Brisbane mane player
Our very own Brad Rixon has recently featured in Brisbane News and The Courier Mail (below).
“I’ve stepped out of the morning hubbub on Edward Street and into a swanky New York loft. Except I haven’t — I’m at Rixon Hair and gosh, it’s beautiful.”
The multi-award-winning salon takes up the enormous first floor of a heritage building in the CBD and it feels secret and exclusive with its direct elevator access.
The whole vibe is scandi-penthouse meets urban warehouse with exposed brick walls, trendy chipboard floors and freestanding mirrors casually leaning in the styling quarters.
It was awarded Best Salon Design at the 2018 Australian Hair Expo Awards. But I’m not here to marvel at the makings of the place, I’m here for a style session with the head honcho, owner/creative director Brad Rixon, 45.
He comes with an impressive resume including an apprenticeship with leading Melbourne hairdresser John Morrey before time spent working with
Brisbane hairdressing legends Benni Tognini and Stelios Papas.
These godfathers of hair (seriously, look them up) inspired Brad to open his own salon with wife and Rixon salon director Sharon in 2000.
The couple’s children Isla, 6, and Louis, 4, round out the Rixon four.
“It was the creativity and connection to fashion that first attracted me to the hair industry,” Brad tells me as I settle in with a cappuccino.
“Plus my grandfather was the first of many hairdressers in the family, so being born into the industry helped motivate me to run a successful salon.”
And that he does, with shout-outs over the ensuing years in Vogue Australia, Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar as Brisbane’s go-to stylist.
He’s also an ambassador for L’Oreal Professionnel a role that involves him teaching the next generation of Australian hairdressers.
Last August, he travelled the length and breadth of the country presenting classic haircuts with a modern twist inspired by eras of the past, then
taught over more than 100 hairdressers in a specialised hands-on cutting workshop.
I’ve only recently had a cut and colour though (what was I thinking?), so for me Brad recommends a tousled, textured blow-wave for my shoulder length, blunt, blonde bob.
He assures me the style will stay put for my day at the races and says it will give my naturally thin hair some extra body which is the first thing I request from any hairdresser. Big tick.
As he goes to work laying the foundations of my blow wave with a thickening spray by American, vegan, hair care range R+Co (it’s so good I end up buying some), we chat about the changing face of the industry, and how he is staying the course. “Social media has been huge for hairdressing,” he says.
“And not always in a good way.”
Aside from influencers looking to trim the cost of their cut in exchange for Instagram shoutouts, there’s also clients who ignore the advice of trained, industry professionals in their attempt to get the same look as their heavily filtered Instagram idols.
Sometimes they’ll even ask to sit in the same chair if they know their idol has passed through.
“You can’t afford not be on Instagram and Facebook in this industry, but you have to tread carefully,” Brad says.
“There’s a knack to advising a client who comes in with unachievable expectations.”
For those who want professional advice on what’s hot in hair, Brad says cheek bangs are on point right now. That’s a grown out, 70s inspired fringe.
“But also people shouldn’t be put in a box,” he says of following trends.
“We all have unique face shapes and skin types and should celebrate our own unique style.”
Unless that involves a scrunchie.
“If I had to name a pet hair hate, that would be it,” he says.
But then who needs a scrunchie with hair as good as mine is looking.
He’s created magic with his curling wand and my hair is now full with stacks of movement. The waves Brad has created show off the different blonde tones in my hair and I’m not afraid to get my hands in there and tousle it up a bit throughout the day.
This is one of those looks where if a hair is out of place, it only adds to the appeal.
A dry texturizing spray by luxe hair care brand Oribe is the finishing touch, and I grab some of that for my handbag too.
Rixon Hair know a quality, hardworking product, and they make sure they stock them.
I’m ready for a day trackside at Eagle Farm Racecourse, and Brad sends me off with a massive hug.
I’ve been sitting with him an hour, and his warm, genuine character only adds to the feeling of sanctuary you get in his salon. It’s obvious why he keeps clients for a lifetime.
“I love the buzz you get from helping someone feel better about themselves and also being able to be creative every day of my life,” he says. And I love my new look.