At Rumbie & Co, a salon on Cleveland Street in Chippendale, it’s not just about making sure customers leave the salon with fantastic-looking hair, it’s also about learning the chemistry of your hair so you can feel empowered to continue wearing it naturally.
“We are more than just a hair salon or a hair brand,” says founder and art director Rumbie Mutsiwa. “We are about the psychology of curls and working out how we can help people to live more confidently.”
Mutsiwa tells Broadsheet that people can be afraid of going to hairdressers. “It’s like they’re going to the dentist,” she says, as some salons don’t know how best to treat wavy, curly or afro styles.
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“Textured hair has an association with bed hair. It’s classed as ‘hippie hair’ to stylists and there’s an ongoing challenge in our society to demystify the narrative that curly hair is not sexy or professional,” she explains.
After styling hair at Australian Fashion Week shows for brands and designers Aje and Mariam Seddiq, Mutsiwa has been advocating for models with naturally textured hair to embrace their curls. Her next focus is getting Tafe courses to include more curly hair treatment advice, as the lack of education has been one of the biggest challenges for salons.
One of Mutsiwa’s clients, after receiving such careful and knowledgeable care at Rumbie & Co, was so inspired by her experience that she quit her job to pursue her passion. “She was like, ‘Hey, thank you so much for that haircut, you’ve really changed something in me and just wanted to let you know that I resigned from my job’. [The customer then] started working towards opening up her own psychology practice,” Mutsiwa tells us.
Another client was so nervous about saying goodbye to her long, straight hair that the entire Rumbie & Co team came into the salon with their natural ’fros to show their support.
Along with having specialist knowledge, the salon team also uses Rumbie & Co’s own product line, R&Co – which includes Leave-In Curl Cream, Deep Curl Cleanse and curl gels. You can also buy the range on Rumbie & Co’s website.
After studying psychology, then becoming a nurse, Mutsiwa started to look into hairdressing when her sister struggled with hair loss and failed to find a salon that could cater to her textured hair. Now, since opening the salon, she’s helped over 7000 clients find confidence in their natural hair.
Rumbie & Co
Ground Floor 130-144, Cleveland Street, Chippendale
(02) 9318 0698