Introduce yourself, what’s your name, where are from where, do you live etc?
Hi, I’m Amanda. I am from Sydney originally and have lived in several cities/towns but am currently living in Townsville, North Queensland.
How long have you been a hairdresser, tell us a bit about your experience?
I have been hairdressing for 10 years now. I bought a hair salon before becoming a hairdresser as I thought it might be a viable way to earn a living – my initial idea was that I would be able to manage the salon, provide non-technical customer service, do make-up & attend to the marketing side of the business- but I didn’t take into account if a hairdresser was on holidays or is sick, that the salon couldn’t open. So, in my mid 40’s I decided to start an apprenticeship & become a hairdresser! My mother and cousin had been hairdressers so maybe I had it in me to do it as well. I realised really soon into starting that I loved it and as I didn’t have any stylists who did upstyles, practically the first module I did was long hair design, scary for a lot of us to have to do. I am happy to say the first bride whose hair I did and I are still good friends! Then a few months later I did hair and makeup for my daughter’s wedding party.
When did you realise you wanted to specialise in curly hair/how did you get into cutting curls?
I have loved curls since forever, even having perms in my 20’s, lol. I never really considered my own hair curly, just “this weird kink” & I didn’t know how to enhance it all, so I brushed it!
The very first young lady I had in my chair with curly hair scared me! She had the most glorious tight corkscrew curls and armed with no more knowledge than I was taught at college, I proceeded to comb her hair. At college we are taught only to make sure we don’t use too much tension when cutting curly hair as it will spring up too much. Her hair “grew” outwards and upwards and I panicked big time so I then shampooed her hair and decided to cut it wet! Ugh, I would NEVER do that now with what I know. It goes totally against the “curl-mandments”. This was the day I realised there must be someone, somewhere who knew about curly hair. Unfortunately I could not find any education in Australia, so after a lot of research, I went to New York to seek them out. I have done a couple of courses in the US, the most recent becoming a Deva Inspired Advanced Stylist, which opened up a whole new world in caring for an cutting curly hair. My ultimate goal is to be able to teach other Aussie stylists all about curly hair, but that’s another chapter. I will be attending more training in October with the Curly Hair Artistry group and am looking forward to bringing back more techniques and inspiration from this group of amazing people of curl.
What do you love about cutting/styling curly hair specifically?
There are several things I love about doing curly hair:
- It is a way for me to express creativity as cutting curly hair requires me to imagine what I want the outcome to be in the way of shape and texture.
- I love people of curl. Curly girls (and guys) are kind of different from straight-haired people. They “get” the whole idea that hair has a personality and that curly hair has many personalities. One day the curls are beautifully defined and well behaved. The next, it’s like the she-devil has taken their place!
- I love when a new client sees their curls for the first time in a really positive way. I’m sure I get as much excitement as the client does, especially when I see her huge smile
Tell us a bit about your salon and what people can expect when they visit?
I work in 2 different cities. I have my own boutique salon in Townsville that my husband had built for me at the front of our home. It’s really nice & is a fully functional hair salon. My pride and joy is my wall mural- New York of course and sometimes I think I can feel energy coming from it. I have begun to ask clients to tell me what music they want to listen to courtesy of an app I have started using. Last week we had big band from the 30’s & 40’s, disco, 90’s etc. and it is kind of cool that the client gets to choose the music. When I am not studying there are cupcakes for all, but when I haven’t had time to make those there are still yummy treats.
In Brisbane, I work from Amia Hair in Toowong the first week each month. Diane owns that salon and I really love being there as well, she and the other girls there are so welcoming.
I will do a consultation first and talk to the client about their goals & expectations for their hair. I like to find out how much time she has available to invest each day in her hair. I like the client to come in with dry hair and with as little product as possible so I can see the formation of the curl & how the hair sits naturally.
I then cut the hair, always dry, with just the scissors & my hands- no comb! A comb will drag the curls out and they will lose their shape. I really do look at working with curly hair as an art form & you need to respect curls.
Once the cut is complete, we move onto the basin for cleansing, sometimes a detox to remove silicones, the intensive lesson on moisturising and hydrating- do’s and don’ts, how to’s etc. (Probably THE most important part of the new client’s visit). I let her feel how her hair should feel when hydrated as opposed to how it would generally feel when “just” conditioned.
The next important step is talking to the client about the correct products she needs for her hair type & applying them in the right way. Finally we dry those luscious curls under a hood dryer and reveal the beauty that used to be untameable.
What your 3 biggest tips for people with curly hair?
- First & foremost a good cut is essential
- Hydration, hydration, hydration & the right products (with no silicones, sulphates & parabens) for her hair. This is essential in order to have defined curls.
- Don’t use: a terry towel, comb, brush
- And an important 4th one: Don’t straighten out of frustration. Call me, Facebook me, email me but don’t straighten.
How can people find out more about you/your salon how to book etc?
My website has before and after photos and I am always on Facebook so I will get back to you if you would like to make an appointment either in Townsville or Brisbane.