Owner of Just Cuts The Hub Hornby Michel Turner is sharing three decades of hairdressing memorabilia this month at a pop-up collection of his hair tools in the shopping centre.
Michael’s collection includes thousands of items, including unique New Zealand hair tool designs, bone combs and clips, and 18th and 19th century curling tongs, and a large range of hairdryers.
A selection is now on display temporarily in a vacant space behind Hornby florist, and delighting local shoppers and younger generations alike with some particularly primitive implements.
“There’s a shaving basin from 1830s barbershops where they used to pull your teeth out - and I’ve got some teeth to go with it - plus tools for bloodletting,” said Michael.
“I was thrilled to have this opportunity from The Hub centre management to be invited to share the collection I’ve built over my decades long Styling career with as many people as possible.”
“My favourite is my 1st Century AD collection of copper combs from Roman Britain. There’s a pair of Roman scissors that look like sheep shearers and silver hair pins where each noble house would have their emblem on the pins. There are also some exceedingly rare Maori combs to ward off evil.”
Michael says New Zealand has a particularly unique hair tool history as the country was previously used as a testing ground by international companies for new products.
“Back in the 60s and 70s, global companies like Mattel using petroleum products brough out interesting tools with even more interesting cutting techniques to test them out here,” said Michael.
“There were brushes that cut hair and combs with razor blades in every shape from triangles to squares. However, the product testing has now shifted to Australia due to their higher population.”
Michael says there’s been big changes in hair styling tools and techniques over the years.
“We used Beer as a hair gel because of the sugar content,” said Michael. “But hair drying has changed the most. People went from drying their hair on boards to the first dryers that just went on and off, and then they could finally heat the hair up.”
Michael’s wife of 27 years and salon co-owner Angela is pleased his collection is out of the house.
“I have 5 ceiling to wall display cases in the garage and 7 in our front room. My wife is pleased she now has the opportunity to get in and clean some of the rooms I store all these items in.”
Just Cuts The Hub Hornby continues to be an active supporter of the local community.
"We’re so proud of our ongoing special price Style Cuts program with national women’s charity Dress for Success,” said Angela. “In 2023 we have supported local schools and kindergartens with products and vouchers for their fund-raising activity, and it’s now our 6th year of sponsorship for the Hornby Rugby Football Club. We’re also proud to supply complimentary hairstyling for models in the Hub's Annual Fashion Show and Burnham Army Camp’s Annual Village Green Event.”