Category: Environment, Diversity
24 Station Road
Whitley Bay NE26 2RD Tyne and Wear
During the pandemic I made the decision to finally push forward with my dream. A dream to relocate and open an eco-friendly, sustainable, inclusive and gender-neutral hair salon.
A dream that would help many people, our planet and mostly, me.
After years of working with other hair brands at salons across east London and having been told by doctors to quit my job as I was so highly allergic to most of the chemical’s I came into contact with, I came across Kevin Murphy. I had an instant reaction, in a fantastic way, when I realised the products were so well made, with minimal chemicals that they no longer irritated me or flared my dermatitis. Working with Kevin Murphy meant I could continue my passion and one true love, working with hair. Which would also lead to following my dream.
Along side the amazing benefits I personally felt, I fell in love with the brands ethos. I was already on my own personal journey during this discovery, changing to a vegan diet, cutting out as much single use plastic as possible and altogether trying to make better choices for the planet. The combination of making different life choices and starting to discover fantastic brands id continue to work with, started the motion in my mind of opening my own salon.
I also knew I wanted to combine this love of helping the planet with my other great passion, being part of the LGBTQ+ community. Throughout my career and adult life, I’ve come across many people who have been turned away from places, made to feel uncomfortable in spaces and I myself have experienced homophobic comments and conversations from clients.
I absolutely knew that as well as promoting the salon as being an eco and sustainable space it would be a positive and safe space for everyone. An inclusive salon that everyone will feel comfortable in, regardless of race, gender,sexuality, disability or mental health issues.
Roll forward a few months and the pandemic struck. Halting all my plans and dreams of not only relocating but of opening my own salon. I used the downtime from work to continue to plan, research and prepare. I came across other brands I knew I’d be integrating into the salon like, The Green Salon Collective, What the crap, Hair has no gender and Ecoheads.
I waited for the country to start to reopen, went back to work for a few months and then finally made the plunge and started the steps to relocate. I found a potential place to live and a potential salon space,all online and had to rely on my in laws to view the premises for me as I was still in London.
The salon space I found is based in Whitley Bay, Tyne & Wear. Whitley Bay is a coastal town and ive come to learn that the community in the area are devoted to helping and saving the planet in any way they can. It surprised me to learn there were no other eco salons in the area or within a close proximity.
I implemented all the brands id discovered during lockdown and made as many changes as possible within the salon to help in my plight of helping the planet. I reused any furniture that was already in the premises, use What the crap toilet paper, replaced old lighting with led bulbs, shop from local, small, independent refill stores for things like hand wash and washing up liquid and operate a paperless reception.
Not only were there no eco salons in the area but there was nobody offering gender neutral servicing or price lists.
Gender neutral pricing is so important to me, hair has no gender, so why are we charging like it does? Services should be charged on length of service and the time it take’s to carry them out.
I finally got to open the salon in December 2021. Originally it should’ve been November, but we had another UK lockdown for a month. I was able to open and was fully booked for the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas. We then went into another lockdown, which lasted 3 more months. I was then able to reopen again at the beginning of April 2022. I am so grateful and happy to say I have been continuously fully booked ever since. I have clients who are vocal in telling me the reasons they chose my salon. Either because of the work I am doing to help the environment, because they are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, because of my work and skillset and because they feel like it is a safe and welcoming space. I have a handful of clients who suffer with social anxiety, hair salon anxiety and now covid anxiety. But they feel safe coming into my salon. This makes my heart swell with pride.
I am so happy to be able to offer people not only a space that they feel happy in and want to keep revisiting but also somewhere they know is doing what they can to help save our planet.
My journey and story started in London 2020, it then progressed to the North East and although it was a very stop start journey due to the pandemic it was April 2021 when it finally flowed and the salon was able to open for more than 3 weeks!
This journey is a continuous and ongoing journey. I am continuing to develop my skill set, research and discover more ways I can adapt the salon to be more eco and will always fight the cause for the LGBTQ+ community.
126.96.36.199 | 05/07/2021