Beauty salon

Beauty salon Derby has been voted the best in the Midlands after surviving lockdown

On Burton Road in Littleover is a small salon doing big things. As you enter through a narrow arched doorway and up narrow stairs, you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a small setup, but to the delight of guests, the stairs give way to a plane open plan and a spacious living area upstairs, spanning two properties.

“Not what you expected, is it?” said Helen Walton, of Littleover, the owner of the Hair & Beauty Loft when we arrived at her salon on a chilly Thursday morning to find out why customers just can’t get enough of her work.

It is adorned with wooden floors and walls and decor in neutral tones, instantly relaxing guests upon arrival. The salon itself is made up of a large main room, catering to customers’ hair and manicure needs, as well as four smaller private areas, where staff can perform a number of treatments, including body treatments. of the face, a holistic and semi-permanent make-up. treatments and pedicures.

Read more stories about the people of Derbyshire

The Hair & Beauty Loft was formerly known as The Beauty Loft and started with Helen, but over the past six years has since grown to a team of 13, including five hairstylists and eight beauticians. The 38-year-old initially trained in beauty and worked in education for the 10 years before setting up her own salon. Coincidentally, it was when Helen felt she needed a career change that the Burton Road salon became available.

“When I arrived I was sort of starting from zero with the salon. And also when I arrived I had to share it with another hair salon, so we shared the premises for four years, but then the guy who ran fletcher’s hair said he was going to retire…my goal was always to want the whole building so i contacted the rental company and told them i wanted the whole building take charge.

“But the week we signed the lease was also the same week we entered the first national lockdown. So we used that first lockdown to renovate the living room – we put in new flooring, because the the hair side was very dated compared to our beauty side, so we were able to put our full stamp on it.”

Due to COVID restrictions, when the salon opened as The Hair & Beauty Loft, only the hair salon could open. Helen specializes in facial therapy, but has other team members who focus on nails, hair and holistic therapy, and the salon has also recently branched out into makeup.

Talking about what makes the Hair & Beauty Loft unique, Helen added: “I always say we’re affordable luxury, so every month we do a special set of treatments and they’ll dip their toe in and try it out, and get excited. they like We are not a pretentious salon, we are very professional and have very high standards.

“We make guests feel welcome from the moment they arrive. It’s like a roller coaster, from the moment they go up until the moment they stop, it’s all about that experience, we’re not your Christmas and birthday salon, we are your everyday salon where you come.”

The Hair & Beauty Loft was recently voted the best salon in the Midlands at the English Hair and Beauty Awards, which took place in March 2022. The first awards were due to take place in 2019, when the salon was just a team of four.

Helen’s salon won the awards thanks to the customers who nominated it. Award judges evaluate each salon and consider why they were nominated before placing them into a category.

“On this street alone, where we are, there are already five living rooms. So not to mention Derby, but also Birmingham, Leicester, Nottingham, Wolverhampton, Stoke and Coventry…so to get that nod is amazing and for me after the last two years of restrictions, it’s become kind of acceptable that, wow, we’ve come out of it, we’ve grown, we’ve gotten bigger, and it’s great because some shows haven’t been successful.”

Going forward, Helen hopes to build on the makeup and hair side of the business and build it to the same strength as the beauty team.