Tucked in a lane behind the Paddington Post Office is a diminutive salon with heart. Lovingly owned by hairstylist Deborah Grevett, the intimate three-seat hair salon is warm and pretty. Deborah, a self confessed Francophile has decorated the light, bright space with pretty wallpaper and chic little discoveries from her trips to Paris.
After 8 years working at Woollahra salon Element Hair, Deborah decided to branch out on her own. By absolute serendipity, she found the property the very next day. The little two room space had once housed a florist, before becoming bridal designer Johanna Johnson’s studio. Deborah instantly fell in love with the tall, ornate ceiling, polished concrete floor but most of all, the heavy wrought iron gates, which were decorated with butterflies. And so Papillon was born – the name, a tribute to the delicate feminine creatures that adorn the gates.
The day I visit, there are tiny vases dotting the space filled with sweetpeas and jonquils, giving the already feminine space a burst of freshness and fragrance. The postage-stamp-size of the salon immediately puts me at ease as I’m offered a tea (they also have Nespresso coffee or Pinot Grigio) and introduced to second year stylist Alanna who will be washing my hair. After an excellent cleanse, condition and head massage, I’m ensconced in my chair. I examine the gorgeous mismatched tea cup and saucer I’ve been given. The walls and shelves also hold cute little ornaments and talking points like a cuckoo clock and a bunny head draped in fine jewellery, “I surround myself with things I love,” says Deborah simply, as she checks a colour service she is finishing for another client.
Unlike many stylists who prefer to specialise, Deborah both cuts and colours her clients hair, “I prefer to offer the complete experience. I can give someone a whole makeover or just maintain their look on an ongoing basis for them.”
Above the desk is a display of the salon’s preferred products – Original & Mineral and Sans Ceuticals – both paraben free, sulphate-free ranges.
“I like to encourage healthy hair. All the products I use and sell have no parabens and no sulphates,” she explains. “I really believe in creating a safe healthy environment for me and my clients.”
Deborah also sells her own Papillon-branded shampoo, conditioner. At $26 each, they’re more affordable and the formulas have been chosen by her to be most caring on the hair. She also has her own range of candles (the mint and nectarine candle is beautiful) and sells stunning Anna Beck jewellery and Mal Maison fine lingerie and sleepwear. These handpicked items create a boutique, lifestyle vibe, rare in a hair salon.
Deborah descends and within twenty minutes she has expertly wound the round brushes around my head creating a glossy, bouncy blowdry reminiscent of Brigitte Bardot. I love it. I step out into the world feeling like a bombshell.
Papillon has a lovely vibe, it’s stylish but not pretentious and just the spot if you are after something personal and relaxed.
1 Begg Lane
Paddington NSW 2021
+61 (2) 9332 1121