Speaking from Kawsa HQ in Surrey Hills, Salon Creative Director Paul Galileos talks to Paul Mitchell Australia about his passion for the industry, the key to longevity, and the future of Australian hair and style.

Kawsa Hair Studio, in Surrey Hills, is a wonderfully bright and vibrant space. On any given day, customers line the wall on one side, drinking coffee, while stylists and hairdressers make conversation and move around busily to gather their products and tools. Today, we’re speaking with Kawsa Creative Director, Paul Galileos, who has been in charge at Kawsa since it opened in 1990, more than 25 years ago.

At the helm of Kawsa, Paul has brought about much innovation to the way Melburnians wear their hair, striving to find the latest in technology, styling, and equipment. Paul started his career as an apprentice in a small salon in Melbourne, but soon realized he wanted to start a space of his own. Today, Kawsa comprises two salons, one in Surrey Hills and the other in Balwyn North, and together, they shape the way many Melburnians look on the day to day.

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Paul Mitchell Australia: We’re living on an island, so there’s so many things that Australian’s love to express though fashion that Europe and America don’t. What styles do you think are the most Australian, or particularly suited to Australian style?

Paul Galileos: Australian’s are a very diverse group of people so when walking down the street you can see anything from modern sleek and sassy to grunge, hipster, or punk.  You see the girl next door look, the beachy textured cuts and the corporate minimalists.

As a result, I think that Australian style is whatever suits the individual. We don’t cookie cut hair. There’s a lot more versatility in what we do, so we don’t tend to have everyone following one particular trend because it’s “in-fashion”.

In my opinion, if it looks good on you – if it accentuates your best features and if you feel comfortable in your skin wearing a certain style – then you’re fashionable.

PM: We’ve always loved Cocktails. This idea that every hairdresser uses a different collection of products to put their creative spin on the way they do things. Do you have any signature cocktails? Or product combinations that you use that no one else does?

PG: Clean Cut & Barber’s Classic – high gloss with medium hold

Hydrodream Whip & Styling Oil – the only way to blowwave hair

Scultping Foam & Super Skinny Serum – a lighter version of above

Extra Body Foam & Thicken Up – Volume plus

PM: What are your favourite Paul Mitchell products at the moment?

PG: Tough call….but at this present moment I am really enjoying working with the Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger & Awapuhi. Wild Ginger Mirror is an amazing luxury hair care product that I have been finding very adaptable for my salon guest, too.

PM: It’s the summer of 2015, and we’re driving up the coast to take in a nice long break by the beach. What products do we not leave home without?

PG: Ultimate Colour Repair Shampoo – sulfate free + quinoa for protein + anti-fade

Ultimate Colour Repair Conditioner – moisturizing, detangling, lightweight

Triple Rescue- anti-fade, quinoa protein, and thermal protection

Twirl Around/Ultimate Wave – soft beachy texture to tame frizz, moisturize & control curl.

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Selected images courtesy of © Kawsa