Hi, I’m Laurie, (pronounced Law-ree)
I am the owner and head stylist at Salem Hair Co. in Waiwhetu, Lower Hutt. (Salem is pronounced Say-lim, like the cat and the city.)
I started hairdressing in 2007. After deciding university wasn’t for me, my mum said to me, “Well that’s all well and good, but you’d better not think you’re going to sit around here and do nothing. You’d better either get a full time job or find something else you would like to study.” Or something like that anyway. While that is not a very romantic story of how my love affair with hair started, it is at least the truth.
I started my training at Weltec in Alicetown as a full time student, it was a great way to start as we had a group of amazing hairstylists as our tutors who came from many different backgrounds. The course was a lot harder than I expected, the practical side of things didn’t come naturally to me at first but rather than give up, as over 50% of my classmates did that year, I chose to work really hard and do the best I possibly could (I was paying to be there after all!). I graduated first year with not only a Certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Services, a Certificate in Salon Support and a job at one of the most prestigious salons in Lower Hutt at the time but also the ‘Most Diligent Student’ of 2007 award.
I continued with my training as an apprentice and I was lucky enough to be trained by some of the most talented hairdressers I’ve ever met, many of whom I’m still friends with today, who were themselves trained at some of the best salons in Wellington City and Auckland (including Servilles training academy). Toward the end of 2008 I was encouraged (read: forced) to enter the NZARH Wellington Regional competition in 3 of the apprentice categories: Night Style, Men’s Cut and Women’s Cut. I came out that day with a 1st place in the night style category and a whole new view on competitive hairdressing. I made the decision that I wouldn’t be entering another competition (and I haven’t, so as it stands I still have a 33% track record of winning, which I’m pretty happy with!). I got a pretty cool trophy for this one, which is still sitting in the window at the old salon (LOL).
In 2009 I was offered the opportunity to further my career and join the team at ZoneHair as a self-employed (rent a chair) stylist. It was a pretty scary thing for me to do, I like to play it safe when it comes to big life decisions but in the end it felt like the right choice to make. I’m a big believer in following my instincts and carpe diem (also karma, but that’s another story). I would like to go back in time and pat 19 year old Laurie on the back because that was the best decision I think I’ve ever made and I haven’t regretted it even once. While working here I gained my National Certificate in Hairdressing.
In 2013 I was given the chance to work alongside the then hairdresser of the year, with her team of expert stylists, and proteges at a photo shoot in Auckland. I helped out for the whole day, doing things from ‘making wind’ to holding bobby pins, gluing in temporary extensions to having the chance to work with a model for myself who would be in the photo shoot. I had a great day and it was an amazing experience I feel lucky to have had but it reaffirmed to me that I am not made to be part of that competitive world. I’m not in it to show off, I just want to make people feel good, and leave my chair with beautiful hair.
Late 2014 I started to get itchy feet and began thinking about what was next. Conveniently not long afterward an old salon around the corner from where I live closed down and then before I knew it I was signing a lease! I had 6 weeks from that day to get everything organised and 3 weeks to get it open once I got the keys. It was a lot of hard work but as of the 24th of March 2015 I now have a really cool little space where I have free reign to learn, discover, play and create in any way that I like.
The longer I work, the more interested I am in colour work, chemicals and the technical aspect of everything. I am obsessed with knowledge and every time I go on a course, study toward a new certificate, hear about a new technique, product or tool, I have a list of questions to ask, a never ending amount of googling, pinteresting and YouTube video watching to do and then I probably need to buy or do said thing to try it for myself. My poor mannequin heads.. My thirst to know everything (and my search for the perfect products) never seems to be quenched but I think I’m lucky, I think I’m a better hairdresser for it.
Through this blog (which I can’t promise to update consistently, but I am going to try!) I’m hoping I can impart some of my knowledge to you and help you get the best from your colours, cuts, products and styling equipment.
Thanks for reading that rather large intro!
Level 3 certificate in Hairdressing and Beauty Services
Level 5 certificate in Hairdressing (Professional Stylist)
Vero Color Certification
…and along every other course certificate I have in my arsenal, about 7000 hours of googleing and youtubing and hair geeking out!!