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Image by Archi Banal
Image by Archi Banal

SocietyJuly 21, 2023

More of the wackiest hair salon names in the country, ranked and reviewed 

Image by Archi Banal
Image by Archi Banal

Please enjoy another thrilling edition of the most glorious hair salon names in all of Aotearoa. 

Nothing brightens one’s day like encountering a perfectly named hair salon in the wild. They seem to always arrive on the horizon as you are lost deep in thought, stressing about work and life, only for that astounding flurry of Zs and Xs, scissor puns and “hair” in places it shouldn’t be, to blow-dry off the cobwebs faster than you can say “D’ziah Hair & Beauty” (Feilding). A well-named hairdresser is as much of a factory reset on language as John Travolta saying “Adele Dazeem” – it’s the letters we all know and love, but as we’ve never seen them before. 

Inspired by the creativity, flair and bravery of some of our most dazzling salons, I started ringing around the most attention-grabbing establishments Google could provide, determined to unearth the origin stories behind the names. On about my 30th phone call, I realised this traditional approach wasn’t going to work. Hairdressers are notoriously under the shampoo pump all day – I haven’t heard so many frazzled people say “sorry, I’ve just got someone in the chair” since Matthew Ridge hosted that game show that time. 

Image: Toby Morris

Instead, I simply had to take the thinning scissors to my own longlist, a task even more challenging than tearfully skulking into Rodney Wayne with patchy black and green hair and asking them to make it platinum blonde again (two years of my life I’ll never get back). Building upon the rigorous and extensive work already done by Julie Hill in this stunning 2019 piece featuring linguistics lecturer Martin Paviour-Smith, I have attempted to find even more of the most inspiring hair salon names in the country. May the Zs be ever in your favour. 

10) Sophisticutz Hair Design (Nelson) 

A timeless and classy example of the form – a “cut” and a Z? We’re not worthy! According to a representative of Sophisticutz, the name dates way back to the people who first opened the Nelson salon, well over 40 years ago. In the words of Coco Chanel, “Fashion changes – Sophisticutz remains.” Amen. 

9) Do My Hair (Whitford) 

No nonsense, no faffing, does what it says on the tin. The “Eat My Lunch” of the hair world. 

8) Le Chic Hair Design (Kaiapoi) 

Enchanté by the dozens of European-inspired salons across the motu, which Paviour-Smith refers to as the “glamour” strategy. Le Chic is the simplest and most chic (obviously), but far from the only salon with un peu de “je ne sais quoi”. There’s also Chic & Cool (West Auckland), Bon Allure (Ōtautahi), Accenté (Taipa) and Chère Chérie (lot of francophiles in Ōtautahi). Who needs Paris when you have La Chic Paraparaumu? For a trip further south down the country – and the European continent – might I also recommend Me Casa (Cromwell).

Oui oui

7) Hair by ME (Whangārei) 

M Night Shyamalan wishes he could come up with an ending as startling and bold as this. Hair by ME oozes confidence, charisma (more on that later) and assertiveness. Owner Megan Edwardson was happy to explain: “The name was a brainchild of myself and my husband,” she wrote in an email, explaining that they wanted to also add a point of difference to the name. 

“We ended up with Hair by ME, which is a play on my initials Megan Edwardson as well as the fact that it’s literally me doing hair,” she continued. As her team has expanded, she also added that the “me” represents “them” as well. If that’s got you confused, just think what would happen if Hair by ME (Whangārei) met YOU (Tauranga). Move over Barbienheimer. 

6) Yahzoo (Lower Hutt) 

You think the name is possibly going in the direction of Yahtzee and you’re like “what?” and then it turns out to be an homage to the 1980s synth pop Essex duo and you’re like “WHAT?” Whatever is going on here, there’s never a bad time to watch the best Yazoo-soundtracked moment ever, and maybe that’s what the good people at Yahzoo wanted for us all along.  

5) Split Enz Hair Stylist (Greymouth) 

In keeping with the musical theme, Greymouth is truly “one step ahead” with this one. I left a “message to my girl” on the answerphone but never heard back – my only hope is that their up-do offerings remain firmly in line with their name. As an aside, Greymouth is punching majorly above its weight with salon names – it’s also proud home to “Hairstory” and “Styliz”. 

Give it a whirl

4) Hair Say (Levin) 

Speaking of Hairstory, it is very hard to choose just one hair-based name. There’s Hair Say in Levin. There’s Hair Now in Kaiapoi, a great name and a great series made for The Spinoff last year. Heard of Cake by the Ocean? What about Hair by the Sea (Petone)? Or B Hair (Kerikeri), a timely reminder to stay present? Or Hair Apart (Cromwell)? Or I’m Hair (Masterton)? Or Tiz All Hair (Dunedin)? Or Hair Craft (Nelson)? Hair Thou Art (Hāwea)? Hair to Stare At (Tauranga)? 

Or, for a massive paradigm shift that subverts everything you thought you knew about the universe, how about simply… Here (Oamaru)? Too many to choose from, hair hair to all. 

3) Karizma Kutz (Featherston)

It always brings a tear to the eye to see one’s hometown up there on the podium. Given that it is the home of director and dirtbike aficionado James Cameron, perhaps it is no surprise that the salon on Featherston’s main drag packs a whole lot of creative innovation. Owner Moana explained she wanted charisma in the name, but with a point of difference. The solution? To not just replace the Cs with Ks, but make them scissors. I hope Cerizma (Papatoetoe) is taking notes.

Karizma Kuts, Featherston (Photo: Alex Casey)

2) Zanadoo HairDezine (New Plymouth) 

They call it… Zanadoo? Apparently so. “The person I bought it off named it,” Lorraine explained over the phone. “She told me she was having a couple of drinks with her mum one night when she came up with it.” Often getting asked about its meaning, Lorraine googled the name to find an Urban Dictionary definition: “a noun, verb, and adjective to mean anything and everything.” We couldn’t even get to “Dezine” before she had to dash back to a client in the chair. 

1) The Chocolate Af’Hair (Onehunga)

A triple threat with the shock apostrophe, the hair pun, and the suggestive name that means maybe nothing and more likely… everything? What 👏is 👏the 👏chocolate 👏affair? My calls and messages to The Chocolate Af’Hair were left unanswered. An extensive Google search came up with nothing but an erotic comedy play featuring characters MR. GOODBAR and M&M in a seedy hotel. The Chocolate Af’Hair. Evocative, unprecedented, appetising, it’s enough to make anyone want to bleach half their head and run away with a bar of Top Deck.

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