Hairdressers Celebrate their Idols for International Women’s Day

by laurahusband / last updated March 8, 2019

International Women's Day 2019

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019 on 8 March, female members of the industry discuss the women who have inspired them to achieve their career goals and reach their full potential within the hairdressing industry.

Sally Brooks

“As a creative, Lady Gaga is unique, individual and exceptionally talented. Her love for her art and her passion to her craft is truly inspirational. My other unusual choice would be my local road cleaner. She knows everyone by name, she says good morning to everyone, she looks after the old people – she has time for everyone and never cares that she is the road cleaner. She is a lovely, inspirational woman that looks after the community and picks up their crap – always with a smile! Sometimes it’s the small things that people do that need celebrating. Women like this inspires me and makes me want to be a better person!”
Sally Brooks, co-founder Brooks & Brooks London and British Hairdresser of the Year

Gill Berry

“Vivienne Westwood is my female idol for International Women’s Day 2019. She has inspired me in my work with her rule breaking attitude to fashion and society. She is an amazing leader in the design world and still rocks a platform heel even though she is in her 80s!”
Gill Berry, Joico European design team leader


“Irena Sendler was a social worker and nurse who served during World War II. Irena risked her own life to save thousands of Jews. She was aware of the consequences but chose to put others first.”
Krysia Eddery, owner, Perfectly Posh Hair Design 

Paola Rush

“Fashion designer Mary Quant was an influencer of her time and she’s my idol for International Women’s Day 2019. She was instrumental to the emancipation of women having her hair cut into a bob by Sassoon. She knew how to make a statement.”
Paola Fattorusso-Pinto, education director, Rush Hair 

Michelle Griffin

“Karren Brady is a business woman, TV personality and sporting executive to name just a few of her roles. She learned how to succeed in a male industry and how to do this in a stylish and dignified way.”
Michelle Griffin, owner and CEO, Loxbox 

“I really admire Pink the singer. She has always stood out from the crowd, not only with her scintillating voice but also with her unique image and her incredible hairstyles and colours. This has inspired women all over the world to just be themselves and show off their individual personalities.”
Sophie Collins, barber

“There’s so many amazing women in our industry but I’m lucky to have one of them as my boss, Sally Brooks, being around a super creative and inspiring mentor really pushes me to be the best hairdresser I can be. Also my nan who is 85 years old and still doing hair. She’s my number one fan and I’m hers. From a young age I’d go to her salon and watch her create away, hoping one day I could be half as good as her! She was the one who inspired me to join this amazing industry.”
Grace Dalgleish, Brooks & Brooks, London

Sharon Malcolm

“I’m inspired by any woman who takes risks and believes in what they do. I risked everything to set up my own business and I really admire women who have done the same. Also I look up to anyone with a dream and vision, determination and grit. Women like salon owner Sharon Peake, educator Vivienne Mackinder, Jennifer Cheyne, Sharon Blain, British Hairdresser of the Year Sally Brooks and the Fellowship’s Ann Herman are all strong and passionate in their own ways. They all believe in something and have worked incredibly hard to achieve it. Outside the industry I admire women who are passionate about mindfulness – Oprah Winfrey is top of my list, with Isabella Blow for her creativity and belief. I also admired Italian Vogue editor, Franca Sozzani who followed her dream and made it a reality.”
Sharon Malcolm, Sharon Malcolm Hairdressing, Newtownards, Northern Ireland

Suzie McGill

“My biggest inspiration is Linda Stewart, owner of Rainbow Room International and one of the leading names, not only within the UK hairdressing industry, but within the global hairdressing industry. For forty years she has provided members of our team with a secure future along with a structures career path, has impeccable business skills and has created an exceptional brand. Linda is also an absolute pleasure to work alongside, as she is such a genuine and caring person.”
Suzie McGill, Rainbow Room International Uddingston salon owner, Schwarzkopf Professional UK ambassador and international artistic director at Rainbow Room International 



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