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| May 31, 2020

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Sam Robinson

Leandro Santos Santana, Hairdresser and Colourist has won a number of awards (including six awards in two continents for Wella TrendVision!) opened the Decode Hair By Leandro salon one year ago. It’s been an inevitable success with a growing clientele, and we’ve caught up with to chat about his journey.

How did you get into hairdressing?

From an early age I was obsessed with hair and loved to style my mums hair! It ignited my passion for hair and throughout a variety of other jobs I knew hairdressing was the job for me. I decided to start attending hairdressing courses in the evenings, exhausting myself, until his my told me to go and achieve my dreams and embark on a career in hairdressing. I left my job to start studying hairdressing full time and from this point forward the rest was history…

In 2005 I started as a trainee at a Japanese Hair Academy in Higienopolis, Sao Paulo, which was one of the most challenging points in my career, as it required very extensive training. After completing my apprenticeship in 2009, I travelled to Europe, spending a month in Porto before arriving in Ireland in August 2009, where I landed a job in one of Dublin’s leading salons. From then I quickly established myself as an expert in cutting and colour and bean my journey to becoming a multi award-winning hairdresser, which I am incredibly proud of!

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Tell us about your award wins at Wella TrendVision?

I won my first TrendVision award in Ireland in the Young Talent category in 2012, after three years working at the salon I was at. In 2013 I then became a partner at the salon I was at and rebranded it to Santanna Hair Studio. Continuing to work well Wella, I entered TrendVision in 2014 and won the Color Category. In 2015 I then went on to win the Color Vision category and in 2016 I won the Color Vision category again but in my homeland of Brazil, where I was able to bring my team from Europe along with me to the finals to share my success. In 2014 I also won the Image Magazine Style Award in 2014 and was nominated three times for Best Colourist by Image Magazine in Ireland – it was an incredible year! In 2018 I also won the Color Vision category at Wella TrendVision and this year I won the Gold category for the Creative Artist of the Year Award at Wella TrendVision, which was another incredible achievement for me, bringing my TrendVision award wins to six trophies in two continents.

What made you decide to open your own salon in 2018?

In 2017 I decided to sell his shares in Santanna Hair Studio with the intention of returning to Brazil to reside. In late 2017 I had a change of heart and wanted to continue to pursue my passion in hairdressing and decided to stay in Ireland. In February 2018 I decided to open a new salon. I signed the lease on a premise in Dun Laoghire in June 2018 and Decode by Leandro was born! It’s now been open for a year and it’s been an evitable success! We have a small team but we are always fully booked and the salon is now one of the prime destinations salons in Dublin. I pride myself on colour and being a balayage expert and blonde perfectionist and I truly love creating new looks for my clients that have them leaving the salon feeling the best version of themselves.

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What do you think will be the biggest trends as we head into 2020?

For 2020 I think in colour we will see more contrasting colours – think unexpected pops of colour, chunky streaks and large face contouring, more fun colour. Balayage will also not be going anywhere going into 2020 but I do believe it will get a bit softer, especially for brunettes, with a more refined feel. Balayage will also be mixed with fine highlights and foil techniques to create more dimension in the hair and add shine. In the salon I’ve noticed a big shift in balayage with clients starting to look for more classic looks again. For a while colour has been very care free, with dragged roots for low maintenance colour and I think this will change going into 2020 with looks starting to feel more glossy and groomed. Hair accessories are also here to stay for 2020 and will be more extravagant – think crystals, pearls, you name it. Although it’s not for everyone, embracing your natural hair texture will also be strong as we head into 2020 and allow clients to be more individual.

What’s next for Leandro and Decode Hair?

In 2020 I would love to take part in more competitions and possibly even create a new collection! Stay tuned!

For more information about the brand, you can visit  Decode Hair here.