Dolphin Square SW1

This week, we went to visit Collum Hair, a hidden hairdressing gem nestled in the heart of Dolphin Square. Collum Hair has been an integral part of the square for over seventeen years, so we decided to sit in front of the mirror and talk cuts, colour and being ‘classy not brassy‘ with director, Sarah Jane Collum.

We thought we’d start with the basics, so Sarah Jane, what can those who’ve never visited Collum Hair expect from their experience?

‘A fantastic service from start to finish with stylists trained to the very top of their profession, and who take pride in the quality of their work. All of our stylists regularly attend refresher and development courses at the Wella and L’Oreal studios ensuring our clients receive great service with modern techniques. Collum Hair is renowned for outstanding hair colouring expertise, couple with precision cutting techniques, allowing customers to achieve the perfect look.

We only use the best in professional products, being a Wella and L’Oreal salon. We regularly use Kerastase and Pureology products, and carry the expert knowledge to match every client with a product perfectly tailored to their hair needs. We also offer Olaplex treatments, which is high in demand!’

Tell us a little bit about yourself – what lead you to Collum Hair?

‘Well, I’ve wanted to be a hairstylist since I was 5, cutting hair from the age of 13 ( family and friends) – it’s in my blood. As a child I would stand outside hair salons peering in desperate to be a part of the buzz, the smells, the creativity, I craved it! I went to hairdressing college in Devon at 15 and the students scoffed at my dreams of going to London to retrain in a top salon, which only spurred me on more. I worked my way up the ranks in a prestigious salon in Knightsbridge, right opposite Harrods, assisting on fashion shoots, fashion shows and meeting some amazing industry platers – Annie Humphrey’s, international colour director for Vidal Sassoon was my heroine, and I got to meet her!

I co owned my first salon in Buckingham Gate SW1, right next to Buckingham Palace and had some exciting years running my first business and meeting incredible clients; including some of princess Diana’s personal bodyguards, sporting legends and many from Scotland Yard and the Home office.
When Approached about opening a salon in Dolphin Square I saw it as the perfect time to create Collum Hair Company. Seveneteen years on I have the most incredible team and the most incredible loyal clientele, some of which have been with me for 25 years and come from as far as Oxford, Kent, Bournemouth, and all over London, as well as our lovely  residents of Dolphin Square who are like family to us as we see many of them weekly’
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Such an incredible story! So, what’s your favourite thing about running Collum Hair?
‘It has to be working alongside my amazing team, who inspire me to create an excellent environment for them to work in and our clientele to enjoy. The wonderful diverse clientele who I get to spend quality time with, hearing their amazing life stories and careers and read many a biography on these amazing people. Watching our clients leave the salon very happy only makes me happier, and getting to share my knowledge and experience with my clients means I have the ability to change the way people feel about themselves – I love that’
Thinking back over your hairdressing career, what’s been your most interesting/unique/funny experience?
‘There have been many a story, but of course I have to respect my client’s privacy. But, what I can tell you – hearing the voice of one of my favourite characters from one of my favourite American TV series coming from a chair in my salon – I put my head round, and there they were! A fantastic moment’
You could write a book! What do you think gives Collum Hair the ‘cutting edge’ over your competitors?
‘We listen to our clients first and foremost, and we care about their wants and needs, doing our upmost to get them to their goal with sensible expert advice. If pink hair isn’t going to suit we will not go there – but if it will, it’s just a case of “how pink do you want to go!”‘
And who doesn’t love pink hair! If someone was to come into the salon and ask for your favourite style to cut/colour, what would they ask for?

‘I actually don’t have a ‘favourite‘ style or colour as I’m excited by every hair texture and every hair colour, and every person has an individual face shape, hair type and personality – one cut and colour would not suit all, so favouritism towards a cut or colour is out of the question! I’m a Wella Master Colourist, but still go on refresher courses and technique courses as there is always so much more to learn. As hair colouring technology evolves, a favourite colour would probably keep changing anyway. So, my favourite cut and colour is the individual one I give to every client of mine’

You must have seen hairdressing evolve! How has hairdressing evolved over the years, and how have trends changed?

‘Cutting techniques have not changed much at all, and styles like the bob are constantly being revived and altered very slightly to add something a little different, but it’s just a slightly new take on an old classic. From my early career to now I have seen styles come and go, and then come back again with a little twist, but even all the big hair blowdrys from the 70’s are back in! The tousled beach waves from the 90’s are back in and the short back and sides and long on top from the 80’s is back in – it all comes back around. We are also now back to the ‘crazy colours‘ in hair that every punk rocker and mod in town had in the 80’s. But, in my eyes ‘ you can’t beat the classics’

Any final hairdressing knowledge you would like to share?

‘I’m not going to give away any secrets, but I do have one final word…my hairdressing rule I swear by, and probably sums up my work the best – Classy NOT Brassy’

To hear more from Sarah Jane, or to book a hair appointment with the most knowledgable stylists in SW1, click here.

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