Marielle Kim is my personal hairdresser here in Sydney and the the owner of Hair Confessions in Hurlstone Park. She has been in the beauty industry for over 16 years.
She began working on family and friends after hours, and decided to open her salon at 23. She found a small place in a familiar suburb and slowly built up her local client base. Three years later she had outgrown her first space, and this November celebrates 10 years which is an amazing achievement.
I sat down with her recently to discuss her work and approach to hair, along with some handy tips and tricks.
Tell me about your salon. Where are you located, who is in your team & what’s the vibe of the space?
We are located on the main strip of Hurlstone Park. We have two senior stylists and a promising apprentice. Our vibe is easy going and down to earth. We are here for amazing hair transformations, great conversations, coffee and a thigh slapping, belly roaring laugh. The salon environment is a safe place for staff and clients alike. We're like family. We share so many milestones together, memories of happiness and some bittersweet
What is the best and worst part of your job?
There’s a few perks to what I do. One big element is when work doesn’t feel like work. Working with girls you genuinely love and get along with and know you’ll have a fun day with definitely helps. Clients that feel as though they are friends popping over for a visit.
But the biggest highlight is nailing a cut or colour, and the face of total adoration and excitement of what you’ve just created. It’s truly the most amazing gift when you can boost someone’s self-confidence and make them feel beautiful on the inside and out. That’s a great feeling.
The worst part is probably the injuries, if you’re not taking care of your body you can encounter a few nasty problems to your back, neck and hands. It's like anything, I guess. My advice to strengthen your core and make sure to keep fit always.
What’s the craziest request you’ve ever had?
There is nothing too crazy in hairdressing. Hair is an object of creative expression right? We’ve done bright green, fluoro purple, mullets, shaved snowflakes and lightning bolts. The list goes on.
It’s winter here in Australia, which means a lot of people are spending time indoors with heaters which can be drying. What would be your top tip on how to handle winter hair problems?
My top tip is a deep conditioning mask with a few added drops of an argan oil. Super rich and hydrating. Leave it in for when you’re doing chores or working from home.
Who is your ultimate hair icon and why?
I absolutely love Lisalovesbalayage on Instagram and Guy Tang. Both of them for the same reasons: they are technical and very informative. They answer the hard questions and are major colour corrective queens/kings. For inspirational hairstyles I love Alexa Chung, Jennifer Lopez and Khloe Kardashian.
Whose hair would you love to make over?
Britney Spears needs a major overhaul and I would do it for free!!!!!! #freebritneyshair
Debunk the biggest hair myth you’ve heard.
If you pluck out a grey hair more will appear. LIES!!
What’s one hair product you can’t live without?
Shampoo of course! I need my hair clean ya’ll. No honestly I love a nice oil, used for before and after styling or simply in damp hair to dry naturally. For me, going to the hair dresser is about self-care, and making sure I take time for myself.
How do you practice self-care for yourself, at home?
For me self-care is staying in having a bubble bath, lighting a scented candle reading a book and of course some naughty online shopping. Or bringing my lovely tea sets out! Such a wild night.
What do the next 12 months hold for you?
Personally, I'm looking forward to life after covid; that would be a start! Spending more time with family and friends and enjoying the little things we took for granted.
Professionally, I want to continue to grow the salon and focus on the business aspect of it all.
(editors note & fun surprise: the picture above is *my* hair!)
Let's get personal…
1. What else are you passionate about besides your work?
I LOVE cooking and talking all things food. If I’m not doing hair, I’m cooking or eating. Recreational Netball has recently become a big thing for me too. It started two years ago and I haven’t stopped since. I don’t know where I even find the time to play two nights a week to be honest.
2. What is your most treasured belonging?
Pictures of my father and a ring he had made for me.
3. If you weren’t a hairdresser, what would you be doing?
A chef maybe, or an archaeologist, I’ve always been so interested in human history and culture and old artefacts and civilisation. This obsession started young.
4. What’s one thing in your home you can’t live without?
Chocolate! And a charger. You can never have too many chargers.
5. In 10 years, I'd like to be...
Healthy and happy surrounded by loved ones and god willing an offspring or two. LOL. Sipping on margaritas.
Want to find out more? Follow Hair Confessions here
Every Monday, Clare Makes sits down with an Aussie creator or business owner to discuss their life and work. These articles are curated with you in mind, to enjoy alongside a cup of coffee and your favourite scented candle. If you'd like to be interviewed for the blog, please email firstname.lastname@example.org