Every week we highlight an Inspirational Adelady. A woman in Adelaide kicking arse in one way or another.
Today though, I’d like to acknowledge someone who has been inspiring me every day since the moment I opened my eyes for the first time thirty-four years ago. He’s the man who cut my umbilical cord (and my hair) — my beautiful Dad, Wayneo!
This week is a huge week in my Dad’s life and a BIG change is about to happen that will affect hundreds of women across Adelaide. My dad, after fifty years in hairdressing, is retiring. I’m not kidding when I tell you women have been leaving Montage Hairdressing this month, in tears.
You see, he isn’t just a man who cuts hair. He’s a brilliant hairdresser and a friend and a counsellor to his clients — some who have been having their hair cut by him for forty-eight years!
Can you imagine? Being with the same hairdresser for almost five decades! How would you cope when they retire?
Dad has always been a lover of women with short hair. Obviously he only has eyes for my mum, but like Edward Scissorhands, he has the ability to make anyone look amazing and feel fantastic with a funky short hair-do.
He even tested it out on me when I was five. Yes, while ALL my other five-year-old friends had cute piggy tails, I was sporting a pixie-style haircut. I looked like a 35 year old mum! I hated it at the time, but looking back — I bloody well rocked it!
Dad started hairdressing at fifteen and opened his own salon, Hair Factory in Hindley Street, with his best friend Tony when he was 23. They expanded into the Rundle Mall Sportsgirl building in 1977, running a state of the art salon with over twenty staff members.
He was the IT girl/ boy of Adelaide.
He’s travelled all over Australia teaching and demonstrating haircutting techniques as well as attending advanced cutting courses both interstate and overseas, and has been an inspiration to many young aspiring hairdressers. He’s proof that no matter what profession you choose to follow, if you have enormous amounts of passion, you’ll kill it!
He created Montage Hairdressing on Glen Osmond Road in 1983 and then moved to Burnside Village in 1990. He sold the business to his star staff member, Emma, seven years ago and has continued to work and mentor there until this week.
Hairdressing aside, anyone who has met my dad is instantly his friend. I’m not just saying this because I’m his daughter but he’s one of those rare exceptional people. In a forty-five minute appointment, he’s somehow solved all of his client’s life problems.
Dad is one of those super passionate people who followed his dreams. At the beginning of his career, he wrote a letter to Vidal Sassoon, asking for advice on how to make his hairdressing dreams come true — Vidal wrote back. As in the-most-famous-hairdresser-in-the-world Vidal Sassoon! Yep, pretty cool!
Wayneo is the most positive, loud, funny and caring man I’ve ever met. Even when going through the darkest of times when he lost his brother ten years ago and again even more so when we lost my big brother four years ago, he still managed to go back to work a few weeks later, with a smile on his face and a broken heart, and made everyone around him feel great.
At sixty-five, he surfs every weekend and when there’s no swell, he’s going on three hour treks through the Adelaide Hills with my super hot mum. He’s more fit than most men MY age!
Dad, on behalf of your family, the Montage girls and all your clients, YOU ROCK! There will be a lot of women who will be lost without you after your final haircut, but I’m SO lucky to have you as my Dad… and personal hairdresser… and psychologist… and friend… and best “Pa” to my kids, forever.
Today you’re MY Inspirational Adelad! Thanks for making so many people feel great for so many years!
Hayley (Hoola) xx