The Salon Review: Galen Colour, Sydney, Australia


Image @ Galen


Review: Kathrun Lewsey

Like most things in life, finding a good hair colourist can sometimes be a difficult task. You may have to experience a few dodgy barnet mishaps until you find your perfect one but once you’ve got them, it’s a future of successful hair appointments.

This is the case with Janelle Dongalen, who put her own stamp on the Alexandria suburb with her chic and compact salon. Having worked at various London and Sydney salons, she pleased her many loyal customers when she opened up Galen Colour in Waterloo. Light and airy, this small but modern salon ticks all the boxes. Along with its monochrome interior and array of lush green plants, there’s a relaxed atmosphere. While most large salons have the background noise of hairdryers whirling and people coming and going, Janelle has worked to create a space that’s tranquil and chilled.


I turned up on a Saturday morning for a colour revamp. Sitting down with a cup of green tea, we chatted about my mane situation. My balayge blonde locks were lacklustre and I was craving a bright blonde boost. So Janelle mixed up a brighter honey hue and finely applied it to strands using the popular baby-lights method, which gives a lovely natural finish. As well as this, she expertly hand painted other parts of my hair using the Parisian balyage application. The combo of the two helped to create a gorgeous lightened finish to my hair. And as my strands were in need a bit of TLC, Olaplex was mixed with the dye, which helps to repair the broken bonds.


As she delicately worked her colour magic on my barnet, we chatted away about everything from Instagram to the work she’s being doing lately – as well as having her own salon, Janelle is an ambassador for ghd. With a laid back vibe to the salon and friendly chatter, it was a great way to spend on a Saturday.  I flicked through a few magazines while waiting for the colour to develop and was then taken to the basin to get it all washed out. Janelle then applied a gloss on my hair, which helps to seal in the colour, tones down the brassiness of blonde and leaves locks super smooth. Galen stocks a gorgeous Aussie haircare brand called Mr Smith which smells amazing and works a treat on tresses. Janelle used their blonde-friendly shampoo on me – a bright purple formula, which helps to keep blonde strands bright, not brassy.

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Finally, it was back to the chair for the styling. After spritzing my locks with a protecting spray, Janelle speedily dried my hair into the dream barnet I can never achieve myself – bouncy, voluminous and smooth. I couldn’t recommend this place enough. Along with a friendly atmosphere and social media-worthy décor, Janelle’s true passion for colour is shown in her fab skills. With such a thorough and precise job, my previously dull locks were transformed into the beachy blonde shade that’s been waiting to unleash.

Suite 1/130 Botany Road | Waterloo | Sydney