Welcome Scream Hairdressing

It’s a great time for SLB! We’re building the team, planning super exciting projects and working with new clients!

Our latest appointment, Scream, is a well known salon in Preston, owned by Shruty Stephenson.

Shruty has built up an impressive portfolio working alongside top session stylists such as Adam Reed, Anthony Turner and Guido Palau on shows at London, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks including: House of Holland, Mulberry, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana.

Shruty also recently graduated from the ‘Hair: Mastered’ course where she worked closely with industry legend Sam McKnight, who is responsible for almost 40 years of iconic hairdressing.

We have known for Shruty for years through her work with brands such as BaByliss PRO, so it’s great to be working with her and raising the profile of the salon!

Looking forward to working with you!

Introducing Jenny…

It’s a very exciting time for us at SLB PR as we announce that we have appointed the one and only hospitality specialist Jenny Popplewell in the newly created role! of Business Development Manager.

With a CV that boasts coveted positions for high end operators (D&D London, Individual Restaurants, 42 The Calls), niche concepts (Thai Leisure Group/ Chaophraya) and high street market leaders (Revolution Bars Group) Jenny has a proven track record of raising brand interest and increasing sales across the hospitality sector.

Her appointment is reflective of SLB PR’s strategy for expansion, both client base and operationally, with a move from a successful but solely referral based sales strategy to a pro-active approach. Jenny will maximise opportunities and grow the core business by identifying businesses in need of the ‘SLB effect’, perhaps even before they do, but especially before they turn to the brand damaging strategies we have seen in action – think PR not ER.

“Having worked client side for a number of years, I know exactly what brands require from their external PR teams,” Jenny says, “innovative and evolving content, tracked KPIs, measurable ROI, honest communication and a genuine passion to build the brand and the team they are representing. Sharon and the team bring these threefold so it’s great to be the one in charge of taking that message to a wider audience.

“I am also really looking forward to developing my skill set to include PR Account Management and work in new sectors such as fashion and hair; both of which I am already incredibly passionate about.”

If you have a project in mind you’d like to work with us on, or you need the SLB effect yourself email jenny@slbpr.co.uk and say hello!

Engaging with PAs

A running joke in the office is that life working in PR is a little bit like the Runway office in the Devil Wears Prada. Now, admittedly we don’t throw coats on each others desks or run around New York City searching for an unpublished Harry Potter manuscript, but that said, life can get intense.

We have great relationships with the excellent and efficient network of Personal Assistants that live and work around Leeds, who are instrumental in supporting the heads of huge companies that make the city work.

Recently, we hosted a night dedicated to PAs on behalf of our client, Bar Soba, on Merrion Street in Leeds. Joining Bar Soba were our friends at Westrow salon group, Kiehl’s cosmetics and local rising star MUA Jâle Özakinci – to provide a holistic pampering experience.

In true SLB style, guests were greeted with Prosecco on arrival (is there any other way to enter a room?!) and encouraged to check out each of the stations. At Westrow, hair was blowdried and transformed, with their top stylists demonstrating the most effective techniques on how to stay on top of the latest trends.

Kiehl’s were showcasing a selection of their premium skin, body and hair care products whilst offering hand and face massages to relieve some mid-week stress. Meanwhile, Jâle was putting her very impressive MUA experience to use, demonstrating makeup trends and techniques.

Putting our guests in the middle of the action, Bar Soba’s expert mixologists were on hand to provide mini masterclasses on some of their signature drinks, and their extremely talented chef was overseeing a DIY Gyoza station.

If this sounds like your bag, make sure you’re following us on social to hear about future events!


Clients, clippers, coverage and the Coterie!

It’s true that in brand communications no two days are ever the same. Over the past few weeks we have hosted two events; planned for several more; gained a new client and secured significant coverage for all our clients.


As featured on HJi, the future of hairdressing/barbering training is significantly changing with our client, MHDAcademy, becoming the preferred multimedia training option for City & Guilds hairdressing and barbering courses. Impressive because City & Guilds is the market leader in providing hairdressing and barbering qualifications in the UK, with 72% market share delivering qualifications to over 15,000 students per year. 60% of centres are now using MHDAcademy and some colleges have made the resource a mandatory part of training for all trainers and students. 

Hairdressing continually suffers at the hands of careers advisors and schools, who do not see it as a viable career option for most students. To those of us who work in the industry it is the sister to fashion. More importantly it is a true customer facing industry – it will be a long time before we have our hair cut or styled via a laptop or phone. It is also hugely important to our individual well-being – just ask any one who has felt the despair of a hair disaster and the elation they felt when they found the hairdresser to rectify this. 


Recently we worked with Creative Head magazine on The Coterie event in Leeds, with James Brown, who created the Hair programme; is known as Kate Moss’ hairdresser plus was one of the first to launch a ‘designer’ range of products in Boots and now looks after celebrities around the world); and Nicola Clarke. Based at the John Frieda salon in London, Nicola is a renowned colourist, in demand from every A-lister you can think of including Madonna. But both are down to earth and keen to encourage and share their knowledge and expertise with the next generation, and their peers. 

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We worked with the Fellowship for British Hairdressing to share how to get into the much coveted, but highly competitive and demanding, world of session hairdressing and how to combine this with the financial security that running a salon column offers.

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At the end of June was the BarberConnect show, where we had two clients exhibiting – bring the very best in UK barbering under one roof to share skills and ideas. Male grooming is a huge growth area and, as with hairdressing, needs to support the talent of the future.

From an intense hair related couple of weeks – the next few are all about planning and launching new services from our bar clients.


All About the Fellowship

I have worked in the hairdressing industry for a very long time – more years than I care to put in writing – and I love it.  Hand in hand with fashion it’s fast paced, forever changing and is home to wonderfully creative and visionary people who are generous in sharing their skills and knowledge.


British hairdressing is widely regarded as the best in the world. This is the home after all of the late, great Vidal Sassoon; Trevor Sorbie; Errol Douglas MBE; Guido; Sam McKnight; the Mascolo family and Eugene Soulieman – all of whom have helped make the UK hair industry a truly global phenomenon. Education, especially for the next generation, is a passion they all share.

This why an organisation such as the Fellowship for British Hairdressing is so important to the industry. It offers the opportunity to be recognised alongside the industry’s creative talents and business leaders. Membership gives access to workshops and seminars (free or heavily discounted) that money can’t buy, and are often exclusive to the the Fellowship, for example the incredible chance to get to see three or four British Hairdressers of the Year on one stage together!

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Anyone can be a member as long as they adhere to the 12 Principles of Good Salon Practice outlined by the Fellowship. Ideally it’s for ambitious hairdressers who believe in on-going professional development, both for them and their staff; people who want to learn from the very best and push their own boundaries, becoming successful and then giving something back.

The opportunities are endless – stage time at major exhibitions, the opportunity to learn from the very best in the industry, PR exposure with national magazines, and brilliant networking opportunities. The best news for anyone interested is that this year prices have been held at 2015 rates, and the joining fee has been waived!

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In this, their 70th anniversary, it’s worth seeing what the Fellowship could do for your business – http://www.fellowshiphair.com/


Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s ClubStar

A few months ago we spent a couple of great days in London at Spring Studios with the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s ClubStar Art Team – the six chosen young hairdresser’s who represent the ClubStar Division – aimed at 16-25 year olds.


Our client, BaByliss PRO, sponsors an annual photoshoot for the team, working with some of the UK’s very best creatives: photographer, Paul Scala; make-up artist, Jaimee Thomas; and stylist, Kim Howells


Prior to shoot day all the stylists met with the creative team to present their moodboards and decide a theme for the shoot, and to explore and agree styling and make-up ideas. The creative team guided the hair team, and highlighted the areas they needed to consider when making plans for the big day. This was followed by a model casting, where again the creative team provided advice about choosing the best models for the shoot.

And then shoot day – as well as the excitement of being in the next studio to some bloke called Daniel Craig, there was a brilliant relaxed buzz about prepping six models and achieving at least six finished looks in a day. The team worked so hard and supported each other so well that eight gorgeous looks were achieved.150708_conair_594150708_conair_383

150708_conair_704At SLB PR our job is to coordinate the shoot and work with the Fellowship’s PR, Laura-Jane Dudfield to invite trade media and place the finished images – not as glamorous as it sounds when you’re trying to co-ordinate the travel and accommodation needs of around 10 people all from different parts of the country! BaByliss PRO funded all aspects of the shoot including travel and accommodation for this year’s team members who travelled from Harrogate, Chester, Leamington Spa and Kent to take part. This year’s team is Liam Robinson from Michelle Griffin, Ben Russell from RUSH, Sarah Linley from The Boutique Atelier, Elaine Sneddon from Halo Hair & Beauty, Nathan Telford from Nicola Smyth Award Winning Hair, and Annie Morelli from Barrie Stephen Hair.

The Fellowship for British Hairdressing is a not-for-profit, best practice, non-political organisation that strives to be a positive voice for quality within professional hairdressing. Membership is by invitation only and the focus is on promoting artistic and creative quality, shows, education and trends.


It’s a shame as this year there were very few entries from the North for the 2017 Team. Being a member of the ClubStar division itself offers a packed programme of events designed to help hone young hairdressers’ techniques in all aspects of their work – from cutting and colouring to presentation and session skills. Auditions are held annually for the ClubStar Art Team, who then get to work with some of the UK’s best hairdressers and leading product companies – an amazing opportunity for the industry’s next generation. Having a stylist in the ClubStar Art Team does mean time out of the salon, but in return you get a young staff member who is enthusiastic, keen to implement what they’ve learnt from their new experience and someone who can share these new found skills and techniques with the rest of the team.


2015: A year in review

As we kick off the New Year with a new client, Jack French handbags and accessories, and a packed calendar for our fantastic existing clients, I’ve taken a quick breather to reflect on the whirlwind that was 2015.

To be fair it was a tremendous year, which culminated in the appointment of Rosie O’Brien as Account Executive, supporting on all accounts with a focus on social media content and monitoring.

My Highlights

Negotiating and managing the sponsorship of the hair at LFW shows for BaByliss PRO. It’s the icing on the cake of this job to work with such amazingly creative people as Syd Hayes and the team at Premier Hair & Make-Up; James Pecis and his D&V Management team and a little career high in working with Sam McKnight at Paul Smith AW15 (and again at Creative Head’s The Coterie in Edinburgh). The teams these lead stylists pull together read like a who’s who of British hairdressing and make for a great atmosphere on the day. That’s why every beauty editor attends and gives such great coverage.


Developing the profile of Katie Mulcahy as RUSK UK Ambassador (who is also the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s Colour Project Leader) which included managing a video and photoshoot – sourcing studio; models and then seeding the videos and placing the shots. We worked with her on her entry for Creative Head Magazine’s Most Wanted Awards, where she picked up the Colour Expert Award, and then finished the year by organising for her to be Mary Portas’ colour expert on Channel 4’s ‘What Britain Bought in 2015’.

On the bar front we worked with MOJO on launching their new food menu, plus celebrating their 10th Birthday in Manchester, gaining some great coverage in The Sunday Times and Fabulous magazine, and with blogger Stephi LeReine and her 31K plus Instagram followers.

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The launch of Leeds Fashion Initiative was an Autumn fave – bringing together all parties in the region with a passion for fashion and supporting emerging designers. The idea of making Leeds a centre of excellence for fashion is a grand yet achievable one, if done well. We helped to bring in key sponsors working with them and partners to build the project’s profile.


And then we moved internationally! Gloss Salon and Academy, Dubai, opened its doors just before Christmas – a little later than planned (building schedules are the same an around the world!) and immediately received a visit from actress Mahra (@Almahra91 – 776K Insta followers). We are working closely with their suppliers and team to implement the dedicated marketing, social and PR plan we designed for them (including which posters are displayed in the salon!). Now we are organising Gloss’ first show, with education ambassador Michel Zeytoun, taking place on the Hairdresser’s Journal stage at Professional Beauty, Dubai, next month.


And back to the UK – Andrew Barton’s new products at Argos were an absolute winner with almost every national and regional paper/online loving them – generating coverage in over 27 titles.

And whoever thought PR was just about coverage!!

Happy New Year.