Changing Faces: The Hair Studio

Maria Blunden

Customers who think there is something familiar about the newly renovated hair salon at 278 Hibiscus Coast Highway, in Orewa, aren’t mistaken.

The Hair Studio, formerly Cut Loose, is the latest venture by salon owner Maria Blunden, along with stylists Debbie Buchanan and Alanna Pleasants.

All three women have been salon owners and, between them, have more than 90 years hairdressing experience.

“Alanna and I have worked together on and off for years, so we are good friends as well as colleagues,” Maria says. “We all believe customers are looking for good quality work at reasonable prices and that’s what we’re here to deliver. A good team builds good rapport, and I think customers can feel that when they’re in the salon.

“We’re keen to create a space that is relaxed and comfortable.”

Maria returned to the Coast eight months ago after four years at Whangamata where she was involved in a family venture owning and operating a food market.

“It was lots of fun, but then eventually the kids decided to go in a different direction, so my husband and I returned to the place we love – the Coast.”

Maria says the new salon reflects Orewa’s beachside lifestyle with Scandinavian beach cottage chic décor and lots of natural light. It also has ample off-street parking at the back.

“We’re directly opposite the beach with beautiful views, so it made sense to choose colours and a décor that suits the site.”

The salon also has a strong environmental ethos, with products that are organic, can be recycled and are animal cruelty free.

Maria, Debbie and Alanna agree that despite years of salon work, they never tire of interacting with customers and the creativity that comes with colouring and styling hair.

“Often, customers become friends and it’s such a good feeling when you see someone leave the salon with a smile on their face.”

With winter approaching, Maria says women need to keep up a good hair treatment regime.

She adds that if anyone is looking for a different look that isn’t permanent, then colour shampoos and conditioners are very popular at the moment.

“It’s an easy way to change the tone of the hair and experiment with new colours – great for special occasions.”



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