Latest 7 chats to Jonathan Harries, owner of Shine Hair & Beauty Salon in Brighton
When did you become interested in hairdressing?
“At the age of 15 my sister took me to a really great salon in London’s West End and said that while she was having her hair done, I could get my ‘mullet’ trimmed. The guy that cut my hair seemed to absolutely love his job and as I had no vision of what I would want to do when I left school, I pretty much decided then that I wanted to become a hairdresser. I then started an apprenticeship with Akin Konizi [British Hairdresser of the Year 2008 and 2009].”
What’s the best and hardest part of owning a salon?
“Other than VAT, I’d probably say that one of the hardest things is making sure that the people I work with are happy, otherwise everything else in the salon becomes pointless if they’re not happy with what they are doing. The best thing about owning a salon is being able to make decisions that please everyone without going through a head office or a giant HR department.”
If you weren’t a hairdresser, what would you be doing?
“Making music. I studied jazz and popular music studies at Goldsmiths University of London and did the singer/producer thing for a while and loved it, but I later found out that singing at weddings and other various corporate events in order to pay the rent wasn’t quite as fun. If you’re reading this and I sang at your do, no offence.”
What makes a good stylist and how do you choose who works for you?
“It’s all about the basics. If a hairdresser has a strong foundation and understanding of the classic haircuts and colour techniques, everything else can be developed over time. This development can take a long time and you ideally want a hairdresser that believes that, and who is passionate and willing to commit. This way your salon’s haircuts and colour techniques can evolve as their skills develop.”
What is Shine’s ethos?
“To create beautiful hair, offer great customer service while creating minimum damage to the environment.”
What is your philosophy on hair?
“To work with what you’ve got. There is no such thing as bad hair; it’s just bad hairdressers, or hairdressers that have promised a client something that is never going to happen. Here at Shine we never promise to do the impossible – it’s all about knowing your clients and fulfilling their needs.”
What makes people come to your salon?
“Hopefully our ethos.”
What’s your prediction of the hairdressing industry?
“In the 25 years I’ve been involved in hairdressing, I’ve seen huge changes. The industry has become so much more professional, there are more and more product companies ‘going green’ and investing in the kindest way to colour your hair. I can only predict that this will continue in the same direction. Here at Shine we will continually be hot on the tails of whoever is keeping their products natural, while achieving great results.”
Which products do you find yourself reaching for over and over again?
“Moving into the summer months, I find I’m continually offering advice on how to get your hair looking fantastic with minimum effort. If you’re lucky enough to be blessed with waves, I’d be reaching for Aveda’s Be Curly range. If there are no waves, then I tend to reach for Aveda’s Light Elements Serum or Smooth Infusion to combat frizz and keep flyaway strands under control.”
What’s next for Shine?
“I’m launching another salon in July called Pod – Pod stands for Professional Ongoing Development. The concept is similar to Jamie Oliver’s ‘restaurant with a purpose’ Fifteen in London and will be a place where newly qualified hairdressers can develop their skills while being mentored initially by the team at Shine. It’s a really exciting time for Shine and with so many hairdressers leaving college and unable to get a job without salon experience, Pod will aim to fill that gap for them.”
Shine Hair and Beauty, 111 Gloucester Road, Brighton, BN1 4AF,
01273 604404, www.shinehairgroup.com