It sounds like an odd thing to proclaim about a hair salon, but you won’t walk in and smell hair at Sueno Hair’s new location on Magill Road. “[It’s because] there’s nothing toxic in there. Even our cleaning products are low-tox,” co-owner Lia Kefalianos tells Broadsheet. “You don’t walk in [to the salon] and smell hair. I don’t mind a good old perm every now and then … I don’t mind the smell of it, but it’s not good for you.”
With co-owner and husband Jim Kefalianos, Lia recently moved her well-known salon to a new location, just across the road from the original. But while the move was only a short distance, changes to the concept have been significant. The new-look Sueno – designed by Claire Kneebone (2KW, Press Food & Wine, Paloma) – is a cross between a luxe hair salon, day spa and co-working space, with neutral colours throughout, stone-inspired walls, and thoughtful features aimed at making the environment more comfortable for visitors (including a private room for immunocompromised clients or people who feel anxious in a busy space). And the basin room offers eye masks and meditation music for a fully relaxing experience. You could easily spend an entire afternoon in the space.
“We did outgrow [the old space],” says Kefalianos. “And we bought this building, so we’ve really put a lot of time and thought into the actual build. When clients come in now, we’ve created a space where you can work from the salon … like our waiting area – if you wanted to just get your laptop out, you could work there. We’ve got a beautiful big bar as well, which you can work at while you’re having a drink and your colour’s processing.”
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The interior was inspired by history-rich towns in Europe, such as L’Aquila in Italy and the old town in Rhodes, Greece. The couch area is olive green, and all the walls are covered in microcement (a cement-based coating designed to look like concrete). “It kind of has a stone feel to it,” says Kefalianos. “When you walk in, it just has a beautiful feel.” Other details include a papier-mâché light fixture from Spain, and walnut cabinetry.
Sustainability is at the forefront of the Kefalianos’s minds, from the salon’s chairs (“They’re a brand called Maletti … they created a range called Green First, and they have a very low impact on the environment,” Lia says) to its eco-friendly infrastructure and low-toxic and chemical-free hairdressing practices. “We’ve got 30-kilowatt solar panels, so we’re close, actually, to a neutral power bill – which is pretty cool for a hair salon. And we’ve got the concrete floors and industrial glass to try to help regulate the temperature in the building.” They also recycle any old metals, hair, equipment or plastic they come across.
The salon’s brand loyalty only extends to those who are consistent with their low-toxic, environmentally-friendly ethos: brands including Original & Mineral, Dungud and Kevin Murphy. Original & Mineral creates cruelty-free products using native Australian extracts, while Dungud is a South Australian brand which uses reverse osmosis, instead of trucking in water, to reduce its carbon footprint. “The one thing we noticed was that these [other] businesses were using chemicals, and it’s not sustainable. And it really played on us, because we loved the brands and the products, and they performed amazingly,” says Kefalianos. “But we went down the road of changing brands ... I want to try to make a difference, even if it’s a small difference.”
Sueno Hair’s new salon is open now at 349 Magill Road, St Morris.