Stepping into the newly refurbished Headcase Hair is a phenomenon akin to magic.
A transportive, cross-continental experience – wherein the tranquil shores of the Adriatic Sea neighbour ever so politely with the buzz of Mexico City. Bathed in glorious and warming pinks, luxurious jewel-green marble and grounding earth tone accents. Where legacy meets modernity, hair meets fashion and the beautiful people gather en masse.
You can almost feel that invigorating Sicilian breeze (or Spanish – depending on your poison) as you glide over specked terrazzo floors; the afternoon sunlight gently prodding through floor-to-ceiling arch windows and beckoning visions of hair transformations present and adventures yet to transpire. All to the sound of mellow, synth beats.
A luxe European oasis in the heart of Paddington, the new look Headcase Hair was envisioned and directed by co-owners John Pulitano and Vincent Nobile – and features the remarkable design talents of industry lauded consultant, Amanda Talbot (Studio Snoop). The space thus reflects its owners shared penchant for quality, art and the exotic – coupled with an ardent desire to create a calm, welcoming space amidst the throes of city living.
“John and I opened the doors to Headcase Hair 23 years ago, and when we reflect on that journey it’s been a series of little moments that have inspired us to become the hairdressers we are today,” shares Co-Founder and Colour Director Vincent Nobile.” From the cities we worked in, the fashion shows and photoshoots, and the health retreats we rested at – as well as all the people we met and built relationships with along the way,” he continues. “We wanted this new salon space to be a reflection of our journey, multi-layered and truly one of a kind.”
A sentiment Co-Founder and Creative Director, John Pulitano shares wholeheartedly. “We liked the fact that Amanda had never worked on a salon before ours,” says John. “This forced us to completely deconstruct every inch of our existing space and rebuild it from scratch – putting hours and hours of thought and consideration into how we could make every facet function at its best.” And deconstruct and rebuild they did.
Over the course of multiple months, the trio worked tirelessly (much of the time offsite at Headcase’s Potts Point ancillary) to curate a new space that was at once warm, welcoming and of course, sartorially sound. With its dreamy, Otsumigaki crafted walls (a natural Japanese plaster that absorbs air toxins while creating a beautiful textured finish), rich, walnut joinery, mosaic accents and aged brass finishings – the space is every bit the Pinterest perfect, design lovers’ dream.
“We took a wholistic approach to design, much like we do with hair care. We are a high fashion salon yes, but our years of experience is in hair rejuvenation,” says John. “Take the walls for instance, they were finished using a Japanese plaster method called Otsumigaki, a natural clay with a silky textured finish that soaks up toxins in the air. That’s an example of using something really cool and beautiful with a greater meaning underneath it. For us, we wanted everything about the interiors to have a deeper purpose for being there.”
“We’ve drawn inspiration from modern cities as well as health retreats, fashion shows and nature,” adds Vincent. “That’s what we wanted to represent in our salon, a worldly picture made from many layers. You can see this philosophically in our services and physically in the elements from the earth. There are old-world finishes like terrazzo stone, marble and aged brass alongside modern custom-built joinery and concrete moulded benches.”
Clients can indulge in their most luxurious wash experience yet from the comfort of a custom built, reclining Shiatsu Air Massage Italian chair (we kid you not) as they gaze out into a sandstone framed courtyard embellished with Jade trees. The salon also boasts reverse cycle air conditioning with an air intake system that constantly brings fresh, filtered air from the outside in – a first of its kind in any Australian salon.
“History is a big thing from us – there is the hanging tapestry that greets you as you enter, acquired from a mansion in Brussels,” says John. “And the 1960s pendant lights in the back area sourced from a grand hotel in Berlin. That’s what we loved about Amanda. It wasn’t just ‘let’s just make everything shiny and new’ – she worked with us to tell a story with every design decision we made.”
Now excuse me while I book my next haircut.