Everyone is educating someone at the moment, but who is educating the educator? It was this question that inspired us to create the QUE Academy. We wanted to address the specific needs of the educator.

Monique McMahon, QUE Colour

One of Australia’s most sought after colourists, Monique McMahon knows a thing or two about hair.

It would come as no surprise thus for the QUE Colour Director and Christophe Robin Educator to set up her own educational platform, most recently launching the QUE Academy Colour Series; a three part colour workshop developed with both the salon and freelance educator in mind.

Having trained alongside a plethora of industry greats (think Christophe, Renya and the houses of Vidal Sassoon and Jacques Dessange respectively) whilst transforming the tresses of countless doting clients, Monique is no doubt equipped for the task; a creatively ambidexterous tour-de-force in her very own right.

One scroll through her vibrantly hued instagram feed and you’ll no doubt be rushing for the phone.

TJ: Tell us about yourself.

MM: I’m the Owner and Colour Director of QUE Colour and a National Educator for Christophe Robin.

TJ:  What first drew you to the hair industry?

MM: My family is in hairdressing. My mother is a hairdresser, and so was my grandmother; it was a natural fit!

TJ: Talk us through a day in the life of Monique McMahon.

MM: I’m typically in the salon three-to-four days a week; working on the floor, administering colour for clients and managing a team of nine hairdressers. Other days I’m in the office handling the business backend or out on the field educating for Christophe Robin and Wella. My days are quite varied; it’s funny how life can take you through so many different platforms in such a short amount of time.

TJ: Tell us about the new QUE Academy Colour Series.

MM: Our new three-part series is really for the Salon Educator and the Freelance Educator; that’s where everyone seems to be sitting at the moment. Everyone is educating someone at the moment, but who is educating the educator? It was this question that inspired us to create the QUE Academy. We wanted to address the specific needs of the educator.

TJ: How is the course structured?

MM: We’ve set it up to encompass varying levels for different educators. There’s a two-part series within each workshop. The morning session is all about getting that creative drive, stimulation and lingo; enhancing your confidence in speech and presenting, plus all the important skills you need as an educator. The afternoon session is a bit more technical. Students who want to get their hands dirty can come for the whole day, and partake in actual colour application. We’re also throwing in a middle segment for business owners in which an admired industry leader will direct a discussion covering how they started, where they are now, how they branded their shops, how they turned education into profit etc. We are really targeting all areas of the profession; catering to salon owners, educators and freelancers looking to expand their repertoire.

TJ: How are you catering to the needs of freelance hairstylists/educators?

MM: Freelancers are everywhere; whether they work within a salon environment and receive motivation from a team or are operating solo. The program is a great opportunity for freelancers to learn concrete techniques, ideas, formulas, lingo, speech presentation, and explore an array of skills. The hairdressing landscape is changing; brands aren’t driving the artists – artists are driving the brands. You can now have two or three different brands on your salon floor and work/grow comfortably with them. There is a lot of space for freelancers to explore and experiment with different brands at the same time.

TJ: What’s up first on the QUE Academy agenda?

MM: We’re so excited to present our ‘Foil like a Boss’ class this June. Foiling has most definitely made a comeback, so it’s important for hairdressers to learn how to do it in a timely manner; this is what we will be focusing on throughout the workshop. An interesting part of the class will be the section on painting hairlines; we’ve been doing a lot of hairline bleaching at the moment and clients are loving it! This technique leaves your hairline naturally light for about six months. Brunette clients can also benefit from a hairline bleach; it’s all about toning it back down to an appropriate shade. We’ve had a great response thus far!

TJ: On the subject of colouring trends and techniques, where do you typically source your inspiration?

MM: People are a great source of inspiration. Being on the salon floor is a great creative driver, I’m always observing different fashions (often walking past the street!) and am constantly in tune with the demands of our clients. Our clientele are top tier, and can be quite specific with their demands – that’s what drives us to continually experiment with new trends and techniques.

TJ: Tell us about your recent trip to Paris.

MM: I love Paris! I’m very lucky to be able to work alongside Christophe Robin. In his Paris salons, they use hand painting rather than foils; that’s where I get a lot of my inspiration. I draw a lot of my motivation from him and his team; healthy hair is very important for them (and the French in general) and they have so much access to hair powders, brands and utensils. Being in Europe itself; just walking the streets there… I can never describe that feeling I get when I am in Europe. It’s something incredibly different…

QUE Academy’s Colour Series kicks off with the ‘Foil like a Boss Workshop’ (featuring Paloma Rose Garcia and Jenae Hinwood) on Sunday 29th July. Places are limited, so be sure to visit to secure your spot.