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A cut above the rest for 40 years!

Posted onPosted on 7th Jul

The salon manager at Mark Leeson in Mansfield, multi-award-winning hairdresser Terri Kay, is celebrating 40 years in the industry this year.

Known for her photographic collections, which have won Terri two places in the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame, she has scooped both the British Hairdressing Awards’ Eastern and the Men’s Hairdresser of the Year categories a remarkable three times.

Terri’s career began four decades ago, aged just 16 as part of a YTS training scheme, in the John Hawley salon in Mansfield. She went on to manage a number of salons in the area and also worked as a freelance hairdresser while her son was young.

A chance encounter with former colleague Mark Leeson on the hairdressing competition circuit then played a significant part in Terri’s future career.

Having bought the John Hawley salon, where they had both trained, Mark was now a salon owner and keen to expand his team.

He offered Terri a job with a promise there would be opportunities to work outside the salon on more creative projects, such as stage work and assisting on collections.

“Going to work for Mark was definitely a major career move for me,” remembered Terri.

“I’ve done hair shows across the world and worked on so many award-winning collections.”

Highlights in her career since joining the Mark Leeson team include those British Hairdressing Awards wins, as well as working on the Art Team and travelling internationally to work on shows, shoots, and seminars.

Last year Mark Leeson salons scooped five titles at the 2021 British Hairdressing Awards — meaning more than 50 top awards have been won in 25 years.

Mark, co-owner of Mark Leeson Chesterfield and Mark Leeson Body & Mind, Mansfield, with Richard Darby, added: “We have an incredibly strong and loyal team.

“They get to travel the world and experience everything a career in hair can reward you with. Everyone in the team plays a part in our success. We’re all involved and we’re on the journey together.”

Co-owner and creative director Richard said: “We don’t just encourage our team to be good at what they do, we give them the belief to be the best.

“Education is the key to success in hairdressing, and at Mark Leeson we offer training for qualified hairdressers, hungry apprentices, or those who want to refresh their skills and master their techniques.”

Terri said: “My biggest mentor has to be Mark because we share a lot of ideas. He listens as well as advises, has a good eye, and a creative mind.

“My main advice is to keep learning and don’t let it become mundane. The best thing about our job is making a suggestion to a client about how they can make changes and the client trusting you and going with it. When I was 21, it was perms, highlights and blow-dries. The great thing about today is that everyone is different. It has definitely changed for the better.”