HJ Careers: Errol Douglas MBE

Published 26th Jun 2024 by Talana Sodiwala

Errol Douglas MBE shares his journey to industry success...

What has been your career journey so far?

I always say I didn’t choose hairdressing; it chose me. I started working in a local salon when I was 11 and after leaving school, I qualified and worked there for six years before moving to Paul Edmonds for five years as Artistic Director. I then had a four-year spell at Richard Ward before opening my own salon on beautiful Motcomb Street at the age of 27 in 1998. Four decades later I’m still working in an industry I’m hugely privileged to be a part of.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?

My eyes are always wide open to the possibilities of what’s next – it's about staying ahead of the game. Never copy; innovate and create. I’m a searcher, a collector, you’ve got to be looking for ideas everywhere and that’s when you can truly make art with hair.

What has been your proudest moment during your career?

I’m proud to have won more than 45 national and international awards over 27 years but there are two honours in particular that mean the world to me. Receiving my MBE for education and services to hairdressing from Her Majesty the Queen in 2008, and holding the title of Patron of Honour for the Fellowship of British Hairdressing.

What has been the biggest challenge during your career?

The greatest challenge is simply staying in business. Like all salons, we’ve had sticky periods, not just during Covid – running a salon is hard work. Winning awards and being on stage in front of thousands is amazing, but owning a successful business and keeping your doors open is the biggest challenge and the greatest achievement of all.

What advice would you give to someone who aspires to have a career like yours?

It takes hard work and commitment. It's passion, stamina and determination that makes the difference between success and failure. Don’t cut corners – you have to put in the work. You can’t afford to be asleep when others around you are going full throttle. Gather info, do your research, work hard.

What’s next for Errol?

We’ve just taken up residency at the Peninsula Hotel in London with our own atelier salon. Meanwhile, our Motcomb Street salon has had a refresh. Behind the scenes, I’m working on a new product range for textured hair. There's more global trips and more award nominations coming up. My world begins and ends with hair.

1994: Makes the F.A.M.E Team

1998: Opened his Motcomb Street Salon 

2007: Enters the #BHA Hall of Fame for Afro Hairdresser of the Year

2021: Wins IHA International Hairdresser of the Year

Talana Sodiwala

Talana Sodiwala

Published 26th Jun 2024

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