Cutting and styling wasn’t the career Tuscany, daughter of Christchurch hairdressing royalty, Mike and Glynis Hamel, was planning for herself, nor something she’d ever considered.
‘I had been brought up with it and went to some of the biggest fashion shows around the world with my parents. It was always such an amazing career for them to have and an awesome industry for them to be in but I never really wanted to get into it myself. I had other passions growing up,’ Tuscany Hamel says.
As a gifted athlete, Tuscany planned on being a professional tennis player, representing New Zealand, playing in overseas tournaments. At 22 years old, she was one of the country’s top players. But as she was pursuing the sport as a career, she got injured and had to retire.
Ever the optimist, Tuscany started focussing on other things.
‘I’ve got another side to me: I love fashion and I love hair but I hadn’t explored my creative side to any extent when I was focussed on the sporting side of my interests.’
After some discussions with her Dad, who has his own all-natural haircare range, and with her Mum and brother Blue – who are her main inspirations for all things creative – Tuscany came up with the idea of Hair Candy.
‘I wanted something for my own hair that I knew other girls would also be into. I want my hair to grow fast, I want it to be long, I want it to be healthy, I want it to be luscious – all these things. We came up with a keratin conditioning treatment – and that’s what Hair Candy is.’
Tuscany has created a fantastic brand, which was picked up quickly by influencers on Instagram – the only forum she’s used to promote it. Hair Candy has sold out at least three times, with hundreds of women worldwide trying it and then coming back for more.
‘Having used it myself, I knew that when people tried it they too would love it and I trusted that fully. It really does work. The customers keep coming back and they buy in bulk because they know it keeps selling out and they don’t want to miss out.’
And she’s not stopping there. Her plan was to focus on just one product, but because Hair Candy has gone so well she plans to venture further into haircare.
‘I like the more natural, textured, messy look. I’m trying to go with what authentically I love. That way it’s something I’d genuinely use myself. So salt spray is probably the next step, because I’ve got some cool ideas for branding that, and I think it ties in nicely with the original Hair Candy product.’
With an infectious, ambitious drive about her it’s really no surprise that 26-year-old Tuscany has now gone further than creating hair product. Hair By Tuscany is now based in her parents’ salon, GM Hair Gallery.
‘I’ve always had a knack for it, because I’ve grown up around it, but I’ve intentionally tried to learn more over the last few months. Before, I just did it for fun but now I really enjoy this and want to pursue it, to continue creating an overall brand for myself involving all the elements of creativity that I love.’
WORDS Kineta Booker PHOTOS Doug Richardson