People are known for telling their hair dressers everything. Not only does Alfonso Gonzales get to hear everything, he sees it all, too.

From his spacious, second-story beauty salon at the burgeoning CityScape development, the 38-year-old hair dresser has miraculous views of Downtown’s newest shops, restaurants, hotels and passersby of all walks of life.

Such is a typical day of work for the well-experienced professional who’s served as owner and director of Par Exsalonce CityScape Salon and Spa since it opened last August.

With a mission to provide modern, edgy hairstyles and a plethora of services ranging from waxing, manicures, pedicures and massages, Par Exsalonce CityScape’s popularity has been rising as quickly as Phoenix’s scorching summer temperatures.

“Every month gets better and better,” Gonzales said. “For some reason, we’ve been seeing a spike in customers the last couple of weeks. I don’t know if people are just out and about more or what it is, but we’ve been getting busier and busier.”

Gonzales said being situated in a chic and urban atmosphere such as the new CityScape project is likely a contributing factor for mounting growth.

“There’s nothing else like this in Downtown Phoenix right now. It almost feels like you’re in a different city,” Gonzales said. “With the mix of restaurants and shopping, I think the energy of the area is changing. You never really got that feeling before. We’re really thrown into the mix of things.”

While location plays a significant role in the salon’s growing success, name recognition, brand, unmatched creativity and unparalleled customer service all account for a rise in business, Gonzales said.

“Customer service is huge. It’s something our Scottsdale location thrives and excels on, and it’s really something we bring here,” Gonzales said. “Our motto is to make sure everyone feels like Madonna. Just that extra touch of talking to our customers, being friendly, catering to them and giving them tips and proper recommendations will set ourselves apart in making sure people feel special.”

Education for Par Exsalonce’s commission-based stylists and beauticians is also part of the overall experience, Gonzales said. Through ongoing training and a push for creativity, his staff is able to stay on top of the hottest trends, products and services.

“We’re about being a team here and making sure we’re all on board working as a single entity with meeting customer needs,” Gonzales said.

And when it comes to the summer months, there are plenty of unique needs that need to be met, he said.

“As far as Arizona is concerned, it’s all about moisture and protecting your skin,” Gonzales said. “People like to be outside, whether it’s swimming or sun-tanning or being out and about. Because of that, we stress the importance of sun block and sun-tanning products.”

For skin care, Gonzales said he recommends an array of moisturizers and skin kits available from the Dermalogica line and sold at Par Exsalonce CityScape.

“As far as hair is concerned, it’s about making sure you take proactive measures so your hair doesn’t dry or turn green,” Gonzales said.

Par Exsalonce’s signature Desert Hydration line will provide “the correct moisture and protein” for taking care of one’s hair, he said.

Though Par Exsalonce CityScape is considered to be an upscale beauty salon, prices for products and services can be afforded by anyone from corporate executives to college students, Gonzales said. Haircuts start at $45, and Arizona State University students receive a 20 percent discount when they bring in their student identification.

“We have created a destination in Downtown Phoenix which is like none of the others,” Gonzales said.
“This is a place that promotes and allows people to feel comfortable, a place where we can educate customers on the current trends and products available out there,” he said. “Our knowledge on what is going to be good for them as a person, from massage to nail to skin to hair, is going to create an environment that will keep people coming back for more – or, if they haven’t been, to hopefully check us out for the first of many times.”

Frank Morris can be reached by email at