Hairstylist Jon Charles Pfau was once the talk of the town for his Blow Dry Bootcamps, teaching women how to tame their locks into sleek, shiny style.
His namesake salons in Uptown and Wayzata have closed in recent years and he has partnered with boutique MartinPatrick3 and established Marty’s Barbershop in the North Loop.
On March 16, Pfau, 57, died of natural causes after a series of health issues, his wife said.
Jill Pfau, his wife of 33 years, described him as someone who had it all: a son and a daughter, two young grandchildren whom he adored, many protégés whose careers he nurtured and, as someone who loved women, a profession built on having fun around them.
“If you talk to someone who knew him, everyone loved him, everything about him,” she said. “He was the most caring and generous man I have ever met in my life.”
Many echoed his wife’s admiration on social media and other online tributes. A celebration of his life was held April 7 at the Medina Ballroom, where attendees were asked to feel free to wear a rock ‘n’ roll t-shirt, scarf or something orange in his honor.
The hairstylist was an innovative marketer, “colorful, effusive and always full of new ideas,” said Martin Keller, publicist for his salons.
Pfau offered a promotion during the 2008 financial crisis to reduce the price of a service by the same percentage lost in a client’s 401(k).
“It was an extremely successful campaign that he did,” Keller recalled. “He even did the evening news with Katie Couric.”
Pfau, of Plymouth, was born in South Dakota on July 20, 1964. His family moved to St. Cloud when he was a child.
After getting a great haircut during his teenage years, Pfau decided the beauty industry was the right career for him. He never looked back.
He was director of Rocco Altobelli salons for nine years, starting in 1984. Then Pfau launched Urban Retreat and ran it for eight years, after which he launched Schmitty men’s salons.
He even had a stint in corporate America from 2001 to 2006 as art director of Best Buy’s former Eq-Life brand, spa salons and products aimed at attracting female customers.
The first Jon Charles salon in Uptown opened in 2006. A Wayzata location followed in 2009. His “Euroshine Blowdry” was popular at salons, and he offered a faster one-hour cut and color service and a half to three to meet the needs of employed women.
As Uptown’s retail environment changed, Pfau sold the salon in 2018 and focused on the Wayzata location, his wife said.
Then came the pandemic shutdown. The Wayzata Lounge closed in 2020 after attempting to reopen at limited capacity to meet COVID-19 guidelines. The salon was unable to generate enough business to offset rent and other expenses as many regulars were also quarantined out of town or were too nervous about the virus to book services, said Jill Pfau.
Before the pandemic began, Pfau had fallen and suffered a serious shoulder injury, his wife said. He sometimes worked with longtime clients at Marty’s and then iced his shoulder at home, she said. He found that he was no longer able to comb his hair for hours.
She remembers that he was always delighted with the weekly visits from their young grandchildren as he thought about the future.
Pfau is survived by his wife; children Rochelle Hoff and Maxwell; two grandchildren, six brothers and three sisters.