We sat down with new mum and founder of Blow Bar Co Leigh Dole.
Congratulations on the birth of baby Frankie! It can be quite overwhelming being a new mum. No doubt heaps of people told you a lot of things, but is there anything you feel like people didn’t tell you about the experience or advice you would like to share?
- Gone are the days when you could walk out of the house with nothing but your wallet! Now you need to pack and prep basically everything but the kitchen sink! I’m constantly running back and forth to get the left-behind bottle. or nappies. wipes, teething rusk.
- A sleep in is a true luxury - I can’t recall my last!! Between my two babies - Frankie and BLOW BAR Co, they have basically become non-existent. Is it Mother’s Day yet?!
Tell us a little about BBC and why you decided to launch it? What’s different about BBC compared to other hair salons / blow dry bars?
Blow Bar Co is Australia’s original blow dry bar! No cuts or colours, we’re all about hair styling and make up in a chic New-York bar (yes, you can enjoy a glass of bubbles or cheese plate while getting your hair and make up done!)
The concept came about as at the time, over 7 years ago, I was a little lost in life. I was going in and out of the industry (I’d been in beauty and fashion since the ripe age of 13!) I was trialling new things and after various set backs & challenges in varying industries, it brought me back to my two true passions - fashion/beauty and hospitality.
This, coupled with my desire to help women look good and feel good led to the launch of BLOW BAR CO!
With venues now open in Bronte, Balmain and Coogee (with other exciting interstate venues to open shortly!), BLOW BAR CO is a female sanctuary; it’s a home away from home for women to have fun and feel beautiful, confident and empowered.
With our brand new venue moments away from opening in Waverley (281 Bronte Road), we continually strive to ensure the BBC experience is unique and well ahead of our competitors - you will notice there is a specific reason and purpose behind everything we do - from the hair and make up menus and our consultation with customers, to the cocktail and mixology offering, to the music, masterclasses/tutorial, the atmosphere and ambience - it all has purpose and I strongly believe our attention to detail is unparalleled in the industry.
You offer some special options for young families at BBC, can you share a little more about those?
Being a mother myself, I like to spoil other mums out there.
Our door is always open for mums and their bubs - we invite you to come in enjoy a hair pamper and a glass of bubbles. Or you can also find us inside Merivale’s Coogee Pavilion, right next to the ultimate play corner for kids! Our team of friendly stylists will be there waiting to pamper you and your friends!
One of our really popular family offerings is the Daddy Daughter Dates. Dad and his girl/s can come in to learn all the tips and tricks to doing his princess’ hair. We love our little princess to have bonding time with dad and dad may even walk out with a few handy skills!
I hear some women avoid dying their hair while pregnant. Is this necessary? What are the potential issues with dying / bleaching hair (assume it is to do with the chemicals) and what are the alternatives if you are concerned about this?
Many of us don’t like rocking regrowth if we can avoid it (unless balayage is your style!)
Basically when the hair grows away from the skin's surface, the hair is no longer alive, the hair is dead cells.
If colour maintenance is something you want to do while pregnant, I would recommend keeping it to foils or balayage, that way you are not putting chemicals directly to the root or head surface.
How are you finding juggling work and being a new mum? Any tips for new mums running their own business?
As the saying goes, if you need something done, give it to a busy person.. And this couldn’t be more true!
I find if I’m organised, my day is so much more productive. Plan and roster your day as best you can, particularly with a new born as time passes by so quickly!
And most importantly remember to give back to yourself! You’re no good to anyone if you’re not in top form. It may sound crazy, but I love the hours between 4-6am. During this time, there’s no phone calls, no emails, Frankie is asleep and I can really set myself up for my day and give back to myself.
I always hear new mums talk about the rapid hair growth and then subsequent loss following pregnancy (did I get this the right way around?) what caused the growth and then loss? Losing clumps of hair can be really scary and unpleasant... is there any way to combat this? Will a supplement like silica help)
During pregnancy, oestrogen levels slow down the natural processes, meaning your hair sheds less and makes pregnant women fell like their locks are thick and luscious. Bub takes a lot of your nutrients, so eating really well and using a prenatal supplement to ensure you help those hair follicles to continue to grow and prevent the shedding is really important!
New mums are often struggling to find time to have a shower, let alone wash their hair or escape to the salon. In general terms, how many times a week should women wash their hair (assuming no additional exercise other than being mum) and what are some at home tips for keeping hair at a ‘socially acceptable level’ between washes?
Natural oils are great for your hair so ladies stretch out your washes as best you can!
If you’re averaging 1 – 2 washes a week, treat yourself to a blow, invest in a great dry shampoo to keep it looking good toward the end of the week. Perhaps you could even consider a boxer braid or low sleek bun on day 3-4 - still glamorous and fun but wont strip your hair of its natural oils if you’re frequently washing!
About Blow Bar Co