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Salon Profile: Telleish X Lakmé

Don’t let the magnitude of their large space, 17 stylists, busy clientele and 25,000 Instagram followers fool you – Melbourne’s Telleish Hair Studio is an intimate family just as much as a destination salon. That dual focus on warmth and success made them the perfect fit for Haircare Australia, and a partnership with Lakmé has transformed the salon entirely, writes Shannon Gaitz.

Clients visit Telleish Hair Studio in South Melbourne for many of the same reasons they click follow on their Instagram page when their covetable colour and on point trends jump off their feed. However, beyond the screen, Telleish’s unique charm is in its people, as led by salon owner and director Chantelle Cowcher.

With Chantelle (known as the Telle in Telleish) at the helm, the salon welcomes a diverse clientele from all walks of Melbourne. Mothers sit in their own area so they never feel like they have to apologise for their babies, while busy workers head straight to the business hub and connect their laptops to the WiFi, with designated areas for private phone calls. As Chantelle says “the whole world is busy these days,” but a stop at Telleish is never a chore and can be integrated seamlessly into a wide variation of packed schedules.

In the salon’s new location, having just moved from the old space after 11 years, the salon is set out like a New York-style loft, with 240 square metres of space and a mezzanine area coated with glass. With natural light and relaxing soft tones, the space is a haven to clients from every facet of city life.

“We’re pretty chilled, down to earth people so we gravitate towards that type of clientele. Our biggest age group is between 21 and 60, it’s both men and women, and we’ve basically catered for everything here,” Chantelle said.

This relaxed, intimate setting is born from the salon’s family-first basis and history, connecting perfectly with their relationship with both Lakmé and its national distributor Haircare Australia.

“I started the salon with my sister twelve years ago, and then hit the five year mark and she left and had babies and got married,” Chantelle said. “I was with another multinational company and I just felt very alone and then I met the guys at Lakmé and Haircare Australia and felt like I had found my family, if that makes sense. I’m very family orientated, not just with my team but also with my family in real life, I just felt like I belonged with a young up and coming business that I felt partnered my business.”

As a salon that’s been quoted as a ‘best blonde salon’ in Melbourne through publications such as Urban List, the relationship was ideal beyond the personalities attached to it. Telleish Hair Studio is beloved for its colour, among other specialised services, and a new obsession with Lakmé changed their approach to trends, education, social media, salon skills and more.

“The Lakmé blondes and the cooler tones are one of the best to get a different type of clean, bright blonde, that’s what really transformed Telleish. When we first started producing blondes that were bright and not dull, that’s when I felt Lakmé really shifted my businesss, for sure.”

When creating these must-have blondes, Chantelle and her team have some immediate go-to formulas that they laud for that particular Lakmé touch, as well as other tools in the product arsenal that align with their brand values.

“We love the 10/22, in most companies there’s lots of 9 levels but with the 10/22, you can’t get it anywhere else as well as Lakmé. We’re also fans of the 9/60, which adds a little bit of chestnut into the blonde to soften it,” she said. “We love the crème developers, they’ve just come out with the ammonia free range which is huge for us, we’re big supporters of that. We’re 95 per cent sustainable here and big on the environment.”

Making our way through Autumn Winter, major trends such as copper hues and pastel peach supplement the blonde business and dominate Instagram, speaking to their tens of thousands of followers with a flawless finish, perfect hue and complementary style. As Chantelle explains it, every aspect of the salon service, from the product, to the skills and the eventual photography hacks, can make your social media page stand out.

“You need to get the result to take an amazing picture, so I think the shine factor for Lakmé is big for our social media,” she said. “You know when you scroll through your phone and something jumps out at you? I would say definitely the shine from Lakmé in our imagery helps that, and then also the lighting and positioning. Also it just looks like healthy hair; it has a beautiful sheen or shine to it.”

Haircare Australia emboldens its clients beyond support and product innovations, also providing education initiatives, development and opportunities to trusted partners like Telleish Hair Studio. The salon has greatly benefited from this support, with in-salon education helping even its extremely experienced staff members, as well as education opportunities to teach nationally and, last year, in the Philippines. Chantelle and her team were flown abroad to educate on colouring Asian hair, a key demographic for their salon, showcasing their penchant for blondes internationally and sharing the Lakmé love cross country. As Chantelle tells it, the salon never fails to pass up an opportunity and Haircare Australia continues to provide in that endeavour.

It’s this want to go above and beyond for their salons that made Lakmé and Haircare Australia that perfect family fit for the little salon community that is Telleish Hair Studio. While the salon continues to grow in clients, opportunities, ambitions and followers, they’ll always be the family-first salon that makes sure everyone fits right in, noted for their warmth, vibe and top-tier colour work. A little slice of heaven in South Melbourne.

Discover the world of colour possibilities @lakmecolour @haircareaust. For more information visit

Chantelle’s favourite Lakmé formulas:

10/22 for bright blondes you can’t find anywhere else.

9/60 for warm chestnuts to soften blonde finishes.

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