In the Chair with Cliona O'Hanlon from all Dolled Up!

From a very early age I always knew I wanted to own my business just like my father, and hairdressing happened to be the conduit. Irish hairdressers are at the forefront of our trade internationally and for such a small country, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the talent that emerges from our shores.

All Dolled Up

I’m obsessed with undone textured lob, dishevelled hair coupled with a sunkissed balayage. I don’t favour harsh, unnatural edgy cuts and colours, although I do understand their importance for freedom of personal expression, it’s just not a style that ever appealed to me.

From a haircare perspective, I think there is going to be a surge in hair exfoliation this year. KEVIN.MURPHY have a great product, MAXI.WASH, which we use to prep certain hair types for accepting chemical services. It helps to bring down the pH of the hair while closing the cuticle.

Social media is a crucial and an integral way in which we market our salon today and we have used minimal marketing campaigns outside of social media platforms. Instagram is where it is all happening. As a business, we can create a story, a mood board of our work and brand along with behind-the-scenes personalised content like instastories.

Profitable sustainability and utilising renewable resources is of utmost importance to me: from suppliers to the various operations systems I uphold in salon, all my business endeavours are
considerate of a more sustainable future for our global environment and future generations to come. I have recently become Munster’s first flagship KEVIN.MURPHY exclusive salon. Kudos to this Australian brand who, when searching the world for their ingredients, looks for companies that use micro cultivation, organic growing practices or ecologically sound harvesting techniques to ensure that the range is of the very highest natural quality. I would love to see our industry leaders begin to make more conscious choices about where our day-to-day resources come from.

I would love to see a more mindful leadership approach brought through the hairdressing business. All Dolled Up incorporates communication skills training into our education strategy along with personal self-development and affirmation modules to ensure the Mini and Midi Dolls are equipped with the confidence and the trade knowledge skill set to deal with any issue they come up against.

The hairdressing industry in Ireland needs to be more educationally formal and legally regulated than it currently is. I think it should be compulsory for every salon to have all staff trained to a minimum basic requirement as seen in other European countries. As hairdressers, we deal with chemicals that touch our clients’ skin, this should be taken into serious consideration not only for the health of the hair but for the health of the client.

The government needs to be more supportive of SME’s. They have been the lifeblood of the economy during the tough years of the recession. We are basically unpaid tax collectors for the revenue and at times can be treated appallingly and not with the integrity and appreciation we deserve. Any business that creates conscious eco-friendly systems and procedures to reduce carbon footprint should get some type of tax relief from the government. Banks could also be
mindful of the SME’s that funnelled money into the accounts through the rough times and be more supportive of the businessmen and women who helped to get Ireland back on its feet. Naturally, I would love to see clients getting behind such businesses and contribute to a wiser economy, and be proud to support businesses that make a difference to the world we live in.

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I’ve come through a series of changes in business and since becoming a mom two years ago. My pre-baby career goals and ambitions don’t seem as meaningful. While my passion is certainly in business growth and development, I intend focusing on my business operating independently of me. I am launching a business blog in summer 2017: Behind the Brand will cover topics from interviewing to inspiring along with stress management tips and tools I use to keep me grounded. I’d like to think I will become an ecological advocate for change within our industry and who knows where this will lead. I have a guideline and direction in which I want to go but I’m open
enough to allow for change along the way.