In conversation with – Emilly Hadrill, owner of Emilly Hadrill Hair Extensions

Emilly is definitely a busy gal! She is the owner of four beautiful hair extensions salons, located in Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and most recently, Sydney! 

She has been offering premium hair extension services for clients since 2007 and this year was awarded runner up at the AHIA awards, for salon of the year!

She is helping girls all over Australia reach their long hair goals, making them feel happy and confident with their manes. 

You can visit for more information and to book, and visit @EmillyHadrillHairExtensions on Instagram for some major hair inspiration. 

We were so excited to get an insight into her world and career journey. Read on for more.

What inspired you initially to pursue a career in hair?

My career in hair began when I had the desire to thicken up my own hair. In 2007, hair extensions weren’t as prevalent, but I sourced a great little salon to do mine and that began my love for them. I was able to train in the art of hair extensions and develop my business based on the passion I felt for making girls feel amazing with longer, thicker hair.

How did you begin your career and get into the industry? Tell us about your journey in the hair world.

I began by extensively training in hair extensions. I started small with a very cosy space on the Gold Coast and that grew over the years into having multiple locations and plenty of happy girls with longer, thicker hair. 

You own multiple salons now, congratulations! At what point did you decide to make the leap to salon owner?! How did you make your business dream a reality?

Thank you, I really started my career in hair as a salon owner. I have always had the entrepreneurial bug and loved doing something that I was extremely passionate about. When I think back to being a nineteen-year-old starting with my own business, I realise I have definitely learnt as I’ve gone along! It’s so challenging having a business and I’m very grateful to have the success I have had.

What is the best part about your job? 

Definitely being able to see how confident and happy our clients are after their hair transformation, and building relationships with my amazing team. 

What’s been your career highlight? 

There are a couple, one is when I took some time to actually reflect on what I had built and how I am able to employ other women and create a fun team that works together. Another was being nominated for the Australian Hair Industry Awards Salon of the year for Queensland as well as Victoria this year in 2018. We attended as a team and I was also nominated as a runner up for Director of the year. It was a rewarding moment after years of very hard work!

What parts of your job do you find the hardest / most challenging? 

Once you have many staff members, you change from being a hair stylist to being a manager of people, and emotions! 

With many girls under my wing, I find that this is the most challenging part of the business, however I do have incredible team leaders! The other challenge is cash flow management. It’s the other side that not many people think about, but it’s the thing that keeps most business owners up at night. 

Any tips for managing and maintaining a work / life balance? 

The biggest thing for me (and I have had my times struggling with this!) is delegating where you can. I now make sure that I call on the people I need to help with the jobs that need doing. One person cannot do it all, and it’s important to realise that, as well as take time out for your own sanity!

What is the best piece of advice you have received during your business journey?

The best piece of advice would be to take time out to have a refresh and work hard on creating a balance in your life.  

What’s the greatest thing you’ve learned during your career? 

I have learnt (and am still learning) how to be strong when things don’t go the way you planned them to. 

How do you think you’ve evolved in your career over the years? What would you tell your younger self now?

I started so young so there have been so many learning curves along the way. I have learnt that you can’t please everyone, and not to take things too personally. 

How do you feel social media changed the game of hair and has it helped your business to grow? 

Social media was and still is a huge marketing tool for my business. Because hair extensions are such a visual thing, posting photos of the transformations is so fantastic. When I began my business in 2007 I was lucky that it wasn’t expensive to have your photos seen by a wide audience, however now that is a little different! It takes a lot of extra time and effort to make sure you are producing the content that you need.

What are your top tips for making the most out of Instagram as a business owner? What advice would you give to others who want to share their work and promote their business on the platform? 

It’s definitely not an inexpensive thing anymore however it should be part of the marketing budget as it can be so effective. It’s so important to ensure you and your team are always taking photos and videos in order to have fresh content. Once photos or videos are posted, it’s so important to reply promptly to any comments that are made on the piece of content. 

For girls who have never had extensions, what do they need to know before they come and see you in the salon? 

We offer complimentary consultations in the salon. So, if someone is interested in hair extensions they don’t need to know anything really, they can come in and be informed about all that hair extensions entail and can then make a decision about whether they are right for them! 

We do have a Instagram story highlight dedicated to Q&A – so a lot of common questions like ‘how long should by hair be for hair extensions’ are answered here and can help to answer some top of mind questions. 

There are so many different types of extensions out there now! How do girls know what kinds of extensions are best for their hair type? 

The first thing to consider is whether you want semi permanent extensions such as tape extensions, or clip in extensions that you can apply and take out as you wish. Once that decision is made, then some online research can be done, or come into the salon for a free consultation to find out what is best for your specific hair type and lifestyle.

For girls who are overwhelmed with the options, what’s the difference between getting a full head vs. a half / ¾ head, or clip ins? 

As a general rule, the more natural hair you have, and the shorter it is- the more hair extensions you will need. The reason for this is that the extensions should match and be consistent with the natural hair. If you have longer, finer hair then a half head can be suitable however, as soon as the hair gets thicker and shorter more extensions will be needed (eg. A full head). 

What do you think is the biggest mistake is that girls make with their hair extensions?

Definitely using the wrong haircare. Extensions are sensitive and don’t do well with protein being used on them. So many products contain proteins and will turn hair extensions knotty. It’s very important to use products that are formulated to give hair extensions the moisture and hydration that they need.

What are your top tips for looking after hair extensions once they’re in?

  1. Use the recommended haircare
  2. Wash the hair only when is needed, perhaps every 3-4 days. In between those days, dry shampoo can be your best friend!
  3. Brush the hair twice daily and sleep with hair in a low plait or ponytail

If these things are done, hair extensions are very simple to care for.

What kinds of hair products should girls with extensions be steering clear from?

Anything with protein, parabens or sulphates in them.

Any other pearls of wisdom girls should know when it comes to getting extensions and then maintaining the life and lustre of their hair?

We are very big on making sure the natural hair stays safe and healthy whilst wearing hair extensions. This begins with how we apply then, and then the next biggest thing is returning to the salon for maintenance. This should be done every 4-6 weeks and is what keeps the natural hair safe. We have clients shocked at how much their hair has grown when wearing our hair extensions because everything is done properly and on time.

What is your number 1 hair hack?

The thing that gets me through those times that I don’t want to wash my whole hair (and dry shampoo isn’t cutting it anymore!) is tipping my hair over the bathroom sink and shampooing just the top section of my hair. This is a quick way to make your hair look fresh, as the extensions really don’t need to be washed as much as your natural hair. 

What about your go-to drug store hair products for girls on a budget?

In general, hair extensions and your own hair do require high quality products which are rarely available from pharmacies or supermarkets. 

I know that my favourite dry shampoo (Klorane) is available at these stores though!

Which hair trend are you loving right now? 

Big messy ponytails, especially with a cute ribbon! 

Which hair trend do you wish would go away / never come back? 

Most hairstyles have their merits, but I’m not a big fan of the blunt bob with blunt fringe. I’m a long hair girl though, so a bit biased! 

What is your favourite product from the Hello Hair range? 

The treatments are amazing!

What would we find you doing, when you’re not working? 

When not working, I’ll be catching up with friends, relaxing with my husband or trying to fit in a bit of relaxation or travel planning! 

What’s next for Emilly Hadrill Hair Extensions in 2018 and beyond?! 

We have recently opened our beautiful salon in Paddington, Sydney so that is our main focus right now. We are excited to be offering our extensions to Sydney girls, especially as so many girls were travelling to our other locations to get them. With four locations now, I am focused on making sure all my team are fulfilled, happy and we are doing amazing hair each day! For 2019 and on we will keep growing and having fun! 

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