Cynthia D’Amico is the 4th generation of hair care professionals in her family, which has run Salon 50 on Bethlehem Pike in Chestnut Hill for 50 years. Behind her is a collection of old photos of her family members in regular portraits and practicing their trade. (Photo by Pete Mazzaccaro)

by Meredith Bernstein

After four generations and 50 years of service, Salon 90 at Nicholas & David, 90 Bethlehem Pike, carries a rich history of family and hairstyling. The D’Amico family takes great pride in its family-run business in Chestnut Hill. If you walk to the back end of the salon, you’ll see photographs of the current owner, Cynthia D’Amico, her parents, grandparents and great grandparents.

“My grandfather bought this building in 1967, and my father started here in 1969,” D’Amico said. “My grandfather’s father was a barber. That’s the four generations; Natale was my great grandfather, Nicholas was my grandfather, David was my dad, and then there’s myself. We’ve been in business for 100 years, considering my great grandfather.”

D’Amico’s father and grandfather started the original Nicholas and David Hairstyling salon in 1969. After decades of running a vibrant salon, D’Amico’s father died of cancer at the age of 61. With the heartbreaking news of her father’s passing, D’Amico decided to take over the family business and honor her father’s legacy.

“I came here when I was 29, and my dad died when I was 31,” D’Amico said. “We got to work together for about a year before he got sick. I took over when my dad died in 2004 and changed it to Salon 90 at Nicholas and David.”

D’Amico, a natural born hairstylist, always knew that she wanted to take over the salon. Owning her own business and being a hairstylist was her goal from the start.

“I just knew that this was what I wanted to do,” D’Amico said. “I was always really good at hair, and I loved fashion and makeup. If I had a Barbie doll, I’d cut all her hair off. I just was sort of a natural. It was second nature to me.”

While D’Amico traveled to London, Paris, Center City and the Main Line to master hair care, her family taught her everything she knows about how to run a successful business.

“My hairstyling knowledge came from all different people and places, but my father and grandfather taught me how to run a business,” D’Amico said. “That was important because I knew that I wanted to be my own boss. My mom ran the books after my grandfather stopped, so my mom taught me how to do the bookkeeping and how to deal with money.”

Shortly after taking over her family’s fourth-generation salon, D’Amico renovated the entire shop, including repurposing her father’s sculpture studio in the back of the salon. Now, 15 years later, D’Amico decided to create a fresh look once again. The salon is newly renovated for her customers and employees.

“I have really loyal clients, and they deserved a nice new fresh look,” D’Amico said. “We have to keep updating our space. I renovated about 15 years ago, and I renovated once more this past February. I found a great contractor to redo the shop and refreshen everything. I reused a lot. The floor is the same. The mirrors have been the same since the 60s, but I recovered benches, added new cushions, and repainted some things.”

In addition to the amazing new look of Salon 90 at Nicholas & David, the salon offers professional hair and wax services.

“We do all hair and facial waxing,” D’Amico said. “We do all of the hair care therapies and haircuts, everything from color highlighting to balayage. We’re booked solid every day. We have five stylists, three assistants, and three different desk girls.”

Salon 90 at Nicholas & David is so much more than a place of work. It’s a shop that honors traditions that started four generations ago. It’s about lessons that have been passed down from generation to generation.

“I still have a lot of [my father’s] clientele because he died so young,” D’Amico said. “They always tell me that my dad would be so proud of me, which is really nice to hear. I just hope they’re shining down. All I want is to continue their legacy.”

Salon 90 at Nicholas & David is located on 90 Bethlehem Pike. For more information, call 215-242-2888.