Precision cutting and expert colouring in a calm and exclusive salon, with a hairstylist with 40 years’ experience.
Seeing the QE2 setting sail from Southampton one day as a teenager I resolved to work on that prestigious ship and see the world. I decided that hairdressing would be my ticket and made my plan. I worked hard at college, taking extra time to gain practice and experience. I worked in several local salons as well as in London, before I got the job of my dreams at age 20. I joined the QE2 as a hairdresser and straightaway was off on a world cruise. I would spend the following 5 years hairdressing my way around the world. It was a great opportunity for me in general and gave me much experience and skills in hairdressing.
I saw more countries than I thought I would ever see in my lifetime. I also had the opportunity to give lectures on hair care to passengers and was lucky to have some famous clients come into our salon including John Travolta, Sue Pollard, Shirley Bassey, Renate Blauel (wife of Elton John), Julie Hovland (wife of Telly Savalas) as well as many US TV stars.
On my return to Winchester in 1988 I opened my salon in Stockbridge Road – Simon’s Nut House! I quickly became established with a great clientele, many who have grown up with me. Over the years I have seen families grow and have cut the hair of the children and grandchildren of my clients.
In 2003 the salon moved to new, larger premises a few doors along and I changed the name to Rapport Hairdressing. Over the years I have been lucky to work in the salon with some great colleagues as well as share the salon with additional services such as nail technicians, massage therapists and reflexologists.
The pandemic affected many things and the salon is no exception. It was tough to be closed throughout the lockdowns and I missed the regular contact with my clients. I stayed in touch with them, chatting with them on a regular basis, and was so happy when I could open the salon to them again.
Now, Rapport Hairdressing is less “hustle and bustle” and more a select, quiet sanctuary where clients can take time to discuss their requirements. Clients will see me for the entirety of their appointment. I have found that by washing and finishing their hair myself, rather than passing to and from trainee stylists, I have much more time to discuss their hair care and clients feel unhurried and not overheard by others waiting, or working. This suits those who are “hairdresser shy” or clients concerned about changes to their hair for a number of reasons such as illness, aging or if they have had a past bad experience.
I feel my skill is in precision cutting and I concentrate on this and my colouring experience to advise clients on what is possible for their hair and realistic for their lifestyle and deliver this in a relaxed, more private environment. I keep abreast of new techniques and products in order to be able to consider these for clients as and when appropriate.
I met Allison at hairdressing college in the 1980s and worked with her from time to time over the years. Allison has her own hairdressing business and brings it to Rapport for 2/3 days each week. It is lovely to have her company in the salon on those days and to welcome her clients to Rapport.