Michelle Marshall talks to Living Magazines about Rhiwbina, her salon – and why her team makes each visit something special
Tell us a bit about your own background.
I started my hairdressing career as a Saturday girl when I was in my last year of high school. I loved every minute of it and I was in awe of the cool hairdressers who were creating amazing styles on their clients’ hair.
Once I had left school, I worked in a few hair salons around Cardiff but none of them really worked for me. Then I got a job in this really upmarket salon in Rhiwbina called Aquarius. It was the place to go to get your hair done. It was so busy and everyone wanted a part of the success. It was here that I found my love for education – it was at the heart of what made this salon so special.
After a few years, I tried working in a few different salons and I even worked part-time in the local college. But everything kept leading back to Rhiwbina and in 2000, I became a partner in a salon for around five years. Everything changed when I decided to go it alone and I got myself a studio above Kats Claws up at the crossroads. There I developed what I wanted to see in a business and how I wanted the ethos to feel from a guest’s point of view. We outgrew the space that we had and in 2015, we opened Michelle Marshall Salon on Beulah Road.
What inspired you to open a salon in Rhiwbina?
Rhiwbina is where my heart is. It’s where my real hairdressing journey started and where I knew our style of salon would work so well because of its great community feel. All routes that I seem to have taken over the last 30 years have led me back to my roots. You’ve got to love Rhiwbina village, the people who live here and also the people who visit.
You have a very exciting team. What qualities can they offer?
Yes, I’m very proud of each and every member of my team. They are loyal, hard-working, boundary-pushing, creative-thinking and they have a real passion for delivering our brand values. I couldn’t ask for more from them. They really do embrace every idea that I throw at them with open arms and that’s all you can ask for. I feel that this really does create a great environment for us to work in, and for our guests who come to us for a hair service.
What products do you use in the salon?
We are a 100% Redken Elite Salon. In my humble opinion, these are the best products around. Their heritage is science and education and they were the first company back in 1961 to use the pH scale in all of their products. Our hair is naturally acidic and most products on the market are alkaline which swells the hair and opens the cuticle – letting the colour out and letting dirt in!
Redken also focus on what the hair is naturally made of, which among other things, is protein and moisture. All the products are prescribed individually to what your hair is lacking at that time. The education is so important to me as this, I feel, is the basis to growing a brand that has longevity.
What areas do you specialise in?
We offer all services to our guests but we do specialise in colour, cutting and styling. The team all have their individual strong fortes – we like to think that as a team, we cover all areas of the hairdressing spectrum.
I’m an International Redken Artist and travel all over the world educating other salon professionals to be the best that they can be. My team are no exception to developing their talents and keeping on top of the current trends. Balayage is big for all of us here too – the team is really strong in this style of highlighting hair in a freestyle way, without foil enhancing the natural contours of your hair. I was also responsible for implementing this across the UK on behalf of Redken UK.
You’ve picked up several awards in the short time that you’ve been in the village. How important are these to your business?
Yes we have! I’ve been so very thrilled and proud of how far we have come in such a short space of time. Two years and we have had so much recognition, it’s insane. They really do give us that stamp of approval and it really motivates the whole team. I think from a business point of view, it lets people know that you are serious about what you do and that you take the time to be the best that you can be. Our guests know that we’re not going to let the grass grow under our feet.
What are you most proud of here at the salon? The Team! Without them, we have no business to offer our lovely guests. They are my priority.
What can first-time guests expect when they walk through your doors? A friendly smile and a welcome from all the team awaits anyone who comes through our doors.
A: Michelle Marshall Salon, 12 Beulah Rd, Rhiwbina, Cardiff CF14 6LX
T: 029 2061 1566