The iconic Headcase Hair salon in Sydney is open once again after a renowned renovation that fused together core tenets of its salon DNA through inspirational design – haircare, wellness, fashion and art.
“John Pulitano 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,” explained co-founder Vincent Nobile. “From the cities we worked in, the fashion shows and photos hoots, and the health retreats we rested at, as well as all the people we met and built relationships with along the way. We wanted this new salon space to be a reflection of our journey, multi-layered and truly one of a kind.”
The space on Oxford Street has been reborn thanks to interior designer Amanda Talbot of Studio Stoop, who is the ex Associate Editor of British ELLE Decoration & Home, Editor of Livingetc and who has designed Bert’s Newport, FRED’S and The Paddington. Amanda specifically designs for the spirit, environment and people, rather than fickle trends, prioritising a warm, comfortable and inviting energy over all else.
“We liked the fact that Amanda had never worked on a salon before ours,” explains 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.”
The space was built with the passion of all three collaborators, not just for the design and artistic process but also for more specific details, such as earthy materials, artisanal and bespoke finishes, the blending of old and new and feature pieces from antique dealers.
“It was so nice working with Vince and John. Their deep knowledge of hairdressing and their functional needs of a salon was really awesome to learn about,” Amanda said. “They definitely wanted to create a new experience for clients and challenge what is expected of a hairdressing salon. They care deeply for their staff and clients and wanted a space that would celebrate them and make them feel good having visited.”
This manifested in design through uplifting putty pink walls, made with a natural Japanese plaster called Otsumigaki that absorbs toxins from the air while creating a beautiful textured finish, as well as amber-specked terrazzo floors contrasted with luxurious jewel-green marble, custom leather-lined walnut joinery and aged brass finishes. Additionally, natural light shines through floor-to-ceiling arched windows, looking out onto a sandstone-framed courtyard.
The salon is also modern and technologically savvy, with a custom moulded bench that accommodates 20 fully reclining Shiatsu Air Massage Italian chairs and extra-large basins for a top-tier cleansing service. Moreover, reverse cycle air conditioning with an air intake system constantly brings fresh, filtered air from the outside in, which is a first of its kind in any Australian salon.
“We took a holistic approach to design, much like we do to hair care,” John explained. “We are a high fashion salon, but our years of experience is in hair rejuvenation. Take the walls for instance. They were 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.”
“Curves are a reoccurring theme throughout the shop, there are no sharp corners anywhere. When you look out into the courtyard you’ll see five big antique Chinese planters which house a particular breed of Jade tree,” Vincent added.
Headcase Hair has been an industry stalwart since 1997 in Paddington, Sydney, fusing John’s well-known talents in fashion and editorial style and cut and Vincent’s skills in designer colour, joined by their dual passion and inimitable team. Headcase Hair is fuelled by education, innovation and artistry. John has been a regular backstage at fashion weeks in New York, Paris, Milan, London and Sydney in his multi-decade career, while Vincent has led global colour education across the world. The team now also offer their own haircare products online, the culmination of so much haircare and industry knowledge and understanding. This renovation provides that necessary next step in their never-ending ascent.
“We’ve drawn inspiration from modern cities as well as health retreats, fashion shows and nature,” Vincent explained. “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.”
“History is a big thing from us – there is the hanging tapestry that greets you as you enter, acquired from a mansion in Brussels. 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,” John added.
Congratulations to this unstoppable duo on their inspiring new space – a constant reminder that hair, art, fashion and design are truly entirely intertwined.
For more information visit www.headcasehair.com.au