Tucked quietly in the Paris end of Bay Street is Elizabeth Tedesco’s labour of love.
As the founder and creative director of True Colours Hair Face Body, Elizabeth has made a second home in the ever-changing landscape of Port Melbourne.
Eighteen years to the day after arriving at Station Pier from Italy, Elizabeth opened her salon just a block from the Town Hall. It was a bold and brave decision at the tender age of 25 with a new baby in tow, but Elizabeth was confident in the potential of the area. “I think I was the fourth salon on Bay Street back in 1987. That might seem like a lot of competition for the time, but specialist hair colouring was still a very new thing. We offered something very different back then and still do.”
With a European aesthetic, an eye for design and a passion for colouring, Elizabeth gained a reputation for transforming hair and confidence. Work in film, television and theatre soon followed and cemented her place as a sought after educator and presenter.
Travelling nationally as a guest artist for Wella gives Elizabeth the opportunity to extend the teaching ethos she has fostered in her salon. “I think my greatest achievement will be the incredible careers I have contributed to over 29 years of training.” With 10 staff and a dedicated in-salon apprentice program, Elizabeth is passionate about growing talent and creativity in the industry. “We are able to offer our students specialist skills that might take many years to acquire elsewhere.”
A journey through cancer 5 years ago, nearly saw Elizabeth give away the work she loves. “I contemplated walking away, but the people, the industry and most of all the incredible difference we can make to peoples lives, kept me coming back.” Her own journey through hair loss and beyond has seen Elizabeth take on her greatest work yet as an ambassador for Nioxin. Consulting widely on all aspects of hair loss caused by trauma, injury, illness, menopause, pregnancy and cancer treatment, Elizabeth is now bringing comfort to women impacted by the loss of their crowning plumage. “Hair loss is such an incredibly sensitive and confidence destroying experience for women – and really speaks to the very personal work of hair dressing.”
It’s a personal connection to both the work and her clients that makes Elizabeth as passionate today as she was 29 years ago. “I have never advertised or promoted the work we do here. I have always believed that our work will make the noise.”
That ‘noise’ sees a loyal band of locals, well known celebrities and international clients come back for a very personal level of service. With her client’s privacy in mind, Elizabeth’s expansive cutting studio is set back from its street frontage. More akin to the backstage of a film set, the studio is a hive of activity and creativity. “Client privacy is paramount to our success. We want every client to feel like themselves and to know that they matter while they’re here.”
But when she isn’t transforming the hair colour and styles of her clients, Elizabeth brings focus to the art of racing carnival hair. Bringing her sewing and up-styling skills to the fore, Elizabeth carefully sews headpieces and embellishments for all-day, all-weather wear and comfort. It’s a skill few in the industry practice and sees her booked out well in advance. “Melbourne’s racing carnival is a really a fantastic time of year for us.”
Very attuned to the emotional aspects of her work, Elizabeth would love to write a book on the very personal journey women take with their hair. “The journey through greying alone and the choices we make as we embrace change can be seen in a lifetime of hairstyles.”
But until then, Elizabeth’s keeping mum on the best-kept hair secrets in Port Melbourne. It’s obvious that the ‘book’ she harbours in her heart is entwined with her own journey, and like her work, will be a dedication to a life of creativity and the people she transforms.
A limited number of bookings remain for the 2016 Melbourne racing carnival. To secure your booking at True Colours Hair Face Body, call 9646 5518.
True Colours Hair Face Body
379 Bay St