Education Team

Jaye Edwards - Educator

A supremely talented colourist and educator, Jaye is perhaps best known for disrupting the hairdressing industry with his vision of a chain of salons staffed by the best and brightest freelance stylists. Since first launching Edwards and Co. in 2013, he has committed to developing Australia’s most innovative creatives through his cutting-edge educational programs Edwards and Co. Academy and Global Education. These bespoke modules have been thoughtfully designed by Jaye to teach and refine a variety of techniques, from cutting and colouring to styling. They also place a focus on the importance of communication skills.

Jaye is a highly respected and award-winning colourist and stylist and is regularly sought out by celebrities and influencers including Lara Worthington, Samara Weaving, Charlotte Best, Sara Donaldson and Jasmine Howell. His work has been featured on the pages of prestige titles like Harper's Bazaar, VOGUE and InStyle, showcasing his ability to create beautiful editorial looks. His signature look is a contemporary take on 'Australian sun-kissed' that suits all hair colours, from creamy blondes to rich brunettes, and is achieved through ever-evolving techniques. Edwards and Co. was named the winner of Best Salon Design in 2016, 2017 and 2019, as well as Best Salon Business in 2017.
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Michael Kelly - Educator

Acclaimed for his exceptional ability to create truly seamless, lived-in hair colour, Michael comes from humble beginnings. His journey to ‘balayage guru’ (a nickname bestowed on him by VOGUE) has spanned over a decade and includes mentorships under many of Australia’s top colourists. He has nurtured a passion for education since day one, quickly growing into roles in leadership and training both at home and around the globe. In 2015, Michael headed up the colour team at a prestigious London salon where he frequently worked with top tier UK publications such as Harper’s Bazaar, VOGUE, Elle and Marie Claire, and a high profile clientele. Deciding to return to Australia in 2017 to focus on training, Michael has worked tirelessly since to make Edwards and Co. Education into the highly-acclaimed training program it is today.

In his words, among Michael's "most treasured work" are the in-house education and staff development programs he has developed alongside Jaye Edwards as Education Director for Edwards and Co. He currently leads a team of educators on Emerging Stylist Education and runs the new hires Onboarding Program. His style is learner-focused, allowing him to tailor his approach to the audience. "I like a personalised approach that allows me to really understand the areas in which I can add value and create the most impact. For me, education is about giving back, and inspiring students to create a bigger career than they thought possible." His accolades include recognition as one of Harper’s Bazaar’s Top 10 Colourists, an Australian Hair Colourist of the Year Finalist, and acknowledgement as a globally tiered Redken 5th Ave NYC Artist. Michael is credited as a voice of expertise and has presented at many of Australia’s leading industry events. His craft, commitment to education and honest, approachable personality have inspired an Instagram entourage of 25K followers to follow along with tips on everything from colour correction to cutting.
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Laura Spinney - Educator

Laura never wanted to be a hairdresser. “My mother and godmother both were so I grew up in salons, I wanted to rebel and be a vet instead”. After school, she rethought her stance, accepting an apprenticeship and consequently fell in love with the industry. Intoxicated by the buzzy excitement of hairstyling she worked in a handful of high end salons before joining the Edwards and Co. team in 2019. She hasn’t looked back. “I believe you should surround yourself with people that are excelling so that you can be empowered to do the same.”

Laura is a member of the 2019 FAME (Fellowship Academy of Merit and Excellence) team, an exclusive 12-month mentorship for which she was selected along with three others to represent FAME on the global stage. She has worked on MBFWA numerous times and was recently invited to work backstage at NYFW with industry heavyweights including Eugene Soulemain, James Pecis, Kien Huong and Renya Xydis. Best known for her short cuts, precision bobs and beautiful textures, Laura is technical in her approach to all things hair. “I specialise in cutting and styling and I love to teach these - there’s always that ‘aha’ moment when you’re able to successful break things down for a student in a way that’s relatable.” Laura’s education revolves around empowering others, and collaborating. She loves bringing artists together to have “a wicked jam sesh”.
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Dane Wakefield - Educator

Dane’s decade-long experience in the hairdressing industry began at the age of fourteen as a “tea and tidy girl”. After leaving school in year ten, his career began in earnest with an apprenticeship at a local salon. He was then introduced to the world of session styling, assisting at MBFWA and on editorial shoots. Fast forward seven jam-packed years and Dane is now an established presence at Edwards and Co. “In the time I have been with the company I’ve learnt more than I thought possible. I’ve moved states to open the new Brisbane salon, become an educator, and worked with the best; Jaye Edwards, Michael Kelly, Sheree Knoble and Emma Chen.”

Dane is best known as a stylist with a keen eye and strong attention to detail. These qualities have established him as a “blonde whisperer” of sorts. His education focuses on gifting his students with the skills and knowledge required to create beautiful and long-lasting hair colours that clients love. “Colour is what I love most and teaching other hairdressers how to achieve the colours I do gives me nothing but satisfaction and joy.”  Dane is a prominent wedding stylist known for his effortlessly beautiful hairstyles. He is also a talented makeup artist, which rounds out his expertise in creating complete looks that enhance his clients’ natural beauty. 
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James Plain - Educator

James originally hails from Perth, moving to Sydney to begin his career in hairdressing at Edwards and Co. He started off as founder and head colourist Jaye Edwards’ first assistant, allowing him to quickly develop a strong understanding of colour and cutting. During this time he also completed additional training with colour pro Michael Kelly, master cutter Dario Cotroneo and shadowing colour specialist Sheree Knobel. In 2018, James joined the Edwards and Co. education team. The following year he moved to Melbourne having been tasked with opening the Fitzroy salon, and was named lead colour educator for both Melbourne CBD and Fitzroy.

James’ love for creating seamless balayage and lived-in blondes comes from a pragmatic place. “I love that colouring hair allows me to be creative and logical at the same time - I get to use both sides of my brain.” He also enjoys helping his clients to feel good about themselves through beautiful hair. (Which might be why he’s fast become the colourist of choice for many Australian models, including Evelina Milward and Claudia Wilkinson.) When it comes to education, James specialises in colour and women’s cuts. He believes that teaching students to think outside of the box is key to creating amazing results. “By just trying something different and stepping outside of your comfort zone you can do incredible things.” James’ education focuses on textural highlights, bright dimensional blondes, freehand techniques, sparkly brunettes, undone textures and beach hair styling. He specialises in crafting colours with maximum texture, dimension and contrast, whilst maintaining condition. James has worked on runway shows for MBFWA and Myer, and on stage at the Australian Hair Fashion Awards. He has a strong sense of editorial styling. His work has been published in The File, Gritty Pretty and 10 Daily, and has also been picked up by industry titles such as American Salon, Modern Salon and Behind The Chair.
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Matthew Jones - Educator

Matthew’s hairdressing career began in central QLD, sweeping floors at the age of 15. He had a rocky start to his apprenticeship but soon happened upon Oscar Oscar salons in Brisbane where he worked for 16 years. Training with some of the industry’s leading hairstylists (including Oscar Cullinan) saw him become a cutting and styling specialist. Further education from Toni & Guy, Vidal Sassoon Academy and Schwarzkopf helped hone his skills which were on display in his capacities as a national educator for both Aveda and Redken. In these roles he travelled around Australia presenting at shows including Get Inspired, in front of 600+ hairdressers. He has also served as hair director of a multitude of MBFWA shows for brands like Ginger and Smart and Manning Cartell.

Matthew is a cutting and styling specialist who prides himself on his ability to give anything a go. He particularly enjoys teaching others: “What gives me a buzz is seeing someone’s confidence grow after I have shown them how to do something.” His fun and friendly nature is beloved by students and clients alike, as is his client-first approach. “I always seem to have a few famous people pop into my chair each year, however each and every client is a celebrity in my eyes.” Rumour has it that Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a big fan of his Instagram. Matthew joined the Edwards and Co. team as internal educator for cutting and styling in 2017, a position he calls “the job of a lifetime”. His love for hairdressing revolves around creativity and the excitement of the work. He loves building relationships with clients and hopes to build a platform through which he can give back to the next generation of industry professionals. “I have been lucky to work with so many industry leaders and I am now in a position to give back myself via education. I love watching people get excited about their work again.”  Matthew’s work has been featured in Marie Claire, VOGUE and other print media as well as on MamaMia. He has worked closely with premium brand Oribe Australia and was asked to launch Olaplex No.7 to the media.
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Charlie Gauci - Educator

Charlie’s start in hairdressing came after discovering Victoria’s Secret Angels and their “perfect colours and big, bouncy hair”. Inspired to transform women by making them feel “even more beautiful and confident”, he joined the industry more than 10 years ago. An eager student, Charlie quickly expanded his knowledge in colour and styling, establishing himself as one to watch. After stints at premium salons including Valonz he came on board at Edwards and Co. five years ago. With over a decade of experience, his passion for hair hasn’t wavered.

No surprises that Charlie’s go-to look is undone, beachy and big. “I would love to do Adriana Lima’s hair. It has always been right up there for me but any Victoria’s Secret Angel would do!” For now, he loves to inspire clients through creating their dream hair. His specialties include crafting bright blondes and sun-kissed brunettes, both with a less is more approach. Having earned the nickname “magic fingers” he’s obviously doing something right. Charlie’s education focuses on finding new techniques that work for him - often discovered through watching and listening to other stylists. His “hands on” methods allow him to explain concepts to others, and whether he’s demonstrating on himself, a model or a doll head, his practical techniques are appreciated by his students. Charlie’s attention to detail landed him a spot on the 2018 Education Team travelling to Los Angeles, New York and London alongside founder and head colourist Jaye Edwards to assist and teach at workshops. “I love teaching with Edwards and Co. Education as it gives me so much joy to be show others my art in hair.”
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