Wagga hairdresser Christine Jones planned out her idea for a “hair rescue vehicle” for almost a decade.
As a roving stylist in Sydney, she had been meeting clients at their homes and was tossing around ideas for a mobile salon.
“It was just something my husband and I were mucking around with,” Christine explains.
“He said, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to have a little logo for hair rescue and all these little ambulances running around?’
“So originally it was just an idea for a logo and then later on, when we moved to Wagga, I always had this dream of actually getting a van and fitting it out to make it look like a little rescue on wheels.”
Christine says the COVID-19 pandemic had a positive effect on her door-to-door business, CJ’s Hair Rescue, as people were afraid to leave the house or spend time in shopping centres.
“The level of anxiety with people has been much higher since COVID, so the fact that I’m going to them means they don’t have to leave their homes,” she says.
It proved to be the perfect time to make her dream a reality.
“It took 12 months to get the van and deck it all out,” she says.
“Inside the van I’ve got a bench, all my products, my chair and my own water supply so I can wash in a lie-down basin.”
She also installed reverse cycle air conditioning and a disabled ramp, gave the snazzy Mercedes a hot pink finish and hit the road in November 2021.
“The Mercedes bus shapes are just like little ambulances so it became my Hair Rescue!” she says.
“I think people love the concept and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
“It’s like a party bus. I had one lady bring a bottle of red wine – but I don’t drink while I’m cutting hair.”
Christine finds the concept has broad appeal from home visits to weddings, parties and just about anything.
“I’ve got people where I’ll rock up, they’ll still be in pyjamas and they jump in the van and they’re like, ‘how cool is this? I can wear my PJs and my Oodie and get my hair done’,” she laughs.
The disabled ramp makes Hair Rescue a good option for people who find it difficult to go out and she says families also enjoy the convenience.
“Parents with young kids are loving it as well because there’s nothing worse than shoving the kids in the car and dragging them to the shop and trying to relax with their hair,” she says.
“I also go to workplaces where you’ve got tradies that might want to get together as a group and say ‘lunchtime, boys. We’re going to all get haircuts!’, and that’s fine.”
After a decade of planning, Christine is overjoyed at seeing her dream come to fruition.
“I’m absolutely loving it. I’m having a ball myself. It’s not just the clients – the fact that I can work for myself and don’t have to work for a business is an absolute bonus,” she says.
“I think you get to that stage in life after working for someone else where you just need to push past that and do your own thing.”
But while she’s off and running, Christine is yet to fully realise her dream of a fleet of little pink ambulances hitting the road to save the Riverina from a bad hair day.
“That’s gonna be next on the agenda,” she says.
“It’s my absolute dream and it’s not far from my mind every single day that I wake up.”
So if you have a hair emergency and are not keen to get out of your Oodie, perhaps you need a visit from CJ’s Hair Rescue.