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Hairdressing hotshot Candice McKay inspired by nature in new collection

The latest hair collection from award-winning Candice McKay seeks to remind us of the intrinsic connection we humans have with the natural world

17 July 2022 - 00:00
Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Image: Jack Eames

Where do we as humans fit into the natural world.  Are we a part of it and is it a part of us?” A question that seems as old as time — and seeks to challenge the evolution of our greater human purpose as custodians of the planet — served as the underlying thread of inspiration for the latest hair collection from acclaimed hairdresser Candice McKay.

The Intrinsic Collection speaks of the state of our relationship with nature, its preservation, how nature is reclaiming its place despite efforts to destroy it and rebuilding our relationship with our environment.

Candice McKay, award-winning hairdresser and founder of Wyatt Hairdressing.
Candice McKay, award-winning hairdresser and founder of Wyatt Hairdressing.
Image: Supplied

We are the supposed guardians of this planet. We have named ourselves the top of the food chain, thinking we are most powerful. We often build roads and bridges, canals and ports, even entire cities at the expense of the environment. But nature isn’t planning on giving up. On the contrary, it is determined to persevere, showing just how fragile our creations are,” says McKay.

Due to lockdowns and sudden lack of human maintenance; I saw fresh new habitat opening up, nature was marching in, pasting over the formerly concrete jungle with grasses and shrubbery.  The pavements were cracking and providing new niches for seeds to take root. The general disintegration of these structures shows nature persevering and reclaiming.” adds McKay.


“The collection was inspired by the Mazzy Star song, Fade Into You, a love song about loving someone who is emotionally unavailable and losing your own sense of self in the process. When I was planning this collection I kept thinking about how the song could relate to nature’s relationship with humankind and how our ego and self-importance disconnects us from our intrinsic connection with nature.”

How has your own personal relationship and awareness of nature influenced the way you now approach the art of hairdressing?  During the lockdowns, I believe we all experienced a deep level of soul-searching. Within my process I realised my life was being filled with material things and that I had lost my connection with nature. With the sudden lack of human maintenance, I saw how nature was reclaiming our human controlled environment. With plants growing from the cracks in our paving and wild flowers blooming along our pavements. I became more aware of the natural world and realised the intrinsic connection we have with nature.

This process made me question the unnatural culture we had curated. I realised I craved a more natural and simplistic approach in my life. I questioned the overly unrealistic filters we see on social media and saw how a more authentic approach was necessary to feel more positive and empowered. My new collection has minimal retouching and is as true to [nature] as possible.  With regard to our salon social media we will not apply any filters to our photos, shoot women, with real representations of what hair can do. 

Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Image: Jack Eames

The haircuts look hyper-feminine, malleable, soft-textured and easy to maintain. Do you see this as the new direction of hairdressing or are people still wanting high-maintenance cuts? There is definitely a move towards people enhancing their natural textures. We are wanting more easy-going and casual hair styles. The more high-maintenance styles are a thing of the past, and people are wanting haircuts that are carefree and grow out gently and organically become a new style as it grows. 

What cutting or styling techniques did you use to create virtually frizz-free, flyaway-free “true-to-shot” hair and how can these tips be used at home? Curly hair routines have developed over the last few years with many curly hair products coming on to the market. Our models on set were prepped with humidity defying primers and their hair left to dry naturally or very gently diffused with a curling serum.

We encouraged the natural curl pattern with pin curls, but our main line of defence against frizz and flyaways was that the hair we worked on was in excellent condition and well-hydrated. 

What are some ways people can build a more sustainable and eco-conscious hair routine? You need to choose a haircare range that aligns with your values. Choose products that are produced with a zero-carbon footprint, by using renewable energy and offsetting their carbon emissions.

Choose a range that uses sustainable and slow food ingredients. Sustainability, at its most basic, is the effort to sustain our natural resources and environment. It’s a two-pronged approach of choosing ingredients and raw materials without depleting them, as well as minimising waste and impact.

Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Hair by Candice McKay using Davines.
Image: Jack Eames

I would suggest using Davines, which is a B-Corp, and hence one of the most ethical haircare companies, as they meet the highest environmental and social sustainability standards in the world.

You can try use a shampoo bar that is plastic-free as well as manufactured using less water. There is new technology that not only uses sustainable ingredients that don’t not affectthe environment negatively but also uses less water to rinse out from your hair.

This new technology is found in Davines’s single shampoo, and it’s sold in a bioplastic bottle. When choosing a product, look for natural origin active ingredients, natural fragrances, natural preservatives, ingredients traceability without colourants, silicones or animal-derived ingredients.


“In our salon we are mainly doing mullets, wolf cuts and shags. All with naturally choppy texture and face-contouring fringes.”


“Natural colours in hair inspired by nature; mushroom, mulch, oyster and natural fibres.  We are moving away from the artificial hair colours and we will be seeing more natural and lived-in hair colours. Avoid overly ash colours and opt for more golden hues. An easy way to adopt the new trend is to ask your stylist for a warm or beige toner. When adding gold to your hair, the hair will shine more and look healthier.”