Mother and award winning hairdresser, Maria Unali introduces her second salon instalment, Salon Kaia in conjunction with best friend and business partner. 

Far from a subordinate sibling, and more fondly referred to as Kiin’s sister by the sea, Salon Kaia is a second hair home for multi-award-winning hairdresser Maria Unali. Together with her best friend and business partner Lee-Anne Lamanna, the now Wollongong-based duo have opened the door to a true hair haven in Sydney’s south.

Located at 58 Campbell Street Wollongong, Salon Kaia holds residence in an iconic local building in the heart of the Illawarra. Previously occupied by a reputable fashion outlet (that made a prompt pivot online during the pandemic), the local clientele are image seekers with a penchant for salt, sun and the good life.

With lifestyle the key compass for Kaia’s design, and project Kiin providing more than a solid referee, Maria and Lee-Anne enlisted the talented design team at We are Tribe to shape the space. Details include a calacatta marble colour table and matching refreshment shelves, Takara Belmont chairs in sage, Olivia Bossy unglazed ceramics, a signature Annular Pendant by MSDS and a 1960’s Tito Agnoli inspired arc lounge chair at the entry, asserting utter relaxation from the moment you step inside. And then there’s the courtyard, where natural stone, succulents and a scatter of cacti meet Italian travertine and a table for two in verde, naturally.

With a heritage steeped in Mauritian/Italian descent, Isabelle Impala provides a perfect muse for Kaia, her vibe conveying effortlessness and decadence in equal parts. Shot by Brogan Chidley at sunrise the hairstyling is understated and amplifies the natural texture for which Maria is so well known.

Add an impressive styling cohort of Kevin Murphy Stylist Scarlett Oliver, Colour Queen Megan Mcaulay, and FAME Team alumni Mandy Kingsman to the servicing staff, and Salon Kaia is certainly set to follow in the same successful footsteps as its ancestor in Sydney’s Greater West.


Follow: @salonkaia