By Olivia Church
It’s amazing to think that OPEN Hairdressing Hemel Hempstead has only been in business for just over a year. It may be the baby of the family, but it has a loyal and ever-growing clientele.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this business, OPEN Hairdressing is a chain of independent hair salons. They are also located in busy Berkhamsted and the quaint town of Harpenden. Started in 2014 by Director John Phillips and Co-Directors Ben Harrison and Jack Palmer, they believe that their clients deserve to experience high quality and professional salon experiences that they’d expect from London salons, on their doorstep. This ethos is at the very core of their success and the directors all have years of training in London behind them.
John studied and taught at the prestigious Vidal Sassoon Academy, while Ben and Jack have a similar level of experience in the capital. They ensure that they pass on London style hairdressing techniques to their stylists and colourists so that they, too, can give their clients a stylish and practical outcome that’s high street ready. The Hemel Hempstead salon has even been crowned ‘Best Hair Salon in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire’ in the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019, and continues to infuse Hemel’s sleepy Old Town with a new lease of life.
It appears that OPEN Hairdressing’s success isn’t simply based on quality of service. It also reflects a wider social movement. For example, Hertfordshire is one of many counties that is providing former city-dwellers and business owners some much needed respite from their hectic lives in the capital. Perhaps it’s no surprise that with London’s eye-watering house prices, rising levels of pollution and major overcrowding, more than a third of a million people moved out of London in favour of the leafy suburbs (Guardian, 2018). Hertfordshire is a county where time and again, small, self-sufficient companies are proving to us all that you can replicate a London lifestyle without having to travel vast distances to maintain it.
Not only is OPEN a trendy place to have your hair cut, but the launch of their in-house training scheme, known as OPEN Education, has saved it’s hairdressing trainees hundreds, if not thousands of pounds. Why travel to study apprenticeships in London when you can learn from professional and trained educators just down the road? OPEN Education aims to foster the demands of the hair industry in fun yet professional surroundings. Trainees receive recognised qualifications at the end of their course before moving on in their careers to more senior roles. Independent businesses like OPEN Hairdressing convey a raw passion for what they do and to take pride in connecting with the local community.
For more information about OPEN Hairdressing, please visit www.openhairdressing.co.uk
Photographs by Andreas Yiasoumi Photography