Get To Know Lauren Gunn, The Owner Of Celebrated Hair Salon Colleen
Hairstylist and business owner Lauren Gunn of hair salon Colleen finds community on Karangahape Rd
I grew up in a small Waikato town and was pretty keen to move away as soon as I could. Hairdressing was my one-way ticket out of town.
I got a job in a Ponsonby salon and learned the ropes, eventually becoming manager and fashion director for the brand. I was looking after my clients as well as styling hair on shoots, producing campaigns and leading hair for fashion-week shows.
I had a period of travelling to New York and working at Fashion Week there, contracting and freelancing, before eventually settling in to do my own thing.
When I opened Colleen I had big ideas for a dream workplace that would provide true flexibility and autonomy for hairstylists like me. I want Colleen to be a place that nurtures side hustles and collaborations, and encourages other pursuits in life. A space where stylists want to be, where a work day is a joyful day.
I love the atmosphere along Karangahape Rd too; innovative, adventurous and proud. It's a tight-knit and caring community with so many people doing cool things and the food options aren't bad either.
We've had some amazing times over the years. The day we opened we started shows at New Zealand Fashion Week and we haven't looked back. The team has seen a few iterations, all really special. We don't ever want to be complacent so are always looking for ways to innovate.
At the end of last year we launched online store Colleen.nz. It's a hub of hair hacks and our place to share our knowledge and experience with a wider community as well as connecting people to cool hair brands and products.
I'm super excited about how we can use this as a platform to engage with more Kiwis and their hair needs; I'm a bit of a nerd like that.
. . . TV show
Shtisel, I'm a sucker for magical realism and foreign languages.
. . . travel destination
Hotel San Cristobel, Baha, Mexico. It's in a wee town called Todos Santos, which has so much going on: beach, desert, a cool local scene, great food from roadside tacos to the real fancy stuff, crafts and art and mezcal margaritas. I can totally slum it when I'm on holiday but I love doing luxury.
. . . beauty icon
Strength equals beauty to me so Natasha Lyonne, Patti Smith, Emily Weiss, Dolly Parton.
. . . homeware
I love my Murano glass egg lamp from Babelogue and my earthware bowl from Todos Santos, Mexico.
. . . hair trend for 2020
Bobs are super-hot right now, blunt and bouncy. And super straight high-gloss hair is one of my favourite looks that's starting to pop up this year. Hair colour is following fashion into rich earthy tones for both blondes and brunettes, yay!
. . . skincare
Salt by Hendrix Glowtown Green Face Oil. I'm obsessed with glowing skin that’s why.
. . . hair product
Kevin Murphy Young Again Treatment Oil. It serves up glossy healthy hair and fights my frizz like a ninja.
. . . podcast
I’m working my way through Casefile True Crime and its endless horrors.