Having spent 20 years dedicated to the hairdressing industry, Louise Pilkington knows how to make people look and feel amazing. Now the renowned Ponsonby stylist unveils her latest project with Dry & Tea, a blow wave and tea house.
What was the inspiration behind Dry & Tea?
Dry & Tea was inspired by the blow wave bars that are hugely popular in Europe and the United States. We felt no one in NZ was offering this exclusively so we wanted to capture this international trend and replicate it here.
What makes you different to other hair salons?
Dry & Tea is a beauty haven for women to be pampered and relax from the stresses of the day. The aim was to create a salon women felt comfortable in and enjoy the full experience. Dry & Tea differs because it doesn’t have mirrors in front of the bays, ensuring our clients don’t have to sit in front of the mirror critiquing themselves during their appointment.
While Dry & Tea offers cuts and colours with Creative Director Louise Pilkington and senior stylist Marcus Mclafferty the core business of the salon is blow waves and styling.
Having the tea house as part of the space provides clients with beautiful café style coffee and boutique tea options – a unique offering for Auckland.
Why did you decide it was time to open your own styling bar?
Louise has always had a passion for styling – it’s the cherry on top of hairdressing and the creative part of the industry so it was always something she wanted to do. During the economic downturn Louise saw a demand for affordable services that left clients looking and feeling great at an affordable price. When Louise owned Servilles Ponsonby, she started offering a voucher containing 10 dry styles for an affordable price. This was a huge success and fuelled Louise’s desire to open a salon catering to this need.
What products/brands do you stock and why?
Dry & Tea has a very natural philosophy and this reflected in a lot of the products we stock. Louise is a Pureology ambassador and a true convert to the brand so it was a perfect fit for the salon. Dry & Tea is a flagship Pureology salon and is exclusively used at the back basin. We also stock Davines (another natural haircare brand) along with Redken, and a selection of our favourite L’Oréal Professionnel and Matrix products.
Dry & Tea has its own nail polish lacquers along with Butter London polish and Lippy’s. We chose Butter due to its formaldehyde free nail polish formula and the Lippy’s were chosen for their long-lasting results.
The team at Dry & Tea have been long time converts to tea and the ritual it provides. The tea side is the brainchild of business partner Nicole Kelly who is a tea connoisseur and saw a gap in the market for tea houses. As a nation of coffee drinkers, it was time to introduce Aucklanders to the pleasure of tea drinking.
What lies ahead for Dry & Tea?
The Dry & Tea team are committed to making sure each client’s experience is a memorable one. In order to do that we need to continue to build on what already is a great team and push ourselves to ensure that our customers always have an amazing experience from the time they walk in the door until they leave.