Tips from the Luxe Leader shared with StyleIcons

By Shannon Guss (Gaitz)

RAW Anthony Nader needs no introduction – this hair salon institution in Sydney’s Surry Hills, under the direction of the space’s talented namesake, continues to pave the way in salon luxury, session style and even product innovation. The salon is a regular muse on achieving luxe at its very best.

“Luxury is about space,” Anthony explained. “It’s important that our hair stations aren’t cramped up against each other. There’s a generous space between each.”

Feature areas in the salon also add to the ambiance. The Relaxation Pod Room is commonly touted as a luxury leader that revolutionises the idea of a basin area. It offers relaxing music in a soundproof environment that is dimly lit and treats clients on completely vertical Yume Takara Belmont Japanese beds. Service is as imperative as space – each client also receives a rejuvenating ten-minute scalp massage.

A gaslit fireplace connects the Pod through the salon bookshelf, with a window into the salon floor. The bookshelf reimagines the idea of a retail shelf, and gives the salon a warm, cultured and homely energy.


“When you’re in the Pod you can see all the way through to the main salon floor space in between the flames which is quite beautiful and mesmerising,” Anthony explained. “The five-by-three-metre bookshelf, I believe, is still like no other salon which I’m still thrilled about. I never wanted a stock shelf that gives that heavy ‘salon product’ feeling – that isn’t me. The bookshelf is a lifestyle and collectibles shelf, like in a lounge room or home office, and then there are the little pockets of hair products discreetly woven into the mood board.”

The shelf is imperative for the RAW aesthetic and style – the salon sells exclusive and curated products and focuses on being clear and digestible for clients in its retail approach.

Design, build and luxury materials were also essential in the high-end creation of RAW – where everything from the aforementioned feature space to even the client ensuite are luxurious, thoughtful, creative and reflect the brand.

“The high-quality materials used to build the space which still carry on strong ten years later,” Anthony shared. “I’m not going to lie, it cost [partner] David and I a pretty bundle when we moved in, but we wanted the right interior designer to come on board who understood our vision which was a New York loft. David and I wanted to bring a touch of New York back to Sydney as I lived there for ten years.”

Anthony’s international travels and runway and session experience drive the salon, with fashion-led services and trends created by Anthony and his talented team. Currently, global runway trends catching Anthony’s eye include the ultimate French girl dressing of loose waves, face-framing longer pieces, a centre part and soft, cool texture, seen on the Chloe catwalk in Paris. From Italy, Versace showcased clean, controlled, precise and polished hair with a slight curve, while Proenza Schouler in New York offered wearability in diverse part lines and cute chignons. Finally, Gigi Hadid’s bob transformation in March has been key to RAW clients and beyond.



“Gigi’s big hair lop off in March choked up Instagram feeds all around the world for days it seemed,” Anthony said. “Gigi’s chic new jaw-grazing bob is a friendly, wearable length that clients can still play around with hair styling and not get bored with it. It’s a fun one that clients will want to explore.”

An innate understanding of these looks and trends keep RAW on the forefront in salon style. Anthony has more overseas travel and creative inspiration planned for 2024 to further elevate these sensibilities.

“For me personally, it’s really just about tweaking something that I’ve seen on a runway somewhere around the world. It can be such a little visual thing that just caught my eye I can relate to, then adapt that on a salon client that sits in my chair,” Anthony said.

Luxury extends at RAW beyond design and service to every detail, including music.

“Music plays such an important part as I’m sure you agree in any workplace. On the main salon floor, depending on the time of the day the music reflects or creates the vibe,” he said. “For example, Tuesday afternoons are completely different to say Saturday lunch times, as are the weekday mornings, which have a different feeling too. The front desk has scheduled set alarms for each day, for which hours the music changes tempo. Music always sets the tone of the ambiance.”

Anthony has expanded from these salon, session, and backstage successes with product innovation – he launched LTN Hair in 2022, which consists of seven different coloured mulberry silk pillowcases and two different-sized heat stylers.

“I’ve been really overwhelmed by the support and love from not only the hair industry but also the consumer market which is so humbling. My pillowcase won Best Pillowcase 2023 and just in March I also won Best Flat Iron 2024 both by Prevention magazine,” Anthony shared.

Look to RAW for your luxe tips – from service to salon style and everything in between.


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