More Than a Hair Salon

An inspired award-winning hairdresser, a collaborative space in an arts-focused community, and state-of-the-art facial recognition technology – were talking about SJ Establishment.

Words Yasmin Martin 
Photography Kirsty Burns 

SJ Establishment, the brainchild of hairdresser Sam James, is a new kind of salon experience. Just recently opened on Prospect Road, the high-concept sustainable salon is steeped in art and styling expertise.  

Gone is the angst of choosing the right style and the horror of staring at your foil-capped reflection for hours on end. With velvet chairs, privacy curtains around the basins, and a beautiful large dining table where you can work or relax while your colour sets. Oh, and a magic mirror that helps to guide you through your hairstyling decision-making process. 

SJ Establishment is the first South Australian salon to offer Peak Digital Consultation. That is, a mirror that takes a 100-point photo of your face and compares you to over 2000 celebrities, returning results of people with similar face shapes and features. The hairstylists in the salon then use the results to do hair comparisons and discuss what styles fit the clients’ face shapes. “It gives them inspiration, and a bit of confidence,” Sam says. 

From there, one of the four experienced stylists will treat you to a calm and tranquil service. From the premium Matrix products that will be expertly applied to your hair, to the unique dimly lit basin area designed to be a relaxing retreat. Sam wanted to create an environment where clients feel like she’s “giving them back some time.” 

“If they want to work here on a late night while they get their hair done, they can then go home and sit down, have a glass of wine with their partner.” 

If you aren’t working at the dining table, you can take in the stunning mural that adorns the salon wall. The current mural is by local realism and mural artist Cat Dean, and Sam hopes to have rolling exhibitions with more local artists in the space through the years. 

SJ Establishment is also a sustainable salon, with less than two percent of waste going to landfills.  

“Offcuts from haircuts get sent and put into hair booms to be put on the Great Barrier Reef to soak up the oil spills. Our chemical waste is recycled to water, which is then used for roads instead of wasting fresh water. All of our paper is recycled too, and all of our foils are recycled with all funds going to Oz Harvest,” Sam says. “We are a big supporter of giving back.” 

Whether you’re looking for an expert treatment, a change of pace, a home away from home, or just to support a sustainable local business, SJ Establishment is a must-visit.  

08 8344 4515 
102A Prospect Rd, Prospect