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Azita Abdollahian in Daily Telegraph

The Phoenix Centre was published in Daily Telegraph. Azita hairdresser created a centre to help people look good and feel good!

Azita Abdollahian in Daily Telegraph

Daily Telegraph News

Hairdresser Azita Abdollahian was listening to so many client’s problems as she was doing their hair that she decided to train as a counsellor so she could help them properly.

The Iranian refugee who has lived in Australia for 16 years now has a consulting room in her Castle Hill salon, Bebe’s Hair and Beauty.

“I totally changed as a person six years ago … change can happen.”

She now sees her salon as a transformation centre where people can also change how they are as well their appearance.

Azita Abdollahian says most clients will tell a hairdresser things they would never tell their family or partner.

“It’s like a magic chair”, she said. “Clients sit down and they tell you things they don’t tell anyone else. I have often suggested to people that they should see a counselor or psychoanalyst.”

When the mother-of-two found out that most wouldn’t see a professional she enrolled at the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP) and studied counseling, life coaching, and clinical hypnotherapy.

“When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up I would say hairdresser and psychologist and they would laugh and say, `you can’t do both. choose one’.

“I am following my dream,” she said.

Hairdresser Azita Abdollahian is now a trained counselor

As a result of her new qualifications, she is transforming her hair salon into The Pheonix Centre offering life coaching, clinical hypnotherapy as well as hair and beauty.

Her slogan is “rise to your personal best” which is what she has been doing herself since exiting her marriage of 22 years.

Azita grew up in Iran and was 17 when she married a 23-year-old medical student in an arranged marriage.

In 1999 the Iranian security services came after her husband who was by then a published author.

The couple managed to get passports and left for Turkey with their two young daughters, a few clothes, books and little else.

They were registered as asylum seekers by the United Nations and after 13 months were accepted into Australia.

“The first few years were really tough,”. “We didn’t know anyone.

“I taught myself English watching Bananas in Pyjamas and The Wiggles with my children. When my elder daughter started school I used to learn from her.”

To get herself out of the house she took a part-time job in a Persian hair salon. Then started her training until her husband bought her a salon in Quakers Hill where she worked for eight years.

Their marriage ended in 2011.

“I was used to being put down and humiliated for 22 years. And for the sake of my kids I learned to be comfortable with being uncomfortable,”.  It was then she started her journey of self-development and decided to follow her own dream.

‘I don’t even recognise myself now. Seven years ago I felt I was no-one and was worthless”

There is a beauty salon upstairs and there are plans to have a dietitian on site too.

‘I wanted to create a centre where people could look good but also feel good,” she said. “I can do both.”

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