With both celebrity clientele and a hoard of loyal followers who simply love looking and feeling fabulous, this year Hari’s is celebrating their 40th anniversary. Now with four salons, including their latest in Notting Hill, we wanted to find out how they set the bar so high for so long…
How did the business begin?
Hari started the business 40 years ago. We are having a big birthday celebration later in the year! Hari started hairdressing 59 years ago, starting with the salon on Sydney Street in Chelsea. It was a massive success and we soon outgrew that location. Since then it has gone from strength to strength and we now operate out of four salons.
How did you decide upon the aesthetic of the salon?
Hari does a lot of travelling and on his travels in India. He brought back a lot of Indian furniture. This includes a 400 year old door which is the stand out piece. This furniture provides the basis of the aesthetic. Overall we wanted to create a look which is timeless. We wanted to create a certain ‘Hari’s’ look and feel, without being too formulaic.
The Fulham Road salon is set in a former antique furniture shop, which was looking very tired. The whole site was gutted in 2018 so we could redesign it from scratch. Lighting was one of our main concerns, so we got the help of a lighting designer from Belgium. We have a skylight for the colour team to work under, which also keeps our plants fed with plenty of natural light.
How do you stand out from your competitors?
In terms of hairdressing, every member of our staff has been homegrown and trained in-house by Hari, which gives us consistency. A significant number of staff have been with Hari’s their whole career.
In terms of salon look – everything is bespoke and made by an artisan. We took great care to create an environment where both clients and staff are comfortable and feel at home. Even though we now have four salons, everytime we open one we make sure we have learnt more from previous experiences.
What do you think are the most interesting features of the salon?
We have put in an air freshening system as well as air conditioning. This purifies the air from outside, so the salon always has clean fresh air.
Our favourite piece of furniture is the 400 year old Indian door which we have adapted to set into metal. It is so heavy it takes 6 people to lift it!
We also have a bespoke clock which is made out of 40 other clocks!
How do you think social media has influenced our industry?
Social media is a fantastic means for hairdressers to express their style and interests. It also gives us much more influence of the number and type of clientele we can attract.
How do you keep up to date with the latest industry trends?
We like to think we are pioneers of trends and always push ourselves to stay ahead of the curve.
What do you think makes a successful salon?
Staff training and keeping your team happy. We pride ourselves in our training programme, which is still run by Hari himself.
What advice can you give to others wanting to open a salon?
Have a good team ready, first. You can’t open a restaurant without a good chef!
What are some of your favourite products and tools to use in the salon?
We are a L’Oreal salon – our favourite range to use is Shu Umera.
What can we expect from you in 2020 and beyond?
We are looking to expand and open two more salons, as well as pushing our training academy.
Time for more? Take a look at more from our Salon Design of the Month series…