How Salon International sparked Paul El-Chaar’s relationship with Racoon International
In the run up to this year’s Salon International, accomplished Australian salon professional Paul El-Chaar talks about his love of the business, who inspires him – and how Salon International fuelled his love of added hair, fulfilling his extension dreams…
A man filled with enthusiasm and energy for the hairdressing, Paul opened his first salon in ’86, moving forward to establish Pure Global, an Australian hair, beauty and education company which also distributes Racoon International extensions throughout Australian. Through the decades he’s secured masses of creative, business, customer service and education awards too – way too many to list.
As a regular visitor to the UK, Paul has huge respect for British contemporaries who have inspired his imagination along the way, driving him to do more, be better and achieve great things. “I’m mad for hair and although I have a demanding business to run, I still do clients on certain days and plan to do so for years to come,” said Paul, interviewed while visiting Racoon’s HQ – he’s been involved with Racoon International since the company started in the mid-90s.
Salon International in the 90s spiked Paul’s on-going interest in hair extension work. Attending the trade exhibition on a mission to find a new system, he settled on Racoon’s as the most engaging. He spent time there and then training on its systems, taking a complete kit back to Australia to carry on his experiential work.
When he first introduced the brand to his network of colleagues, he had to change the brand’s imagery and hair pictures. “The UK was so far advanced style and fashion-wise, the looks were just too ‘out there’ for Australian women to relate to,” explains Paul. “But now of course that’s all changed, UK education has travelled far and wide. Sassoon, TONI&GUY, courses home and abroad, the internet, YouTube, social media… we now see style as pretty parallel all over the Globe, an almost seamless duplication of looks and standards,” said Paul.
“We still look to London and the UK for inspiration, as well as Paris, Rome or Russia and everywhere else for that matter,” says Paul. “New Zealand has some great ideas and produces a multitude of imagery too. Times have changed, the Internet and social media means so much instant cross-fertilisation of ideas, passion is fired with instant likes and Instagram sharing. Hairdressing is a universal language and whether your passion is for the craft of hair or the development of the business side of things – it surely has to be one of the most rewarding industry’s to be involved with.”
Visit Salon International 14th-16th of October at the ExCeL London.