Smoke And Mirrors: Substance Abuse, Addiction, And The Dark Side Of The Hair Industry

Hair industry
Alice Duthie

Lifestyle Writer

Sep 08, 2023

On Monday, September 18th, 2023, Australian hairdressers will convene for an event that promises to unravel the tightly held secrets of their trade, shedding light on the profound issues of mental health and addiction lurking behind the salon mirrors. Aptly named ‘Disrupting the Hair Industry,’ this initiative seeks to do exactly that – challenge the status quo and provide an unfiltered platform for genuine, raw, and introspective conversations about the less glamorous side of working in the hair business. You won’t just gain insights – you’ll be part of a cause that embodies the spirit of community and collaboration.

This bold gathering is the brainchild of four industry trailblazers: Sheridan Shaw (MAMAWEST), Kyra Kearney and Ash Wuillemin (TKAY Studio), and Stuart Bane (Stuart Bane Colour). They’re not just here to talk hair; they’re here to take a courageous step towards breaking the industry’s silence on prevalent issues.

Sheridan, Ash, Kyra and Stuart will lead a panel discussion, drawing from their own journeys as both independent stylists and salon owners. Their narratives will be intertwined with a critical examination of the significant role mental health and addiction play within the industry. They aim to explore how hairdressers can better support their colleagues and staff members who may be grappling with these deeply ingrained issues. Furthermore, they aspire to ignite a conversation on how the industry can unite to create a more inclusive and supportive work environment.

Our hairdressers, the unsung heroes of our beauty routines, are indeed much loved, but their incredible dedication comes at a hidden cost to their mental and physical health. It’s a hard truth that many of us often overlook. While we relish our moments of pampering in the salon chair, we might not fully comprehend the sacrifices made behind the scenes. The simple luxuries we take for granted, like a leisurely coffee break or a nutritious lunch break, often elude these hardworking professionals due to their gruelling, extended hours on the salon floor.

Hair industry

It’s high time we acknowledge the strenuous demands of their profession and consider the importance of supporting their well-being. After all, our hairdressers do more than just make us look good; they contribute to our confidence and self-esteem, and it’s only fair that we ensure their own well-being remains a priority in our beauty-centred world.

Greenfields Albert Park in Melbourne will serve as the backdrop to which attendees can anticipate grounding breathwork sessions led by The Breath Boss, a wholesome and nourishing lunch, an immersive panel discussion, and a Q&A session that promises to ignite profound introspection. Additionally, participants will receive a gift bag filled with a curated selection of hair, health, and wellness products.

The event has also gained support from Timely, a company offering straightforward, cost-effective, and dependable appointment software tailored for small businesses in the hair and beauty sector. But more than just a gathering, ‘Disrupting the Hair Industry’ is also paying it forward, with 50% of ticket sales being directed towards the Black Dog Institute who are dedicated to advancing mental health research and support.


Event: Disrupting the Hair Industry

Date: Monday 18th September 2023

Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm

Location: Greenfields Albert Park, Lakeside Drive, Albert Park, VIC 3004

Hair industry


By Alice Duthie

Lifestyle Writer

Alice Duthie is a beauty and lifestyle writer for The Carousel. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Commerce at The University of Sydney, majoring in Marketing and Business Information Systems.



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