Hair

The Colourful Danielle Orawiec

By Megan Robinson

Danielle Orawiec, finalist in the 2006 L’Oréal Colour Trophy, is not your typical hairdresser. Completely absent is the attitude and … By Megan Robinson

Danielle Orawiec, finalist in the 2006 L’Oréal Colour Trophy, is not your typical hairdresser. Completely absent is the attitude and pretentiousness that one may expect to find in such an address as Servilles salon in Newmarket, the self-titled “Paris of Auckland”.

I met Danielle for a hair colour and over a few cups of tea (I feel too lush drinking wine alone, even in salons) discovered for myself the quality that found her becoming a finalist in the Young Colourist category for stylists who have worked for less than five years.

Once inside the Servilles mother ship one goes straight to command control; the Colour Room, where one consults in front of a paranoia-inducing floor to ceiling mirror. I tell Danielle I trust her and to choose a colour for me. “Not too many people say that” she admits later. Racks of colour tubes resemble like an artist’s studio- except the tidiest artist’s studio you’ve ever seen.

Danielle recommends a copper “to refresh the base colour” and “lowlights of brown to give body” plus blonde highlights to define the curl, or “coil” as I learn to say in hair dresser lingo. The thing I found interesting was the highlights don't get put on one's parting, to prolong the regrowth. Instead, they are put just under the parting, so the copper will hide any regrowth, rather than grown out blonde/highlights on the part.

She is a great listener. “The biggest learning curve in hairdressing is learning to listen to clients. Otherwise, you’ll turn into another Bad Hairdresser Story! It’s always good to find out what clients plan to do with their hair once they get home; their level of commitment to the maintenance.”

When Danielle got the phone call that she’s a finalist in just her second year of entering, she was shocked. “I hung up the phone and cried. It’s so exciting.”

“My entry is a sleek bob in a chocolate brown with a shine-band through the front, to look like light has hit it in a burnt golden coppery tone. I wanted a smudged seamless effect rather than an obvious band of colour. I left longer pieces to keep it soft and beautiful but still edgy.”

“I love global colour; one colour on a good cut makes such a huge impact. Highlights will always be around, but I like using one colour, perhaps with a contrast strategically placed to accentuate areas of the cut- an asymmetric fringe, perhaps.”

“If a young person asked me about getting into hair dressing as a career, the first thing I’d say is to be prepared to work hard. It’s not all fun and games; you have to want it bad, start at the bottom and be driven and passionate. If you don’t have that drive, you won’t get anywhere.”

I’m quite sure with her passion and drive, and obvious talent, Danielle Orawiec will go far. In fact, her hair colouring is so good, that I had a compliment on my hair colour from a woman on the street within ten minutes of leaving the salon.

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