Gale Walker has been with Just Teasing since she opened the first salon on Upper Cuba Street in 1994. She tells Eliza Romanos why the salon’s latest spot at 247 Willis Street is the most exciting yet. Photography by Caroline Atkinson.

Capital Questions with Gale Walker

Gale-1Just Teas­ing has been an insti­tu­tion for many Wel­ling­to­ni­ans for the last 20 years. Gale has been there for all of the salon’s moves, from Cuba Street to Egmont Street and, most recently, to upper Wil­lis Street. Gale and her team are very excited to be in their latest loc­a­tion, and to be part of an area of town that’s com­ing back to life: “It’s so lovely to see these build­ings being done up, it is a pos­it­ive thing to come out of the bypass. Even though you can’t cross the street very easily!”

If it’s been a hard day and I’m in need of a drink I go to…To be quite hon­est I am really look­ing for­ward to the two res­taur­ants that are going to open on either side of us (see Fish­Head #35 and our inter­view with the Bresolin broth­ers, Ed.). I love Duke Carvell’s, and also South­ern Cross is nice to sit out­side and have a drink at.

If I’m in need of a hearty meal I go to…Duke Carvell’s again, because I really like going to a place that has a good atmosphere.

If I need a slice of cul­ture I can’t go past…Live music. My most favour­ite thing is to go see live music. I also love the Town Hall so I’m hop­ing that they’re going to do the work on it that needs to be done, because it really is a lovely venue.

My favour­ite Wel­ling­ton land­mark would have to be…It changes all the time, but recently I got excited when I walked past St Mary of the Angels on Boul­cott Street. I just love it. I stand at that set of lights and think how you could eas­ily miss it. But Wellington’s got heaps — the water­front is amaz­ing, the hills, the town belt, it’s really cool.

You’ll find me at Just Teas­ing…Four days a week. Since I’ve had my little girl, Aure­lia, I’ve cut my work­load slightly. Com­ing from Paekakariki, it takes about three hours by the time you add it all up. But it is good because I really like that when I catch the train in, I can wander up through town and wander back down at the end of the day. It’s really cool; it really con­nects you with Wellington.

The most excit­ing per­son I’ve met through hairdress­ing is…Prob­ably my most fam­ous cli­ent at the moment is Rus­sel Nor­man. And we used to cut Jon Toogood’s hair back in the day!

The most mem­or­able hairdress­ing job I’ve done is…In the 1990s we got to do lots of crazy col­our­ing and stuff like that, like leo­pard-skin hair­dos. It’s more the friend­ships we make over a long peri­od of time that are mem­or­able, and the people that we work with, and the days that we have where we pull off amaz­ing work.

The longest I’ve had a cli­ent at Just Teas­ing is…All the way through! It is really spe­cial, and it’s kind of the thing that keeps you want­ing to do it. The greatest thing about it is that it really devel­ops friend­ships and that’s why I love it as much today as when I first star­ted. You see people for a con­cen­trated hour every six weeks, and some of your friends you wouldn’t have that time with! So people do share a lot with you and I guess that makes it kind of spe­cial as well. You get to share things with them, like when they want to look good for a spe­cial occa­sion. Hairdress­ers really love their clients.

About Eliza Romanos

A con­firmed Wel­ling­to­ni­an, Eliza comes from a fam­ily of journ­al­ists and has recently com­pleted a BA at Vic­tor­ia Uni­ver­sity in Art His­tory and Media. Now mak­ing her own way in the world of journ­al­ism, she has par­tic­u­lar interests in fash­ion and art. She misses the DTL in lower Cuba Street and the dance floor being at the oth­er end of Good Luck Bar. Eliza lives in a bit­terly cold flat in Brook­lyn but appre­ci­ates the walk into town through Cent­ral Park every morning.

About Eliza Romanos

A confirmed Wellingtonian, Eliza comes from a family of journalists and has recently completed a BA at Victoria University in Art History and Media. Now making her own way in the world of journalism, she has particular interests in fashion and art. She misses the DTL in lower Cuba Street and the dance floor being at the other end of Good Luck Bar. Eliza lives in a bitterly cold flat in Brooklyn but appreciates the walk into town through Central Park every morning.

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