Principal stylist and Director of Apotecari salon, Half Cut McLaren Vale, Emma Bayly boasts a long and varied career in the industry. We were excited to delve deeper into what drives her continued commitment to styling and healthy hair.
“There is nothing that is more beautiful and easier to manage than a mane of healthy hair.”
My passion for hair started when I was 8 years old. I knew then that I wanted to become a hairdresser. I actually started my first job as a ‘tea and tidy’ in a salon at this time, working 3 or 4 hours for a total of $5 for the shift. I hated it! It was a sweaty betty style of salon doing perms and roller sets on grannies. It wasn’t until a few years later aged 14 when my cousin was a receptionist in the trendiest salon in town (at the time) and I went in for my first cool haircut my passion was reignited. A year later I started my apprenticeship in North Adelaide.
What about hair are you most passionate about?
Over the 36 years in hairdressing there is not much I haven’t done, I’ve travelled the world working in salons in London and New York, worked on fashion shoots and styled hair for Fashion Weeks globally. I’ve educated for product companies and had the chance to do work on amazing heads of hair of people from all walks of life. The one thing that has remained consistent all this time and what I’m most passionate about is healthy hair! There is nothing that is more beautiful and easier to manage than a mane of healthy hair. As a stylist and trichologist it is my job to help my clientele to achieve this.
What encouraged you to specialise in Trichology, and where did you receive your certificate in Trichology?
Every year I was invited to the Top Salon Summit at Hair Expo… One particular year, a speaker who I can’t quite remember their name was telling the room “you are the cream of the crop, the top hairdressers in Australia but what is it that sets you apart from each other?” I could no longer say that I worked internationally, styled for photo shoots or did hair for Fashion Week, that was all years ago. Then very next day I went to a seminar on Trichology at hair expo held by Simone Lee, Arthur Chan and Apotecari’s very own Simone Abaron. I had always been interested in hair science and after this seminar I decided that this was the natural progression of my career.
I researched trichology courses the globe for the best Trichology certification that I could find and chose the World Trichology Society based in USA. I then proceeded to study online at my own pace with them. I graduated in January 2021 with a 100% grade and won the Yvonne Kingsley Memorial prize.
What specialty services do you offer and can you elaborate on how they work, what they are designed to achieve?
Since graduating, I have started consulting in my salon Half Cut Mclaren Vale and am continuously expanding my hair and scalp spa services. I purchased an Aram Huvis hair and scalp analyser. It’s a multi lens microscope that allows me to look at the hair and scalp at high magnification, it also has diagnostic software that can help recommend solutions to the client’s needs. The latest scalp treatment I have developed focuses on genetic hair loss, I thoroughly cleanse the scalp with a Japanese scalp spa wash then perform hydrabrasion over the affected area of the scalp and finish with and infusion on scalp nutrients helping them to penetrate deep into the follicle using the galvanic machine and ionophoresis method. The treatment is designed to deep cleanse & exfoliate the scalp to make way for the infused hair growth nutrients.
“[I purchased a] multi lens microscope that allows me to look at the hair and scalp…it also has diagnostic software that can help recommend solutions to the client’s needs.”
What is your goal/vision for the next 5 years?
Right now, I am focused on building Half Cut McLaren Vale and the team. It is no secret that fully qualified hairdressers are in high demand for salon owners and finding the right match makes it more complicated. I am building a team of hairdressers that are keen to adopt my philosophy for heathy hair & scalp. I also want to develop the team’s vision for being at the cutting edge of this competitive industry. I encourage them to ask themselves the same question that the speaker at the Top Salon Summit asked me “what is your cutting edge”. I don’t want them to have the same Instagram feed with endless pictures of different shades of balayage, it’s so boring. Don’t get me wrong, I love great colour jobs but I want the client to be able to manage the health of their hair and scalp outside the salon and have gorgeous hair all of the time, not just when it has been highly styled by their hairdresser. This means teaching my team how to encourage the right hair colour and home care choices that suit their client’s needs. I am also wanting to expand this concept into other hair & scalp spa locations around South Australia.
What is your biggest inspiration?
This is the hardest question that you have given me. I find inspiration from many different places. Firstly, we must define inspiration. Creative inspiration for me comes visually, what I see in my surroundings, the textures, the colours, these can all be interpreted onto many great hairstyles. Business inspiration comes from my need to evolve, it gets boring doing the same thing all the time. I feel the need to keep changing things up all the time. If you master one skill, move onto the next. Gain as much knowledge as you can, be the best you can. I hope that I am an inspiration to the many staff that I have had over the 23 years in business. But to define the answer to your question, my biggest inspiration is my desire to collect knowledge, to learn and strive to be the best at whatever I do.
Half Cut McLaren Vale is located at 150a Main Rd, Mclaren Vale, South Australia 5171
Contact: 0414 319 185