Cut and colour: Headcase Hair
May 5th, 2021
Hairdressers are often at the cutting edge of hair styles and trends, yet the design of their salons is often not. Studio Snoop’s makeover of Headcase Hair in Paddington, Sydney, has transformed it from stock standard to fashion forward. With earthy, natural and Mediterranean-inspired colours and materials, Headcase Hair is a layered and textured space with a calm and refreshing spa-like feel.
Headcase Hair has been a mainstay in Paddington since it opened in 1997. Twenty-three years on, founders John Pulitano and Vincent Nobile wanted to redesign the salon to reflect their brand and experience as hairdressers: the fashion shows, photoshoots, cities and health retreats in France, Italy, Mexico and Spain that have inspired them over the last two decades. They engaged Studio Snoop, led by designer Amanda Talbot.
Located on the ground floor of a Victorian-era building, the interior is long and thin, with a new rear extension that has allowed for more space and natural light throughout. Hair is coloured, cut and styled in the 20 chairs through the centre, and it is washed in the five reclining chairs in the back of the salon. These luxurious massage chairs face a series of floor-to-ceiling arched windows – reminiscent of Renaissance architecture – framing a view of the heritage stone wall. Light filters through these windows into the middle of the salon, where it was previously limited, and the natural light is enhanced by directional light above and ambient light around the circular mirrors at each client chair.
At the back of the salon, the wash area features luxurious massage chairs facing a series of floor-to-ceiling arched windows.
The colour and material palette is earthy and Italian-inspired, while also being natural to reflect Headcase Hair’s product range. While the palette is consistent throughout, a slightly different composition through the front, middle and back sections creates a subtle change in atmosphere. The entry is bright and inviting, with a green-tiled and fluted-glass reception desk catching the light through the front windows. Tactile putty-pink walls and timber joinery in the centre are warm and calming. And the rear evokes a feeling of wellness with rendered green walls that are fresh and invigorating.
The palette is also highly practical for hairdressing. Terrazzo stone floors are durable and easy to clean, and the amber-specked aggregate reduces the visual impact of cut hair. The pink walls are Otsumigaki, a natural Japanese clay and lime plaster that has a smooth and silky finish. The plaster absorbs toxins from the air, and filtered air from outside is brought in through reverse-cycle air-conditioning with an air-intake system – the first of its kind in an Australian salon.
Talbot, Pulitano and Nobile bonded over art and antiques, and wanted pieces that would double as both. Behind the reception desk is a hanging tapestry from Ukraine, acquired from a mansion in Brussels, and 1960s pendant lights over the reclining chairs are from a grand hotel in Berlin.
With its fresh new look, Headcase Hair not only represents Pulitano and Nobile’s hairdressing journey, but a contemporary and holistic approach to the design of a salon.
“ The entry is bright and inviting, with a green-tiled and fluted-glass reception desk catching the light through the front windows. Tactile putty-pink walls and timber joinery in the centre are warm and calming. And the rear evokes a feeling of wellness with rendered green walls that are fresh and invigorating.”