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Thursday, 25 February 2016

Independent Businesses - Ashley @ Kels Belles Beauty

As some of you will have seen recently, I have been making it a mission of mine to visit and write about independent businesses and their owners, to keep you all in the know about who to visit, where to go and what to spend your pennies on. This week, I was asked to visit the lovely Ashley, resident hairdresser at Kels' Belles Beauty.

I will hold up my hands and admit, I am a hair-dressers' nightmare. I like my hair long. I like it blonde. I like it, effectively, to never be touched, and when it has to be, I'm part of the 'take of the smallest amount you can' brigade. I'm not particularly brave or creative with my bonce.

But even I find it a treat to, every now and then, change it up a bit and go for something different, and already knowing just what an excellent hair stylist Ashley is, when she invited me in for a treatment I jumped at the opportunity to get my locks looked at.

As stated above, I am incredibly fussy and nervy when it comes to getting my hair done, but having known Ashley for a long time, I felt entirely comfortable with her. She is so very good at her job (as the pictures show), is friendly and welcoming, and really listens to you when you describe what you would like. So even those without my previous knowledge of Ashley's work and can visit her, comfortable in the knowledge that they're in for a treat.
Beautiful bridal hair
A while back, I had some copper lowlights put through my hair by another wonderfully talented hairdresser and absolutely adored them, so asked Ashley if she would freshen them up for me. She did this and so much more.

As mentioned in my previous post about Kelly at Kels' Belles, the salon is a wonderful place to visit. You really do feel like you are visiting friends. Chatty, warm, and bubbly, there's always a lovely atmosphere. My appointment was the last on a Tuesday evening, so the girls would have been forgiven for being tired, but as usual, they were hard at work making people look fabulous.

Once I had taken a seat and been provided with a (perfect) cup of tea, Ashley went through the colour options with me, and whilst advising me about the colours and my selection, allowed me to make the decision for myself. I chose a gorgeous golden copper tone, slightly richer than my previous colour and Ashley got to work.
Just some of Ashley's work
As the dye was applied to my hair, the conversation flowed, and Ashley talked me through how she chooses her products. She's incredibly conscientious about the quality of the products she uses, and is considerate of what she is happy to apply to her customer's hair. This is hardly surprising considering that she has studied and practiced hair dressing since leaving school. In actual fact she was practicing her styles on her friends at school during lunchtime. I should know, I was one of them! She has a wealth of experience, and shares that with her clients, not being afraid to advise them on what would be best for their hair, but always having their wishes at the forefront of her mind.

Once the dye had done its job, we moved over to the basin for my favourite part- the hair wash. There is something incredibly therapeutic about someone else washing your hair, so I kicked back and relaxed.

Ashley had talked to me about a new range that she is currently utilising in the salon called Milkshake. A hair care range inspired by all things natural, the products feel gorgeous, smell delicious and are well priced (see more here - http://www.milkshakehaircare.co.uk/). They sounded amazing, so Ashley popped one of the hair treatments on for good measure. My hair was silky and soft, and smelt so good I could have eaten it. Don't worry, I resisted! She also told me about a new dying process she has been using - mixing Milkshake's Whipped Cream leave-in treatment in a cocktail glass with a temporary colour. Apply to the hair and leave in, as simple as that!
Milkshake's Whipped Cream leave-in treatment mixed with a temporary hair colour.
Once the dye was washed out and my hair had been rinsed, we moved back to the mirror, where I had a trim (a very small one!) and a blow-dry, leaving my hair in soft waves, with a warmer tone and looking very pretty.
The finished look. Warm copper and blonde tones set off with soft waves.
A good hairdresser can cut your hair. A great hairdresser makes you feel like you've had a complete make-over. Ashley falls into the latter category. I left the salon that evening feeling refreshed and relaxed. She has years of experience and has worked her way up, from studying her craft, to working for various salons, to where she is now - a successful business owner in her own right, based in a gorgeous boutique salon. Success isn't easy to come by, and takes dedication, hard-work and a love of what you do to achieve it. All things Ashley has in bucket-loads. She deserves every achievement because she works so hard to earn them, and takes care of those who choose to trust her with their hair. That trust is well-placed, and explains why her clients return to her time and again. Anyone who hasn't visited her, get your appointment booked now, you won't regret it!
Keep your eyes open for the next Independent Business posts, I'll be visiting some lovely local entrepreneurs over the next few weeks. I'll keep you posted. 

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