Michael Piastrino and Adrian Rotolo: Brothers in Arms
Salon International|September 2018
Michael Piastrino and Adrian Rotolo: Brothers in Arms

Michael Piastrino and Adrian Rotolo of Ibiza Hair in Melbourne, Australia are a young and dynamic team. They have kicked up quite a storm down under by winning prestigious industry-organised awards. In conversation with Salon India, they share their independent beginnings and the coming together at Ibiza Hair.

Aradhana V Bhatnagar

How did you decide to be a part of the hair business?

MP: My mother is a hairdresser and while growing up, I spent a lot of time in the salon. I loved seeing what she created as an artist. So, very early in life I knew I wanted to become a hairdresser.

AR: When I was growing up, I was learning to be a dancer. I attended an arts-focused high school in Adelaide, South Australia. I tried out some visual arts and found I was interested in painting and colour. Post the course, I joined Yellow Strawberry, a family friend owned a salon, which specialised in French Balayage techniques at a time when Balayage had been forgotten. I quickly developed a talent for the technique and mastered it.

Who was your inspiration?

MP: Without a doubt my mother! She spent time teaching me how to ‘dress hair’, the real basics and then, allowed me to use my creativity to push what she had taught.

AR: The family friend in Adelaide, who took a chance on me, indulging my fascination with painting and colour, but through the medium of hair.

What is your professional education?

AR: I trained with L’Oréal Professionnel, completing every colour course I possibly could, whilst learning from the best. Throughout my apprenticeship, I followed the work of celebrity colourist Johnny Ramirez, Owner of Ramirez Tran Salon in Los Angeles. I visited the salon in 2010 and admired his ‘lived in’ approach to colour using old fashioned Balayage techniques combined with modern era foiling. So, I adopted this approach too, and eventually discovered, by mistake, a technique I call ‘Brushlighting’. Brush lighting combines fine woven face framing highlights with Balayage, wherein instead of using a traditional board and tint brush, I use a Tangle Teezer brush to create the soft sun-kissed glow seen on celebrities, such as Giselle.

Who is your mentor?

MP: I do not have a mentor, but I am inspired by people I consider to be visionaries, such as, my mother, who has been a hairdresser for 30 years, Joe Giampa, Emiliano Vitale, Caterina Di Biase, Matt Clements, the Mascolos, Errol Douglas, and the list goes on!

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September 2018