The Beauty Business | Errol Douglas – Celebrity Hair Stylist
I recently visited the Errol Douglas salon in Belgravia for a treatment (more on that soon!) and whilst I was there I had a lovely chat with owner and celebrity hairstylist Errol Douglas. Errol is a very well established hair stylist with an impressive CV that spans more than two decades. He’s worked his magic on the locks of celebrities including Iman, Diana Ross, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and even Lenny Kravitz and he also regularly works with popular publications like Vogue, Elle and Cosmopolitan. And if that wasn’t enough, Errol was also presented an MBE by the Queen for his services to hairdressing; starstruck isn’t even the word to describe how I felt when I met him!
As well as owning a salon, Errol also works with fashion houses and at shows. He told me that he regularly works with one of my favourite online stores my-wardrobe.com. I’ve always loved hairstylists that are into fashion as their imagination, creativity and fashion edge really shows in the hairstyles that they create, just have a look at some of the work Errol‘s done in a photoshoot shot by world renowned photographer Rankin and you’ll see what I mean.
Did you always want to be a hair stylist?
Hairdressing was my chosen profession. I tend to think that if you’re really passionate about something it’s more of a vocation, so hairdressing chose me. I have been interested in it ever since I can remember. The minute I picked up a magazine, I knew it was hair and fashion. I would say about primary school age, 11-12, I knew it was hairdressing.
How did you get into becoming a hairstylist?
At that particular time I was always sticking my head in magazines. Vidal Sassoon‘s name was everywhere 20 years ago. I wasn’t necessarily looking to work with him, but I was looking to work in the West End so I absolutely knew where I was going. I grew up in East London and I thought there’s no way I want to work locally so I took a bus ride up the West End with my brother and that changed my life. We drove through London on the number 8 through Covent Garden, Hyde Park Corner and then it came up to Knightsbridge and Kings Road and I said ‘that’s where I want a shop!’.
Before you opened Errol Douglas Salon you were working in other salons. How different is working in a salon to owning one?
With working in a salon you can always walk away and shut the door. Owning a salon, you can never walk away and never shut the door. It’s a 24 hour experience, I’m building and promoting this business 24 hours a day. What’s very interesting about it is that it’s very much a family business and most of the staff who’ve worked here I’ve trained since the beginning. The business is 15 years old so the majority of the people here are like family.
Dead or alive, is there someone whose hair you’d love to style?
Scarlett Johansson and Charlize Theron, they’re so iconic. Scarlett Johnsson started off young and she’s been around for about 9 years. She’s an amazing role model for the young and upcoming actress or woman out there. She’s versatile so I’d give her a short style, long on the top and quite sexy; I wouldn’t make it so androgynous that it looks masculine.
You’ve worked in the industry for years, any advice for anyone wanting to get into the industry?
My advice would be to just be sincere, be honest with the person. Nobody wants to work with someone who’s lazy; hairdressing is about hard work and late hours and no days off! If you’re honest with yourself about your work ethics you’re going to do well. If you’re thinking hairdressing’s going to be easy with a lot of standing around and doing nothing, think again!