Meet Kerri, Founder Of Zanzi

After spending over a decade working in the hair industry, Kerri Brydon, founder of Zanzi Hairdressing decided it was time for change.

Kerri made the switch to using toxic free products at home after her two girls were born. It then became obvious that there was a huge gap in the market and the vision for Zanzi started to come to life.

Consumers are more and more conscious when it comes to the clothes they buy and products they use, but when it comes to hair they seem to turn a blind eye.

Zanzi first opened two years ago in the Cornerstone Stores in Tugun, joining a number of conscious forward thinking businesses. The fast growing popularity of the salon emphasized the need for more salons like this. It was then that Kerri decided to open her second salon in Byron Bay’s Habitat.

With two high end holistic salons up and running, we sat down with Kerri to find out a little bit more about her, the motivation behind Zanzi and how she juggles motherhood with business, all while having fantastic, healthy hair.

 Tell us a bit about your background in hairdressing?

 I’ve just entered my 22nd year within the industry! My career began in Newcastle after completing my apprenticeship and working for a number of years in the town I grew up in. I then decided to relocate to the UK and lived in London for 2 years while managing a salon. It was then that I met my now-husband and we decided it was time to move back to Australia. I’m from Newcastle and my husband is from New Zealand so we decided to make the sunny Gold Coast our home.  

It was there that I started working as a hairdressing educator for a product company. This was an amazing opportunity to experience the industry off the floor and from a corporate perspective. By that point I had experienced the hairdressing world from all perspectives and this only deepened my desire to open my own salon built around my own values and ethos.

How does Zanzi differ from the salons you have worked for in the past? 

To put it simply, Zanzi is a holistic salon, built on sustainability and ethics.

We have a no-harm philosophy at Zanzi meaning we are committed to the health and well being of our clients, our planet, animals and ourselves. In terms of ethics, our salon exceeds fashion industry standards which is something we’re very proud of.

We are proud members of Sustainable Salons Australia meaning 95% of resources used in service are then sent away and repurposed. This includes any used foils, cut hair, bottles, brushes and tools.

We are also an Aveda salon and use/sell only Aveda products. This means all products used are free from nasty chemicals. Part of being an Aveda salon means we offer clients and Aveda Ritual at the beginning of every service. My vision was for Zanzi to be more than just ‘getting a cut and colour’ and this beautiful ritual is one of the many components that differs us from this.

Being a holistic salon also means fair work standards. Unfortunately, people are often taken advantage of in the hairdressing world. They are overworked and underpaid – I have seen it happen far too much. Treating my team fairly and with the utmost respect while encouraging them to have a healthy work life balance is extremely important to me. I consider myself extremely lucky to work alongside a team made up of beautiful (both inside and out), talented woman and believe I have attracted them because they share similar values both at work and outside of work.

What drove you to open a salon based on such strong values?

After I had my two girls, I made the decision to eliminate toxic products from my home and every day life. It then became more and more apparent that I was working in an industry that was unsustainable and harmful to our environment. It felt contradicting to be living in two parallel worlds.

I had also worked in many environments that didn’t align with me ethically and felt there needed to be a strong shift. It was the passion to change a somewhat dated industry that drove me to open Zanzi.

What toxic free products do you use at home?

When I’m not making my own cleaning products I buy them from Prae - they have an amazing selection. This is also where I purchase my whole skin care range. Everything they stock at Prae is toxic free! Currently I’m using the Mukti range and my skin seems to be loving it. In terms of make up, my go to brands are Inika and Era Perez. The quality of these products is top of the range and the best thing is they’re all completely natural. After using each for quite some time now I could never go back to any products that have harmful toxins in them – I can’t believe I ever used them! I’m very grateful for the increasing knowledge we have around ingredients these days.

What holistic practices do you have in your everyday life? 

We live in a pretty demanding world so I find focusing on the small things to be very effective. To me this means making a conscious effort when I’m at home with the kids, for example, if I need to work at night I only work when the kids have gone to bed. I am also practicing unplugging from my phone on Sundays so I can stay present with my family.

I would love to say I meditate or indulge in my own self-care everyday but the reality is that I don’t. I find switching off and spending time with my husband, reading or playing with my kids and dogs at home is just as effective for the time being.

I have recently joined myself and staff to Class Pass which will be another little practice to add to the mix. It will be great getting back into a solid fitness routine!

How do you care for your own hair?

Pending whether I’m growing it or not, I usually get a haircut every couple of months. If I’m growing it, I like to get a Keratin treatment. My hair is naturally wavy and fluffy so these treatments work wonders! In terms of styling, I don’t have a lot of hair so it doesn’t take me long most days.

When it comes to products I like to keep it quite basic. I simply could not live without Aveda Dry Shampoo! My hair is naturally oily and dry shampoo gives me at least an extra 2 days without needing a wash. The Aveda Damage Remedy is also a go-to and I believe it should be a staple in everyone’s hair care routine!

I also believe hair needs to be cared for from the inside out which is why I love the Apotecari range. Their hair vitamins and hair food protein powders are a game changer for hair condition and overall health. These are part of my daily routine and I will never stop using them!

Water is also key! I’m a big water drinker and really notice a difference in my hair and skin when if I’m ever dehydrated.  

You can find Kerri working in both studios 4 days per week.

Byron Bay- Wednesday & Fridays

Tugun- Tuesday & Thursdays.

Kerri Rolla