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DuWayne's Salon

Three generations of family members continue the hair styling business started by DuWayne Nelson at DuWayne's Salon on Madison's North Side. Pictured in the salon last week are, from left, Cindy Strohbusch, Terri Nelson, Renee Nelson, Haley Strohbusch and Steve Nelson.

A visit to the hair salon has changed since 1957 when DuWayne Nelson began his career. DuWayne’s Salon has changed right along to keep up with the times.

“We want everyone to feel a member of the salon ‘family,’” said DuWayne’s son, Steve Nelson. “We serve warm cookies daily, fresh lemonade in the summer and hot chocolate in the winter.”

The staff also makes “baby’s first haircut” a salon event providing a picture, a certificate and the keepsake hair.

Nelson’s father was born and raised on a dairy farm in Dodgeville. After his high school graduation, he briefly worked at Bowman Dairy before serving in the armed forces.

“When he returned from service, he attended cosmetology school and began his career in 1957 at House of Leonard’s Salon, downtown Madison,” said Nelson.

DuWayne purchased the salon in 1959 and went on to open seven salons in Madison with a partner.

Eventually, DuWayne focused on just two salons, one on Rimrock Road, which closed in 1994, and the current location.

The first DuWayne’s Salon was located in the back of Kappel’s Clock Shop on Sherman Avenue. The salon moved to North Sherman Avenue in a former PDQ store and in 1996, moved to the current location.

DuWayne died in 1994 after suffering a stroke. He received several hair styling awards and served as the only three-time president of the Wisconsin Hairdressers and Cosmetology Association.

Steve joined the business after graduating from American Beauty College on University Avenue in 1978.

“I’m happy I chose this path because I’m now a day-maker,” he said. “I strive to make every guest leave the salon with a smile on their face and a laugh in their heart.”

Steve’s sister Terri Page attended American Beauty College and is a full-time stylist at the shop. Steve’s daughter Renee Nelson is the front desk coordinator and IT support.

His sister Cindy Strohbusch is the building cleaning supervisor and her daughter Haley Strohbusch is the receptionist. Eight stylists/technicians and six support team members work in the shop.

DuWayne’s Professional Building, located on the North Side, is evolving into a health and wellness center. The center currently includes massage, yoga, a psychiatric group and a soon to be added electrolysis and eyeliner tattooing artist.

Said Nelson, 53, “We share a family-friendly environment and work to make each and every guest leave our salon looking and feeling better than ever before.”

In the Family Business appears on the first Tuesday of each month. To suggest a business to feature, contact Jill Carlson at

In the Family Business appears on the first Tuesday of each month. To suggest a business to feature, contact Jill Carlson at