Attention to detail is an obsession of every professional in the Environment salon team. Virtually everyone has a Sassoon-trained heritage, so the disciplines of precision cutting and colouring techniques reign supreme, progressing from the corporate boundaries freeing creativity.
The happy smiley, face you see behind the desk when you step into Environment is that of Tieu Ly (pronounced Sue-lie.) As the salon’s very-efficient receptionist, she has been manning the desk from day one and loves every minute of keeping the salon running seamlessly smooth.
“It’s so important to make clients feel welcomed and cared for,” says Tieu Ly. “I know all of our regulars and am very good at recognising their voices on the phone, which always seems to impress them,” says the happy, bubbly receptionist.
“I make sure our clients get well and truly looked after, I’m always aware if someone is waiting and do what I can to make their wait as comfortable as possible, getting them whatever they need, whether it’s complimentary refreshments or a sandwich for lunch.”
Front of house
Anthony Keast (to give him his full name), a creative hairdresser with roots in the North, has found his niche in the heart of London as co-owner of Environment.
When a teenager, he had his sights set on being an architect, but the idea of eight years training didn’t fit his impatience of youth. His hairdressing light bulb moment was while watching an impressive Vidal Sasson hair show with some hairdresser pals.
Keast trained at Sassoon and cut a creative swath in a 20-year career with the company, recognising the right moment to spurn the corporate world to create the salon he’d always visualised: a warm, welcoming, creative and happy place with an open door for discerning clients and like-minded hairdressers to share.
“It took ages to think of the name, but once we hit upon Environment it worked just perfectly,” says Keast. “Ours is a friendly, expressive environment where we encourage staff to be creative, work together and feel part of the family.
Keast works five days a week on the salon floor, the demands of his loyal clientele meaning that if you’d like to experience his strong hairdressing technique and personalised finishing – best you book in advance!
Joint owner of Environment is Kiyoshi Inoue – or Kiyo as he prefers to be known – who holds 20 years of hairdressing experience in his skilled hands. Coming to London from his native Copenhagen, he learnt his craft on Sassoon’s nine-month Diploma Course.
A very fast learner, just seven months after joining the company’s staff training scheme, Kiyo was on the salon floor building a clientele. Progressing to reach the dizzying heights of Creative Director in Sassoon’s training department – he felt the need to go it alone.
“I wanted the freedom to manage and express myself,” explains Kiyo, a practising Buddhist. “I didn’t want to be constrained by corporate rules or brand limitations,” says this man whose finger is rarely off the pulse of creativity. “I love to live in the now and react to what art and life and my team put in front of me.”
Kiyo works on the salon floor four days a week, creating superb, precision cut styles for an extraordinarily reasonable £105.
“I think Environment probably offers the best value for money in the whole of central London,” says Kiyo. “Everyone in the team has outstanding hairdressing skills and gives great service and hair treatments in a warm, friendly and caring environment. It’s a salon where you feel at home because we care absolutely for our clients’ look, wellbeing and peace of mind.”
Patsy has been working at Environment from day one. A skilled colourist, she started her Sassoon training in 1993 and now has 26 years of practical, on the salon floor experience under her fashionable belt.
Working on a complete cross section of clients 4 days a week, her salon colleagues automatically pass their clients over to Patsy, knowing their haircuts will look all the better after being enhanced with her deft tinting techniques.
“I chose to work as a colourist rather than a cutter because I was interested in the science behind the art, as well as the immediate impact you can create with colour.”
“Our salon is very strong on colour and I’d say about 80% of our clients have colour to some degree. I’m absolutely obsessed with working in a methodical, organised way and my favourite type of work is to simply create beautifully clean, shiny hair colour which totally works for the client.”
After training in a salon and college in her home city of Tokyo, Azu came to London ten years ago to perfect her cutting skills at the Sassoon Academy. “I just wanted to be the absolute best at cutting,” says the Japanese hairdresser dedicated to her precision scissor work.
Working five days a week, Azu makes sure she takes account of personality and lifestyle before designing someone’s look. “It’s so important they can look after their style, manage it easily themselves,” she explains.
Azu much enjoys her London clientele. “In London, people are more adventurous and there are so many different nationalities and hair types, it makes my work much more interesting,” says the nifty cutter, who races round a basket ball court on her day off...
Level 3 Stylist
After studying Fashion for a short time before following her passion in hair, Eloise now specialises in colour.
"I'm Fascinated by the science and the endless possibilities colour combinations provide. I love the effect hair colour has on someones appearance, seeing how it makes them feel. There is something very special about helping making someone feel good about themselves."
Most of her free time is spent on City Breaks, painting and in a bid to keep fit has recently taken up Judo, but you can find Elle 5 days a week in environment.