Hair and Harlow is a – now multi-location – example of the power of social media in building hairdressing success. Truly a millennial hair salon, the space started as a joint business venture between co-owners Amy Zikic and Justine Snelgrove, who started off with two chairs each in the back of a beauty salon with no signage on the front. That was a mere three years ago, and in their very quick rise up the ranks the duo now boasts two freestanding salons – one in their original Wollongong and a newly launched Surry Hills, Sydney location –, as well as an education program, near 20 staff, a sizeable client list and almost 65,000 Instagram followers. The trajectory is clearly pointing north.

“It started as a really small salon in the back of a beauty space in Wollongong,” Amy and Justine explain in their own words. “We didn’t even have a salon name for that matter, we started small and ran both of our Instagram pages, and we ended up with 180 people on our waiting list, even without signage out the front. So we thought we better make a statement here and actually do something. We decided to build the brand together and that’s when we created Hair and Harlow.”

Their recent expansion into the Sydney city was inevitable, with a sold out client list and patrons travelling from Sydney to their Fairy Meadow, Wollongong location for an appointment. That’s a roughly two hour journey, for the geographically uninitiated, an impressive distance for clients to trek for a hair appointment, when online shopping, social media communication and at-home downloads prove this generation hate going far for anything, at all.

The pair was offering something worth the mileage – namely esteemed colour corrections and free hand colour work, creative colour and creative toning, and massive haircut and colour transformations, all documented on their ever-growing social media presence. Consumers would find the salon mid-scroll, and figure the results were worth the distance.

“We decided to crack into the Sydney market while we’re buzzing and our Instagram market is going through the roof,” the pair said, of the Sydney salon’s April launch. “The Surry Hills build has been going for months and we’re really excited, we can’t wait to see what happens. It’s a breath of fresh hair for us.”

Beyond their famous cut and colour work, the salon offers premium products (mostly under the Haircare Australia banner, with Lakmé colours and Olaplex building their colour work, and evo on the shelves, next to Oribe and R+Co) and a cohesive team – 13 staff members in Wollongong and 6 in Sydney, with some moving between the two. For their part, Amy and Justine will be alternating weeks, now that they’ve spent the last couple of months in Sydney ensuring the new space is established.

The two businesses are definitively connected and loom as the first two spaces of a bona fide burgeoning salon chain. They share a modern, industrial, earthy aesthetic, but each have their own unique identity. Of course, Amy and Justine’s incomparable shared vision defines each location, and the two spots share the Instagram following that gave the business its initial (and ongoing) fame.

Their Instagram feed chronicles a multitude of hair journeys, showing before and after shots that end in aspirational blondes, brunettes and the occasional bright hue (pink, as we know, is trending. The ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ for these hair stories are in the hundreds, and sometimes thousands. You can see how clients were drawn to the images, and then the salon itself, no matter its location.

Beyond their commitment to clients, Hair and Harlow are intrinsic to the industry, sharing their own education initiative to aid other hairdressers and salon owners. The program focuses on freehand colour, salon techniques and business acumen. Workshops and Look and Learns are hosted in salon, giving other businesses the opportunity to learn from their success.

We’re sure there are a fair few relieved Sydney clients who no longer have to brave the distance and the traffic up to Wollongong to earn a new look and their coveted spot on the Hair and Harlow Instagram feed – and some Wollongong patrons happy to see the back of the Sydney clients stealing their valuable appointment times. With an upwards course and a well-rounded, new-age approach to running a salon, look out and listen up for Hair and Harlow.

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