Wednesday, 25 November 2020

Hairdresser opens new salon in her garden shed

Hairdresser opens new salon in her garden shed

A HAIRDRESSER says her back garden salon has enabled vulnerable people to have a haircut during the coronavirus crisis.

Jo Plackett opened the £12,000 shed behind her home in Kennylands Road, Sonning Common, as she wanted to offer a more personalised experience to her customers.

The 49-year-old has worked in the industry since she was 16, when she worked for Vidal Sassoon and cut celebrities’ hair, in both salons and as a mobile hairdresser.

Her salon has room for one customer at a time, which she says has helped people worried about coronavirus to feel more relaxed.

Mrs Plackett said: “When you go to a salon it’s busy and noisy and at the moment especially it’s quite stressful for people.

“Each person who comes here is on their own and they can have a chat and discuss their lives — it’s private and personal.”

She owned her own salon for 10 years but felt that because of the large number of staff, customers had a less personalised experience. “I wanted to give more of a boutique service to people, a proper consultation,” said Mrs Plackett. “I can speak to my clients more personally and advise them on what will work and what won’t.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. Having my own salon was good but I found all I was doing was looking after the juniors who were in training.”

Her salon, called Jo’s Hair and Fashion Styling, cost £10,000 to build and another £2,000 to equip and furnish. Construction work began in January and it opened in July.

Mrs Plackett said: “When covid-19 happened it worked quite well as I had almost finished the salon. It gave me more time to order stuff like the furniture and get everything set up. It was all done with savings. I’d always thought about it but I needed to do it right and to work out when I could afford to do it. It was just about having the money.”

Mrs Plackett, who sees about 10 customers per week, says she keeps up to date with all available hairdressing courses in order to maintain her skills.

She said: “I offer cuts and colour as I was a colour specialist in London. My work is more of a natural cut and colour rather than dressing hair up like wedding hair. Product-wise I use a variety of different things, including some vegan products.”

Mrs Plackett said she had wanted to be a hairdresser from the age of five and used to try to style her family members’ hair.

She said: “From the minute I finished school it was straight to London for interviews.”  

She spent 10 years with Sassoon, where she trained and cut and coloured some famous people’s hair, including fashion designer Mary Quant, actress Patsy Kensit, singer Kim Wilde and actor Anthony Hopkins. Mrs Plackett said: “There were about 500 juniors across all the Vidal Sassoon salons and only five of us qualified. It was long hours and very hard.”

After a decade, Mrs Plackett spent six years as a mobile hairdresser in Guildford before opening her own salon. She then went back to mobile hairdressing in St Albans before moving to Sonning Common three years ago.

“This is by far the best of what I’ve done,” she said. “I love it. I love Sonning Common as well. It’s really good and there is a great community here.”

Mrs Plackett lives with her husband Martyn Metcalfe, 53,  who is a greenkeeper at Harleyford Golf Club in Marlow, and her son, Frankie, 12, who goes to Gillotts School in Henley.

She said: “Frankie loves the salon and I can be around a lot more for him so I absolutely love it.

“Our cockapoo, Max, loves it too. He comes and sits in the salon. It’s a hidden gem at the end of the garden.”

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