SalON/OFF is a hair salon owned and run by Simon Volčič and Jani Anželj, two young creatives, in the centre of Ljubljana, Slovenia. It’s one of those hair salons that definitely catch your eye, a bit industrial, a bit home-y, flowery and with a certain attitude. I have to admit, I've never stepped foot inside but that's only because I have a long standing relationship with my hairdresser from high school (we're turning 16 this year) and let's just say I'm not the one to cheat. But boy does it tease me. With its neon lights, a place full of plants and a young team that looks like they could become your friend in a second or at least in your hour's appointment.
But what makes SalON/OFF stand out from other young and fresh hairdressing salons?
“I believe we’re open and honest with our clients-turned-friends. We’re also open to different collabs and involved in different creative areas, as hairdressing has become so much more than just that in the last few years,” says Simon, one of the founders.
His business partner, Jani, adds: “Our vision is to create unique work, to collaborate with fashion designers, working on projects outside of the hairdressing sphere. We’re all about learning new stuff and innovation, which is how we make sure our creations have that signature SalON/OFF look and at the same time keep our clients happy.”
But nowadays, hair salons are much more than just places to get our hair done. They’re also pop-up shops, galleries, places to hang out, have a coffee and read through all the fashion magazines and catch up on the latest trends. And SalON/OFF is one of the first salons in Ljubljana doing just that, connecting with other creatives.
“We love collaborating with interesting project that are usually not a part of a hair salon,” explains Simon, “Connecting with other likeminded people who want to create an exquisite final product is always something that we love to work on whether it’s a photo shooting, a fashion show or something in between. It’s about mixing it up and not being stuck in a rut. The adrenalin that is created during this kind of work can’t be compared to everyday hair salon work.”
When asked about their secret hairdressing tips and tricks they stay, well, secretive. »Just like a cook who has its special ingredients and tricks on making a dish ridiculously delicious, we have our own ways of creating that perfect hair style,« explains Jani with a smirk on his face. I guess every creative needs to have their secrets, right?
When asked if they'd ever go for a different career had it not been for their salon, they mention they are both sports enthusiasts---Jani is a licensed skiing coach and Simon is a licensed snowboarding coach---but also that these are only hobies and hairdressing stays their main love (and work).
And for those thinking about diving into this business, they say that the main qualities of a good hairdresser are »creativity, boldness and being open to invoation and changes.« Jani also mentions the importance of listening to experienced masters' tips but combine them with our youthful ideas and unique design. He also talks about the importance of innovation: »You can work for 12 hours straight but if there are no challenges and constant evolvement, even those 12 hours are not enough. It's important to challenge yourself, it helps you grow. But an imporant thing to note is that being good doesn't always mean being successful. Don't diminish the power of marketing and promotion.«
And as far as their inspiration goes, they spent quite some time in London where they get the opportunity to meet some of the biggest names from the business. And the person who made the biggest impression? »Trevor Sorbie made the biggest impression on us by staying unique and simple despite his huge achievements.«
And one other thing I bet we're all dying to know about are trends for 2019. This year is apparently all about short haircuts. »We'll be seing a lot of bob and pixie cuts this year while a more natural look will prevail with long hair styles. When it comes to the colors, »balayage«---the natural-looking effect---is still in style, while short hairstyles can easily be pared with bolder colors like pastels,« mentions Jani.
And while I'm not ready to cheat on my hairdresser just yet (okay, who am I kidding, I'm not sure it will ever happen)---I mean a relationship where there's no problem threatning he's going to lose a limb if he decides to cut a centimeter more of my hair that we agreed on is definitely worth keeping---I'll definitely stop by at one of their social events in the future. Check out what's on (pun intended) at SalON/OFF on their Facebook page and Instagram profile. See you there?