By Mary N. DiZazzo


Ciao bella,

My first hair appliance was made by Conair. In my years as a professional cosmetologist, Iíve come to own electric hair curlers, blow dryers and curling irons ... all by Conair, an innovative company that developed quality tools for the consumer and professional.

So, it is with great sadness to announce the passing of Leandro Rizzuto, co-founder of Conair, this past December. He was a man who deeply loved people and his company.

As a great leader, teacher, and mentor, he always encouraged the people around him to do better and to do greater things than they thought they could do.

Leandro's father Julian founded the business in 1959 as Continental Hair Products, Inc. Julian invented the "machine-less perm wave," which was a chemical process that replaced electric curlers for a while. After a fire on the premises of his salon (which was underinsured) in New York City, he was left to restart his business with an improved, fast-drying hair roller he had invented. Lee sold his Cadillac to pave the way to success in just a few years. His company invented curling irons, blow dryers (pistol whip style), hot combs and, in 1973, acquired Ethical Personal Hair Products, Ltd., then becoming Conair Corp. He also acquired the liquid end of the business, selling Jheri Redding products, including shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products.

Leandro took over the once floundering business and built this amazing empire. Today, Conair has become a leading manufacturer of nationally branded personal and healthcare appliances as well as kitchen appliances.

Leandro will be truly missed; however, his legacy lives on in our everyday lives!

Buona Giornata and God Bless the USA!

Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull

Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or