By Hayley Pearson

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!

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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

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Hayley Pearson

Hayley Pearson

Co-Creator and Writer for Adelady, she still gets goosebumps that she’s combined her creative passion with sharing the best of her stunning home state.

8 Comments

  • narelle says:

    Congrats on retiring Wayne. And everything Hayley said is so so so true. You are 1 of the most kindest, coolest and loveliest men I know. You remind me of my dad except for the fitness – hehe, love you always xx. Ps, wish id got a final haircut in, woulda gone short fir ya Wayneo- melbs just a little far xx xx

  • jacqui merchant says:

    Hair hair!

  • Erica says:

    I feel so privileged to have worked for your dad!! Thank you for all you taught me Wayne and congratulations on retirement.
    Erica

  • Scott Pearson says:

    I remember Wayne’s hairdressing a little different than most people, ya see… I was his first hair cut victim (and little brother.)
    My long golden locks of that era were, cut, curled, coloured and clipped into crazy styles .. many times while I was tied to the chair.
    Having an apprentice hairdresser in the family is a scary thing, lucky I was bald when my daughter followed her Uncle Wayne into the profession.
    I have been involved with all of Wayne’s salons as his electrician which helped with making the just electrocuted – frizzy hair style look popular during my apprentice years of the early 70’s. Haaa (just joking)
    Anyway with many of our older family members now departed it’s left to me to say how proud we Pearson’s are and have always been of my amazing big brother.
    Love you Mate..xxx

    Scott (Rudie) Pearson.

  • Gaye parslow says:

    Beautiful words Hayley of one gorgeous guy who we love dearly and are soo blessed to have him as our friend. You have said it all.he is AMAZING !! Enjoy retirement Waggles Loads of Love Gaye and Steve xooo ?

  • Terry & Leanne Brock says:

    Congratulations on your retirement, Wayne! We can just imagine the amazing adventures you and Rosalie have planned now. Hopefully, Brisbane will be one of them. We are so lucky to have known you for the last 39 years. All the best, Terry & Leanne Brock.

  • David Malpas says:

    Tony cut my hair way back in the Hair Factory days and I stayed a client of his for years until returning to Wayne’s Montage. I have been living overseas for many years but still consider Wayne a friend. Congratulations on retiring!

  • Heather Watson says:

    Dear Hayley

    I am one of Wayneo’s clients who will be crying this coming Thursday. Wayne has been cutting my hair for around 35 years. I celebrated his career last week with a glass of bubbly at the salon, but the emotions probably won’t kick in until this week.

    He is most definitely all of those things you said about him and more. We laughed, solved the world’s problems and I listened to his corny jokes.

    I believe that people who cut hair are born with that talent that hairdressing school refines. There are a million hair salons, probably in Adelaide alone, however there aren’t too many who have hair cutters / stylists as talented as Wayne.

    Enjoy your Dad and maybe you could do him a favour…let him give you a super groovy pixie cut and make his day. You have a beautiful face, it’s a shame to hide it under long hair.

    Love and best wishes to you both
    Heather Watson

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