Neel Loves Curls, and curls LOVE Neel! :) I had the good fortune to meet Neel last year at a Curly Hair Artistry event and he was just a total ray of sunshine. (And clearly VERY dedicated to curly hair, as he came all the way from Australia to attend the event!) If you are in or around Melbourne, please do yourself and your curls a favor and go visit Neel! :)
How long have you been in business?
I've been in Melbourne 6 years and had my first salon for 2 years. On the 2nd of April we moved to a larger salon as we needed to expand to meet the curly hair demand!
Where are you located?
We are located at 399b Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne, 3065, VIC Australia on one of Melbourne's funkiest streets! The best bit about it is you can get your curls done and not go home and have to redo it with the way we help style the curls and the Jessicurl products! You have soft bouncy curls to sit in cafés or go shopping with!!
What made you go into the hair business?
I decided to go into the hair business because I wanted to travel and I knew I wanted a job where I could talk all day and make people happy!! Learning about curly hair was a happy accident and it because my passion/obsession!!!
What is unique about your work, what sets you apart?
A lot of hairdressers aren't trained in the art of curls and there are sadly no curly hair academys in Australia. I went to America to train in New York. Sadly a lot of hairdressers in Australia still want to straighten the curls and then cut it. That alone is a reason why my salon is so busy! I'm part of a passionate group of curly hair specialists from all over the world called Curly Hair Artistry and we share ideas and I've gone to Detroit to learn more about curls and got to hang out with Jess and learn from her about her amazing products!
If you specialize in curly hair, what made you adopt that focus?
I started to learn more about curly hair in 2005 when I was in Sydney and then had such a lovely reaction from clients that I decided that I enjoyed cutting them more. In 2013 I trained in America (I've been a few times now!) and I decided that I didn't want to cut straight hair anymore and I was getting so busy that regular straight haired clients didn't want to wait 2 months for a cut! So many people kept recommending me that I thought “I want to have my own salon dedicated to curls!!" I opened my first salon in 2014 by myself and now we have a wonderful team of 3 with myself, Jo, and Christine tending to the curls of Melbourne. People are so happy to see a sign up in the window saying CURLY HAIR ONLY and WELCOME CURL FRIEND!!!
What changes have you seen in relation to curly hair in the last 10 years?
People are so much better educated about their curls in the last 10 years. When I arrived in 2010 I was having to educate every single client about no sulphates/no silicones and not using a normal towel on your delicate curls (I was also still learning myself!) Books teaching you about curls and YouTube tutorials have been a great help!! Melbourne is a pretty cool city so it's not uncommon to see people rocking their natural hair!
How did you first hear about Jessicurl?
I heard about Jessicurl from a lovely client called Janet. I would ask clients to bring in products they liked using to the salon I was working at as I wanted to see what was out there. (I wanted to be totally sulphate/silicone free and no one else was doing that in Melbourne back then)! I'd wanted to start my own salon to create a safe space for curls. Jessicurl was very kind and gave us a box to experiment with and their tutorials helped us work out which product to use for each curl type!
How long have you been carrying Jessicurl?
We have been using Jessicurl for 2 years now and Spiralicious is our bigger seller. But I love the Aloeba Daily Conditioner too as it really helps with fine curls!
What sets Jessicurl apart from other lines, curly or otherwise?
Jessicurl isn't that well known in Australia yet, but thanks to our clients talking on curly hair blogs it's starting to be very well known in the curly hair community! There isn't any other product here that is so versatile for each different type of curl! Clients rave about it!!
As you can see, your curls will be in VERY good hands at Neel Loves Curls. :) Not to mention the totally awesome selection of capes you get to wear... :)