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Profile: Chilli Couture X Natulique

Rachel Walker is a hairdressing figure to inspire you – with Chilli Couture Pure Hair Intelligence as her salon brand in Western Australia, the incredible work she does leading Mr Walker’s Wiggery and a partnership with Natulique that puts sustainable and healthy hair technology where it should be – at the forefront.

Meet Rachel Walker, a hairdresser with three decades of experience who has touched every facet of the salon industry. Rachel’s extensive resume lists her as the salon owner and director of Chilli Couture Pure Hair Intelligence, which she has owned for nine years, as well as the leader of Mr Walker’s Wiggery, which, impressively, sees her personally make custom wigs for people with medical hair loss. Her wiggery work necessitates extreme talent and compassion, where she uses her unique wiggery skills as a force for good, after extensive training in New York under in this difficult endeavour.

“I’ve been working as a hair extension specialist for many years and I have a large clientele that wear wigs, so I’ve been looking after them and the maintenance and repair of their wigs for a long time,” Rcahel explained. “Then, over the years, as you build relationships with clients, unfortunately, a lot of new clients will end up suffering from medical-related hair loss, such as going through cancer and chemotherapy, and subsequent hair loss, or being exposed to people with alopecia.”

“I have always used hair pieces to try to assist them in buying wigs, but was very, very frustrated with the low quality of what was available. I just realised that I just wanted to make the whole experience better for them and give them something that was really personally tailored to them. I decided that the next level of what I could offer for my clients, who are going through that kind of really traumatising experience, was to be able to create something for them.”

Rachel’s commitment to doing good for her clients, those in need and the planet at large extends beyond her wiggery business, and her salon partnership with Natulique facilitates sustainability and environmental matters that speak to her own personal values.

“We are a 100 per cent vegan salon and we are completely committed to sustainability, low toxicity exposure to beauty products, whilst still giving a exceptional level of high-end fashion-based personal service and hairdressing services,” Rachel said. “It’s really important to me that I’m able to provide a sustainable option for my clients and my staff and that fits in with my personal ethos. So, having the Natulique colours that are ammonia-free, 100 per cent organic and biodegradable, which are so much less toxic on the skin, provide an option for people who have allergies to hair colour. As well as that, it’s still a beautiful product, and reliable, and wonderful to use, which is really important to me.”

Other facets of Natulique are critical for Chilli Couture, such as the fact that they’re not tested on animals and are paraben and sulphate-free. The salon is a proud Sustainable Salon, recycling all their waste, including hair waste, and having a very purposeful approach to lowering their carbon footprint.

“We’re responsible in reducing our impact on the planet and the environment and being an ethical business leader because I think it’s up to businesses, and it’s up to the consumers, to change the world that we live in. And that’s what I’ve been able to do and mould my business into my own personal ethos of treading gently on the planet. So, that’s what gives that business the edge,” Rachel said. “We also are really committed to being fashion leaders, doing very high quality work, being really creative, exposing our clients to the creative side of hairdressing, which is why we do so many photo shoots and we enter so many competitions. And that also gives my staff the ability to spread their passion and allow their creative side of themselves grow as well.”

From a business perspective, the brand allows Rachel and her staff to easily educate their clients on the necessity of sustainable, non-toxic products, which are also paired with their high quality work. It also opens them up to a new market, where clients search for salons that can provide that option for them.

Natulique also emboldens the salon as a fashion epicentre, recently partnering with them on a bold editorial shoot on their latest collection, and offering then free rein in creative direction to truly decide the artistic aesthetic of the images.

“One thing the brand wanted us to show how different Natulique could be and how it truly does fit into the Australian culture as well. We wanted it to be light and fresh and young. We used models that were non-gender identified and we just really wanted it to express how we, as a salon, have evolved into a younger generation and how Natulique, as a colour company, is also a really young company that crosses all boundaries as well. We wanted it to be really light and happy and fun in the way that it felt as a collection because there’s so much imagery, which is deep and dark and angry. We wanted really to look at it and have something that made you smile.”

Whether it’s fashion, hair, sustainability or philanthropy, look to Rachel and Natulique as your comprehensive salon role models.

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