Mel Balkan

Hairdresser & Community Developer

Mel is an entrepreneurial interdisciplinary artist weaving a unique hairpin line through the anthropological tangle of ‘what is art’. Using hair as her predominant strand of visual communication, Mel is the gel that binds fashion, art, style, sculpture, painting and social enterprise. ‘Hair as art and art with heart: multi-layered and cut with care’ is her aphorism.

Mel is passionate, vibrant and outgoing about social change hairdressing and is a big believer in hairdressing as a tool to promote well-being, engagement, trust, inclusion and self-esteem. She is drawn to working with communities in marginalised hard-to-reach places such as Arnhem Land and Tiwi Island; always walking away with a sentiment of postulation that she has learned more than what she had to offer.

Mel is currently based in Brunswick, Melbourne, operating a hairdressing practice from a private studio which is set up as a little safe, productive community which is always generating a healthy dose of conversational debates and self expression. Mel makes regular visits to Darwin where she maintains a small clientele of hairdressing clients also engaging in social change projects in the desert WA and remote communities in Northern Australia.

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