South Park Magazine

A minute with Rodger Azadganian

Inside 8, the salon owned by Rodger Azadganian and his wife, Amy Troutman.
Inside 8, the salon owned by Rodger Azadganian and his wife, Amy Troutman. The Jewel Agency

8 – the salon is one of Charlotte’s most exciting new salons, thanks to the vision and expertise of married owners Rodger Azadganian and Amy Troutman. Azadganian built up a Seattle empire of seven salons and his own product line. He’s worked on major fashion shows with designers Dolce & Gabbana, Michael Kors, and Donna Karan, and he was even chosen to transform an “Extreme Makeover” star. 8 – the salon is located in The Village at SouthPark. For more information, call 704-366-0858.

What precipitated the move to Charlotte?My wife, Amy Troutman, is from Charlotte, and we wanted to have a family. She said, “The only way is if I’m around my family!” That’s all I needed to hear. I sold my salons in 2008 and we made the move. She was a hairdresser here in Charlotte prior to Seattle, and we worked in Seattle for five years or so and then we came back here.

What’s unique about your salon and its philosophy? When people go to a salon right now and get a haircut, they generally bring in a picture or tell the stylist what they want done. What separates us from the pack is that we’re kind of like if you went to Vera Wang and said, “I want you to make me a dress.” She would measure you before she makes the dress, but 99% of stylists don’t look at bone structure. We analyze each person’s face shape and coloring. There’s a silent language that every face has and we learn to interpret that language. We come up with hairstyles that better suit the individual, that accentuate the eyes, or cheekbones, or take away from features they don’t want to accentuate.

What’s your favorite thing about Charlotte so far?Southern hospitality is absolutely alive and kicking. People here have gone out of the way to help us in a way I’ve never experienced. It sounds hokey but it’s true. And that was totally unexpected. We have had clients who have gone out of their way to tell everyone about us. Without them we wouldn’t be as successful as we are. That generosity has blown me away.

Most memorable career moment?I think the one that stands out the most is when I worked on the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show. I was working hand-in-hand with Domenico Dolce on the models, and I didn’t realize it was him. Once I realized I got really nervous and started sweating—I had been standing next to him for a couple of hours thinking he was just another stylist!