Bored of the standard salon experience? This east London hotspot is the antidote, explains Not Another Salon founder Sophia Hilton
Not Another Salon is one of the coolest and most colourful new salons to recently open its doors in east London. Its entire ethos is about ditching the conventional hair salon format to bring a fresh outlook to hair cut and colour. Plus, it’s the brainchild of Sophia Hilton (the former educator at Brookes & Brookes and winner of L’Oreal Colour Trophy and British Newcomer at the British Hairdressing Awards in 2013).
WGSN Senior Beauty Editor Theresa Yee meets Hilton to find out more.
When did you decide to open your own business?
I had the idea in my head and from there it was full steam ahead. It actually stemmed from a pub conversation on a Sunday night with my husband and my friend. I was saying ‘if I had a salon I would do it like this and make it feel so different by doing this’. After the conversation, I got up at 6 a.m. the next morning to start working on it and I got up every morning for the next year and that was it.
Why did you call it Not Another Salon?
I was saying to my husband that if I were going to have a hair salon, it wouldn’t be another salon. My attention span is too short and I wouldn’t stay interested. The fact that this company can constantly evolve and change means that I will always stay interested and be able to come up with new things and keep it exciting.
Not Another Salon is located in Brick Lane, east London. How important is location?
I chose Brick Lane because I moved here seven years ago when I came to London and I loved it for being a place that everyone can be themselves and I thought if you were going to do something a little bit wacky anywhere it would be here. But it is still developing and some people might say it has become more of a tourist area. I did look at Dalston but it is still quite up-and-coming. We are quite high-end, so I wanted to bridge the gap between high-end and still having an edgy coolness.
What makes Not Another Salon stand out in the beauty market?
I went to have my hair done all over London before I opened the salon to experience what it is like. In West London, I found it too posh and in East London too cool. I wanted to take all the intimidation out of being in a hairdresser. So, the décor is a bit chaotic and fun because I want to take away the intimidation from being in a hair salon.
The face of the company is a transgender model. The campaign shots look great.
Thanks! Yes, I guess the casting is an extension of me as a person – I really celebrate the differences that make us unique. So that was part of the whole thing of the salon being an environment that accepts everybody and Joanna (the face of the salon) is amazing at that. She is proud of who she is and very comfortable letting people know that.
Can you tell us what hair colour or styling trends will be big next year?
The grey hair trend is so strong right now. We are doing so much grey from steel grey to blue, grey with a slight lilac, anything on a grey base. Cooler tones, icy, blue-ish colours are also popular and we are moving away from pinks and reds to a cooler palette.
Are there any other new and exciting innovations?
Rebond Innoluxe. It’s an oil that you put into colour using a syringe. It stops the breakage of the bonds in the hair and stops the damage. It means we can push colour so much further than ever before. When you colour hair, it breaks the bonds so this oil keeps it connected.
Finally, what do you enjoy most about running your own business?
The best part is that I really like people management. Maybe it’s because I am an educator. Growing my own little pot of people is so exciting – I love it.
NOT ANOTHER SALON: 188 Brick Lane, London E1 6SA
Photo credits: Not Another Salon.
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