staff and to the community has always been family-driven.

“We feel that the support of McHenry County residents has been truly remarkable,” he added. “There is no other place on this planet where we would want to run our business.”

For the long term, the Hylands’ continued focus remains offering great service, engaging with the community, and continuing to improve and evolve as new products and service opportunities become available, they said.

For more information, call 815-455-0780 or visit


Sidebar: ‘A Comforting Respite’

Harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin, muscles and joints. There is no better way to rejuvenate than to enjoy a session at the spa. Not only are Paul Hyland’s winter spa services a comforting respite from winter, but they yield results long after each session.

“A great winter service that will make an immediate impact is a makeover service,” Shelly said. “Our esthetician applies makeup and educates clients about makeup techniques that will enhance each client’s skin tones and features. We carry Grafton Cosmetics and Mineral Mine lines, which are healthy, mineral-based product lines that are paraben-free.”

Another popular winter service is the one-hour spa pedicure that includes a relaxing foot soak, skin exfoliation, moisturizing treatment, warm towels, lower leg-foot massage and nail polish application.

The newest rave in the nail room is the Shellac manicure service.  “Shellac is a revolutionary hybrid polish that is applied like nail polish, UV cured and lasts for two weeks,” Shelly said. “Shellac is available in 12 shades including French white, pretty pink, reds and dramatic darker shades.”

Facials are another wonderful way to combine pure relaxation with a targeted treatment that will improve the look and feel of skin. “Our estheticians have received advanced training at the International Dermal Institute and tailor the facial treatment to address the client’s specific skin type and skin issues,” Shelly said. “We use professional strength skin care products from Dermalogica, which are also available in retail sizes for continuing home care.”

Research shows winter weather can not only damage skin, but cause seasonal affective disorder (SAD). “Therapeutic massage is one of the best ways to help alleviate SAD,” Shelly said. “Our licensed massage therapists are well versed in several massage therapy techniques including the relaxation-oriented Swedish massage, sports massage, deep tissue massage, trigger point and hot stone massage.”

The “Fassage” is a unique treatment that combines a facial and massage. “This carefully choreographed service includes the skin-rejuvenating benefits of a targeted facial service as well as the relaxing, therapeutic benefits of a massage,” she said.

For those looking for a quick pick-me-up at a nice price, Shelly suggests mini spa services such as paraffin dips, MicroZone facial treatments, eye rescue, and half-hour massages and facials.

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