Today there are 21 KH HAIR salons scattered all over the East Midlands, including Nottingham, Leicester and Ripley: a testament to the time and the legacy of hairdressers Arthur and Keith Hall, and their salon group which now marks its 100thanniversary this year.
What began as one salon, ‘Halls’ on a quiet street corner in a Nottinghamshire town back in 1920, has evolved massively. Arthur Hall, a forward-thinking entrepreneur, set up here with six gentlemen chairs and eight ladies styling stations, forming the first unisex salon outside of London. He was joined by his son Keith in the early years of WW2, as the youngster stepped in to fill in the spaces left by the salon’s barbers who were called to duty for WW2. Eventually, Keith also joined the Royal Air Force and went into battle, returning in 1946 with an MBE for gallantry. Impressively, Keith returned to his profession and trained for a year in London with the likes of Charles Pluckrose of Wigmore Street after being inspired by Freddy French and Raymond Bessone. But eschewing the lights of the big city, Keith was always committed to bringing back his new founded expertise and inspiration to his own salon in the East Midlands: The company was now branded Keith Hall.
1968 and all that
The Swinging Sixties and Keith headhunted Stephen Messias (an art director from Vidal Sassoon) to join him. Together the two formidable hairdressers joined forces to provide a strong educational programme. building pioneering educational programmes to create skilled, professional hairdressers and managers – an ethos KH Hair is still synonymous with today. In the early 80s, as a testament to his brilliant work, Keith was awarded President of Intercoiffure Mondial, then becoming Honorary President in the late 80s. He retired in the mid-80s, selling his now 12-salon group to the junior partners who retained the name Keith Hall, but reshaped the company into a workable franchise format. Significantly, Stephen’s son Darren joined as an apprentice.
Now named The KH Hair Group, the company is run today by joint managing directors, Darren Messias (Stephen’s son) and Tim Fee (both former apprentices with the company). Tim is set to retire in March 2020, leaving Darren singularly holding the reins of the KH Hair Group – a challenge he is very much looking forward to.”It’s going to feel strange without Tim sitting in the opposite chair after all these years.” he says. “However, I’m excited for the future of KH Hair and I’m determined to ensure all our salons continue to grow stronger and carry on delivering the very best in customer service and industry expertise”
KH Hair has picked up some of the most highly sought after accolades in the industry. Most recently, the Training Academy won a British Hairdressing Business Award in 2017 and Creative Team members, Jessica Neil & Mary Geoghegan were named Eastern Hairdresser of the Year at the 2018 British Hairdressing Awards.
The rest of 2020 will see centenary celebrations throughout the year with offers and events including 100 free haircuts giveaway as a random act of kindness, keeping in line with the forward-thinking spirit KH HAIR preserves.
KH Creative Team: Collection credits: Hair: Elizabeth Williams at KH Hair • Make-up: Cristina Lazzarotto • Clothes: Dana Verri • Photography: Lucy Feng
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