With a focus on getting great hair this month, we thought it was time to shine a spotlight on one of Melbourne's most loved hairdressers, Debbie Pereira. With over 30 years in the hair game, a South Yarra salon and now a go-to hair range 'Neon & Co' that reduces blow dry time by half, she knows what she's talking about. How lucky were we to catch her for today's interview!
Tell us about your journey and how you got to ‘better beauty’?
My main driver to create a range of ‘better beauty’ products when I started Neon & Co. was my desire to make my salon customers happy and give them a quality experience through quality, credibility, affordability and transparency. I believe that customers should have access to products that do exactly what they say they do, without the hefty price tag and fine print. This is based on our brand ethos of authenticity, which we carry throughout our entire range.
Tell us about your business in Melbourne
I began my career as a hairdresser and opened Neon & Co. salon 4 years ago. I noticed that there was a gap in the market for products that allowed us to provide an express blow wave service without compromising results, so I developed our core haircare range that was designed to make getting ready simple and effortless by cutting blow dry time in half and prolonging the life of styling. This led me on the journey from blow-dry bar owner to production manager, with our range now available across Australia and the US with more big things to come soon!
What do you want women to know?
I want both women (and men) to know that to be successful, you must do the following:
- surround yourself with “self-starters” (people that can think innovatively to find the means to work around unforeseen circumstances)
- question everything, even if you think you know the answers
- listen only to your inner self and be true to your brand, and don’t take short cuts in life or in business
- follow your passion and it will never feel like work. Take risks, because the risks are the lessons you need to learn to reach your next success
- have no fear - stand firm among panic, and let the hurricane pass
What’s your power mantra?
Be authentic and true to yourself, and do not lose your core values. Be happy in your own skin, because if you value yourself, then others will too. Try your hardest even if the job may seem meaningless at the time, as if you try your best then you will never have regrets.
Your go-to skincare essential?
At the moment I am using a Jojoba sugar scrub (hint hint: stay tuned on that one) because I love the way it makes my skin glow. I also love to use an olive oil spray for the body and face by Korres, and Benefit’s refining lotion and face cream.
Can’t miss podcast?
I love to listen to anything related to vertical marketing success stories, such as Amazon and Frank Body.
What’s your happy place outfit?
While it doesn’t seem as though black is a typically “happy” colour, I do wear mostly black in classic and unstructured cuts. I dress for both comfort and style, and black is an easy go-to when I’m in a rush – it gives me time to walk my pooch Thaddeus in the morning instead of deciding what to wear!
What book can’t you put down?
I mostly read for pleasure on my holidays, but I haven’t had one of those in a while so I settle for documentaries and Netflix binges (I’m currently watching Billions).
Most opened app?
I’m a huge advocate of Slack because it keeps my projects with my team all in one place without going back and forth via email. It’s the only type of “slack” we allow at work (ha ha)!
I’d be lying if I said I had a hack – I’ve actually always been a workaholic! I was raised by Greek parents and was taught the importance of hard work. I’d be working 24/7 if I didn’t have my family, because work is a passion for me and I feel blessed to be working. I love what I do, and I don’t feel the need to ever retire.
Hair secret weapon?
My holy trinity of hair products involves the Neon & Co. Good Hair shampoo and conditioner, followed by the Magic Water treatment oil to hydrate and tame frizz after my shower and in between washes.
Flat, sneakers, heels?
Sneakers with everything!
Self-care method of choice?
I believe that looking after myself is a crucial aspect of success and happiness. I walk every day, eat clean and always go to bed before midnight, and I avoid alcohol and smoking because I don’t think it does anything for my body!
We're in love with Debbie's Neon & Co range that cuts blow-dry in half, all-natural ingredients plus no sulphates or parabens. Shop the range here.