Author Archives: Yvonne Blyth

  1. Wedding and Occasion Hair

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    Considering Charlie Miller for your wedding hair or a special occasion?

    Occasion hair is part of our heritage at Charlie Miller. We began offering the service around 40 years ago, either at the venue or in one of our city centre salons.

    All wedding and special event hair queries are handled at head office by our co-ordinator extraordinaire, Darlene Sparrow. She gets exact details of whatever is needed and then liaises directly with each of the salons to find the perfect fit for the bride’s big day. She checks availability as well as accessibility to each of our branches. If the bridal party require the stylist to travel to their venue, then that’s where we go!

    Darlene takes into consideration all ideas the bride-to-be may have, which might mean matching her up with a specific stylist; more and more brides are going for simple, less intricate styles for their wedding.

    Loose waves, natural curls or bohemian styles are looks that all of our stylists execute beautifully. But, the ‘less is more’ vibe can also work perfectly with a certain dress or theme.

    But ‘hair-ups’, including those ‘undone’ up-do’s, half up half down styles, and the more intricate braids are a skill set all of their own. Requiring intense training and a love for occasion hair, this service is available with a select few. One such stylist with a passion for put ups is South St Andrew Street’s Karyn Holloway. Karyn has been mastering this skill since she was 19. Now a seasoned Senior Head Stylist, her ardour has only increased with experience.

    There’s such a wide spectrum of wedding and occasion hair.

    Ranging from classic chignons to modern fish-tail braids and beyond, Karyn relishes every one. “It’s so creative, so varied,” she tells us. “I love the journey with the bride from start to finish.”

    Some brides have no idea where to start with choosing the right style and that’s absolutely fine with Karyn. She delights in the opportunity to help choose the best look and has a few go-to questions to help her client decide.

    “I always ask to see their dress first as this helps us when deciding what will best suit their overall look. I also like to know if they plan on wearing anything in their hair- whether that’s a veil, comb or even fresh flowers.”

    Darlene recommends a trial for every bride, whether you’ve chosen your look or know your stylist.

    Most brides opt for the trial within 3 months of the wedding, when the dress, flowers and theme are all set – this means we can work around all these factors to choose the perfect look for the big day – but if that timeline is not feasible, don’t fret- there are ways and means around it!

    Karyn tells us one of the most vital questions, even if someone has come in with their mind set on a full ‘up-do’, is whether they’ve ever worn their hair up before, and when she explains why, it makes perfect sense. “When a bride walks down the aisle, I picture them as a polished version of themselves. Do they think they’ll look and feel like a completely different person with their hair up? Is there a reason they’ve chosen never to wear their hair up before?”

    Karyn’s goal is to make her bride feel “beautiful and super confident”, so she offers up a few different options or variations, demonstrating this in their dedicated consultation time.

    Her most requested look is pieces softly taken off the face with gentle face-framing curls, which can be transformed into a new look in the evening.

    Trainee Ruth from South St Andrew Street loves observing and assisting with brides and sees Karyn as a huge inspiration. “She’s so specific when explaining her thoughts to her client, describing her techniques and ideas in detail from start to finish. I love to watch as she adapts and alters to the client’s wishes and is full of ideas if the first look isn’t exactly what the client pictured. Nothing’s ever a problem and it’s amazing to watch her work her magic”.

    If you’ve opted to come to the salon on the morning of your wedding day, you’ll be greeted with a team delighted to hear your plans and meet your bride squad. There’s always a fantastic buzz in-salon when a wedding party is due in.

    If you’ve chosen for our team to come to your venue then your hairdresser, or indeed hairdressers, will arrive armed with their session bag, excited to get to work on giving you the wedding hair of your dreams.

    Always happy to work and liaise with photographers for the perfect ‘getting ready’ shots, Karyn knows the best angles and has featured in many a wedding album over the years. She loves to see photos of her beautiful brides glowing on their big day and is forever honoured to have played a role in making this happen. “It makes me so happy to become a little part of a couple’s history”.

    With her finger on the pulse at all times, Karyn let’s us know that Hollywood waves and messy buns adorned with jewelled combs are a big wedding trends for 2024. She also reckons we’ll see more front veils paired with classic, sleek up-dos, and she hopes to turn her hand to all these styles over the coming months.

    It’s not just for weddings we can create a bespoke hair up; prom hair, graduation hair and even festival hair is becoming more elaborate.

    Whatever the reason, we’re always up for discussing something that’s “off price list”. Charlie Miller stylists are thrilled to look after you whatever the occasion. Feel free to contact any of our salons to discuss all things braids, buns and chignons!

    For wedding enquiries contact darlene@charliemiller.com.

    Vivienne Westwood photography courtesy of Rachel Scott Couture. 

    For all other occasions, contact your favourite Charlie Miller branch.

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  2. Behind the Chair with Karyn Holloway

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    Join us Behind The Chair with South St Andrew Street’s Senior Head Stylist Karyn Holloway.

    Karyn became a Charlie Miller employee on the 30th of September 2013, becoming one of a handful of employees who didn’t originally train with us. 

    Feeling it was time to move on from her previous role, Karyn pondered her next move. She recalled the words of one of her regular clients, who knew our Managing Director Josh and had often insisted she should get in touch with him. Karyn had followed Charlie’s, and later Jason’s, successes throughout her own career and deeply admired their work, and it felt too big a dream to become part of the company she’d known of since her early teens. But at that moment, she felt a change was needed and decided to go for it; she thought “What have I got to lose, the worst they can say is no. 

    Karyn likens her quest to become a Charlie Miller hairdresser to being on the Apprentice; it took her 7 weeks to secure the role. In all, she had four interviews and three trade tests with Jason and Ian. She recalls how surreal it was to have people she’d watched in shows and read about it magazines look at her work. “I felt 17 again,” she says. It was hard work, but I wanted it so badly. Every time the phone rang, I was on tenterhooks.”  Finally, she got the call she’d hoped for. “And”, she says “here I am.” 

    This moment was all the sweeter considering Karyn had been interviewed by the company before as a 16 year old.

    She remembers waiting to be interviewed alongside a boy around her age who she described as looking like a new romantic, while she wore a blue outfit her mum had made her. She’d thought she’d looked “pretty funky”, but the new romantic pipped her to the post. “He’s not here now though!” She jokes, “But I am!” She describes herself as “a Charlie Miller diehard.” It’s clear to anyone who knows Karyn, just how much this company means to her.

    She does feel that it’s always been her destiny to be here. She proved that perseverance is key. “30 odd years later, I made it!” She jokes. She does mention that she didn’t wear blue to any interviews this time, feeling it might have been unlucky for her. 

    Back as a teenager seeking out her first job, she felt there was so much demand for apprenticeships, that you really had to stand out. It just wasn’t her time yet. Instead, fate took her to Ian Cameron to begin her apprenticeship. It was tough, strict and seriously hard work but she gained her qualification, invaluable experience and memories that have stuck with her throughout her career. 

    “It was so different being an apprentice back then.”

    Calling in sick was a last resort and a nerve-wracking experience, and there would be one trainee to each hairdresser. The rota system meant that they were paired with a stylist for a month. You’d have lunch when they did, run late when they did, and didn’t go home until they were finished. 

    One of the earliest memories in her career is competing with Chris Dickson, now of Dickson & Reid, to see who could dry the salon floor the fastest; “It was a really long salon.” She recalls. “Once we’d locked up, we’d put on Diana Ross, mop the floor, and shimmy across the salon on towels, to see who could get there quickest. Every morning and every night, someone would go in with a hand brush and brush the carpets of the three staircases, then clean the stairwell, and you had to do it quickly, or else you’d be late shampooing the first clients, or late to get home.” She would train twice a week at their night school, and if your model took you until 11pm, then it took you till 11pm. 

    It was tough but she loved it.

    Looking at the fantastic hairdresser she has become, it was all worth it. She absolutely lived and breathed hairdressing. Always in her mind was the end goal and an appreciation for what she was learning... but she still remembers hiding in the tumble dryers to get a break now and again. 

     When Karyn was 19, the ‘done thing’ was to leave the salon you qualified in and do what they called an ‘improver year’.

    This involved moving on to another company and did a further qualification there. This is exactly what she did when she went to work for Bruce Tennant in Fringe on Spittal Street. This is where Karyn learned to put hair up, something she’s now famed for with her clients and colleagues. Bruce taught her everything she knows about classic up do’s, like chignons and French rolls, and she remembers fondly that Bruce made it look like an artform. “I loved watching him do it.” It wasn’t something that Karyn had learned as a trainee, but she’s certainly not the type of person to ever stop learning. She made sure she asked as many questions as possible, soaking up Bruce’s knowledge. His passion rubbed off on her, and whenever the opportunity arose, she’d go on courses and to watch hairdressers like Patrick Cameron.

    In Fringe, she also learned foil highlights, when lots of others were still using caps. She remembers there was only one hairdresser who did highlights– calling them ‘star lights’- and she’d always try to make time to assist her and ‘pass up’ to her.  

    Karyn remembers her time in Fringe fondly, saying she’s still in touch with Bruce now. When he retired, he even sent some of his clients her way. “He’s a lovely, incredibly talented man.” she says.  

    Karyn worked there until she was 21, then decided she wanted to live abroad for a year.

    “Some of our friend group had gone to Tenerife in ‘89, so I had saved for around a year and went out to meet them. This was almost like a gap year for me. I didn’t hair-dress, I worked in bars or did PR for nightclubs.” 

    Karyn worked in a pub called The Brewer’s Droop, collecting glasses, and it was here she discovered her love for travelling. “I don’t think I was meant to be born in Scotland. I realised how much I loved living in the sun and when the money ran out and I came home, I immediately started looking for jobs abroad.” 

    Karyn’s parents were reluctant to let her go again, but she assured them, this was what she was meant to do.  

    In the days before social media, everything that was worth knowing about hairdressing came from Hairdressers Journal. There were advertisements in the back of The Journal for jobs on cruise ships or in exotic places. 

    An ad for a hairdressing job in Bermuda caught Karyn’s eye, and, as these were the days before the internet, Karyn set off to Waterstone’s on Princes Street, which was where the Apple store is now, sitting in the travel section and surrounding herself with books on Bermuda. Looking at photographs of pink-sand beaches and clear blue seas, there was no question about it: Karyn needed this job.  

    Karyn had never written a CV before, so being the creative and artistic type of person she is, she instead made a portfolio of her work, not only photographs of hair but artwork and inspiration. She painstakingly noted everything that she could do, how she went about it and how long it took her. 

    The lady who was recruiting was a Mancunian, who had married a man from Bermuda and had just bought a hairdressing business. She was home visiting family when she received the book Karyn had sent her and told her if she could get herself to Manchester, she would interview her.  

    Two weeks later, Karyn got the call to say she had the job in Bermuda.

    It was all becoming a reality. By November of 1991, she was about to embark on a huge journey, combining her two loves of hairdressing and sun-drenched travel. 

    Little did she know that by the end of her first month there, she’d have met the other great love of her life; her husband Phil.

    Knowing Phil was originally from London, we ask Karyn what he was doing there. “What was he doing there?! She exclaims. “He was waiting for me!” 

    There was a running joke between the couple, which his best man even mentioned at their wedding, that Phil was waiting at the airport with a sign, waiting for the fresh hairdressers to get off the plane. The majority of women who came to work in Bermuda were either hairdressers, beauticians or nurses.  

    Besides waiting for his future wife, Phil was living in Bermuda working as a printer, and the pair met each other at a rugby club fundraiser. 

    Karyn recalls Phil having nice eyes, good teeth, wearing a “rubbish black, purple and blue shell suit top with lime piping”. 

    “Have you got the bottoms to match that?” was her opening line. Phil confirmed he did. “Don’t wear them.” replied Karyn. 

    By the following February, they were living together, and Karyn was perfecting her hairdressing skills in Headway.

    “I did everything you could imagine. It’s where I learned to do afro hair, cutting and relaxing it, and how to do braiding, dreadlocks and corn rows.” It was mostly the young trainees who taught her these skills, adept at it from a young age.

    She worked there for 11 years and then moved to a salon called Tangles for two years.

    Karyn had a huge Portuguese clientele, meaning she got to experience many different hair types and needs. Blow drying naturally curly, thick hair in intense, humid heat means that Karyn is now a dab hand at blow dries; those of us who’ve often felt a bit sorry for a hairdresser who’s had to dry our lions’ manes needn’t be concerned with her. “If I can do that, and I did it at 9 months pregnant too mind you, I can do any blow dry!” 

    In all, Karyn and Phil spent 13 years in Bermuda, getting engaged, married and having their daughter Ellana, whom they brought home to Scotland aged 18 months.

    Karyn went straight back into hairdressing at Clowns and when they closed their doors, she moved to Vincent Bell. 8 years later, she was a Charlie Miller hairdresser.  

    With her she brought knowledge of afro hair, beautiful colour work, an outstanding ability to put hair up (not to mention serious strength for big blow dries) and a whole lot of hilarity.

    Karyn is warm and friendly with a riotous laugh. These factors, plus many more, are why she’s a stand out teacher. 

    Watching Karyn teach is a joy. She is patient and a great communicator, and Karyn vowed to be this way many years ago. “Sometimes I’ll make it fun, or be a wee bit firmer, but I will always be patient and empathetic until they understand what I’m teaching in that session.” With all her years of experience, she can see the subtle signs of something ‘clicking’ for them. 

    Whenever the trainee finishes what they’re doing, I’ll get them to stand back, and look at their work. I ask them what they see, and I need them to tell me if there’s a hair out of place or if something could be improved. But if it’s perfect, I need them to be able to see that too.” Back in 2012 when she was considering her career options, something that crossed her mind was to retrain as a teaching assistant and then eventually a primary school teacher. We, along with many of her clients we’re sure, are very glad that she didn’t, but it’s clear she would have been brilliant at it.

    “I’d like my legacy to be how I’ve taught people things and having made it fun.”  

    Karyn hopes that many years down the line, someone will pass on a tip, trick or some knowledge to another young hairdresser and say “That’s how Karyn taught me.” We can assure Karyn, that there’s no doubt of that. Many apprentices applaud Karyn’s abilities to instruct them, and you can often find a literal queue of trainees waiting for her advice in South St Andrew Street!

    Naturally curious and inquisitive, if she sees one of the trainees doing a braiding or knotting technique, she’ll ask them to demonstrate.  

    “If I was ever to think I know everything, I should be hanging up my scissors!” 

    As much as a lot of trends that get spoken about on TikTok are new names for tried-and-true styles (a butterfly cut is just a new name for a shag, for example) she’s passionate that all stylists should know the terminology.

    “I’m quite driven by the thought of someone sitting in my chair and asking me for something I didn’t know how to do; I’d be mortified!”

    Of course, with the advent of the internet, this opened up a whole new world for me, I was watching and learning so much on YouTube. Young trainees these days are so lucky to have that at their fingertips. I had to go and seek it out. I’d encourage anyone who wants to be a stylist to use everything at their disposal to learn. I’m forever telling them to follow this person and that person.” 

    Karyn’s dedication to her role is evident, but hairdressing is far from her only passion.

    “I’m an all-in kind of gal.”

    Her most recent pursuit has been Munro climbing, which she’d initially decided to do in an attempt to conquer her fear of heights.

    “A friend had been asking me to go and do it with her for years, and I’d always said I didn’t think it was for me. But this year, I decided I wanted to quit smoking, get fitter and get outside more; so I thought, ‘Aw, just do it!'”  

    Her toughest climb so far was Benn Narnain in Arrochar, and she says to be honest, she can’t tell us much about it because she’s blanked it out!

    But she does know that there was a sheer drop and that she couldn’t look further than where her hands and feet were going next. 

    “I started meditating this year, and it’s really helped, I did that before the climb. I kept repeating to myself; “It’s not a fear, it’s a thought,” and I made it. Not that I knew there was a choice, until we started to head back down, and I realised there was a pathway we could have taken!” 

    Karyn often immerses herself in what she’s interested in at the time, but she realises that she shouldn’t have watched ‘Sherpa’, a documentary about an avalanche on Everest, before this particular climb… 

     It hasn’t put her off though, she still plans on doing many more. She even wants to memorialise her new-found hobby with a tattoo of her first two Munro’s contour lines.  

    Karyn and her friend Catrina have a fantastic way of deciding which climb is next; they decide where they’d like to go for dinner afterwards and plan their next Munro from there. 

    Ben Nevis is the ultimate aim for Karyn, she hopes to have climbed it before 2024 is out.  

    Spending so much time in nature brings back fond memories of her childhood, when she was her dad’s shadow. “I was always a daddy’s girl. I know places like the Pentland Hills like the back of my hand because my dad taught me so much about the outdoors, and about life really, on our walks together.” 

    Aside from spending time outdoors, Karyn does actually have some more relaxing pastimes!

    Her comfort show is Friends; she remembers watching the very first episode in Bermuda. She also enjoys anything by Steven King and has recently rewatched Mr Mercedes (a particularly risky thing to be watching on the bus as she tends to do, given the amount of jump-scares). She loves old school musicals like those by Rogers and Hammerstein, particularly The Sound of Music. Her karaoke song would be from one of these movies, or- as anyone who knows her will confirm- “anything by Beyonce.” Her favourite kind of music is Northern Soul. 

    Karyn is happiest at a concert or watching something in the theatre and makes the most of the Fringe festival. “I won’t say no to any concert. We were robbed of all that for two years!”

    A keen foodie, the best meal she ever had was in Locanda De Gusti, a Napolese restaurant in Dalry, for her 50th birthday. They enjoyed a seafood platter that she recalls was fresh, rustic and delicious. On this particular evening there were lots of Italians eating in the restaurant, where an Italian football match was being shown; the atmosphere was incredible. At one stage, she came back from the loo to find Phil in amongst an Italian celebration, napkin in hand, waving it wildly over his head alongside the others. She hadn’t even been gone 5 minutes. 

    If she herself were a food, we come to a very solid decision that she would be a fajita; colourful, fiery and fun, Karyn is soft round the edges but spicy on the inside. And, she likes to get wrapped up and cosy. The fajita is of course, everyone’s favourite dinner. We defy anyone to answer that question better than Karyn just did, because this truly sums her up.

    Her manager Roz tells us that there are so many reasons why Karyn is a fantastic hairdresser and a busy stylist.

    It’s because of how enthusiastic she is, of how well she keeps on top of her career as well as what’s happening in the industry. It’s about her energy, her vast experience, and just the manner in which she treats people. Her regular clients are people who have similar personalities to her, and so she’s developed deep friendships and become huge parts of their lives. She’s not ‘just’ their hairdresser. She’s aware. Aware of trends, products, and she is incredibly thoughtful, a good listener and always present.

    She pays attention to the smallest details and wants to remember as much as she can about the individuals who choose to come back to her.”

    When you’ve been in the industry a while, your clientele does begin to reflect who you are as a person, so you must be your genuine self to make that happen, and this is exactly what Karyn has done. On top of that, she’s an incredibly passionate, intelligent and wise woman who has brought so much to the company in the time she’s been here. 

    “I love my job.” Says Karyn. I love standing behind that chair, creating and making people feel good about themselves. It’s a great job to have, and a wonderful thing to look back on and say you’ve done. For any bad experience you might have, you have so many more amazing ones. Those moments of changing someone’s hair and they cry because they love it so much, or seeing that you’ve made someone more confident, that’s truly special.” 

    Thankful for the career she chose, she’s also incredibly grateful for her family, her health and the life she’s led to this point. She’s grateful for every single day, and the fact that she has no regrets.

    She may not have begun her journey here, but we, in turn, are grateful that she will be with us until she does indeed hang up her scissors.

    Book an appointment with Karyn here.

    Karyn talks more about her love for occasion hair here.

    You can also keep up to date with all the things our wonderful teams get up to by following us on our social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.


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  3. Behind the Chair with Lauren Tait

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    Behind the chair with Lauren Tait. She’s been Assistant Manager since the turn of 2024 at our salon in Holy Corner, and is a recent winner of not one, not two, but three awards at our annual Charlie Miller Achievement Awards! 

    Molly and Lauren are presented with the inaugural Cat Nicholson award.

    Our awards night is a huge event in the staff’s calendar, full of anticipation. It’s an honour to win anything, but three in one evening is no mean feat!

    Lauren’s first award was in a brand-new category; The Cat Nicholson Award. So named for our dear friend and colleague who we lost in March of 2023. Cat had a flair and passion for creativity and show stopping avant-garde hair. She was a pioneer of out-of-the-box thinking, and this is what The Cat Nicholson Award recognises.

    Lauren was joint winner with South St Andrew Street’s Molly Rufus due to their successes in the 2023  L’Oréal Colour Trophy. Lauren reached the Grand Final, (the second time she’s done so in her career) and for the support and guidance she offered Molly in her bid to win The Star Award at the same event. Molly went on to win in her category. Poignantly, some of the last conversations Cat had with the team was about how the photographic entries for The Colour Trophy were going.

    You can imagine then, how incredibly emotional this was for Lauren to win, and this alone would have made her evening, had she not gone on to win ‘Head Technician of The Year’ and the biggest prize of the evening, ‘Outstanding Hairdresser of The Year’.

    We can’t quite publish exactly what Lauren said when she heard her name called for this final award, we’ll leave it to your imagination!

    Frozen in her seat as her colleagues got to their feet around her, it took a few seconds for it to sink in. Even after ‘a good few drinks’ Lauren was nevertheless able to deliver an emotional speech expressing her gratitude and disbelief to rapturous applause. “I never usually drink at the awards”, she says, “as I quite often drive. But this year I just went for it. I definitely wasn’t expecting to win!”

    Lauren’s award categories are notoriously tough to win, and not many people would expect to win their first, second and third awards on the same evening. It’s testament to how much she has flourished since she first joined the company aged 15. 

    Lauren’s career began with Charlie Miller in 2000.

    It was only once the tough years of training, and the trials of qualifying gave way to running a column and a busy clientele, that Lauren truly felt she was doing what she was meant to be doing.  

    I didn’t dream of being a hairdresser when I was younger, I wanted to be an artist,” says Lauren. “Once I joined Charlie Miller, learned about the company, and actually got better at hairdressing, that’s when I found a love for it. I don’t truly like anything until I’m good at it.” She laughs. It took qualifying to confirm that she really did have a talent for it. “I considered art college at first, because I didn’t want to stay at school, but then I realised I didn’t want to do yet more education in a classroom environment and not know where I’d be after that. So, I needed a trade. And I’m lucky, because I love the one I chose.” 

    She does still paint, keeping it as a hobby. “There’s no pressure with it, if I want to paint something I’ll do it, but it’s for me. I paint whatever I feel like.”

    Lauren’s been creative as far back as she can remember. 

    Originally from Bathgate, Lauren’s first memory is playing with her little sister, Jennifer, four years her junior. She would build doll’s houses for her, stacking video cassettes to build the walls and cutting up her Mum’s tea towels for blankets. Jennifer is autistic, and she and Lauren have an amazing bond. Her best childhood memories are of creating, building, and generally making a mess.

    School wasn’t bad for Lauren, she just, in her own words, “wasn’t the model pupil”.  

    “I wasn’t bad! But if you read any of my old report cards, they all say, ‘Lauren’s a really nice girl but she’s very easily distracted.’ I’d get into trouble for chatting and then I wouldn’t like that class anymore. If I’d applied myself a bit more, I’d probably have been a straight A student. I enjoyed Art, Craft & Design and Religious Education. They interested me so that’s what I flourished in. I survived! But it was more of a laugh than anything else. I left in fourth year as soon as I finished my standard grades. I was 15.”

    Young Lauren told her parents she was leaving school, and as her mum, Lyn, had been a hairdresser, talk inevitably turned to a career as a stylist.

    “My mum had been following Charlie’s career since since she had watched him in a hair show. She felt this was the a great opportunity for me, and got me the application form herself.”

    But in case that didn’t work out, Lauren’s dad Bill wanted to ensure she had some other options. “One morning, my dad had a meeting in Edinburgh. He asked me to get up, get dressed and do my make-up, then dropped me off at the West End, and told me to hand my application into Charlie Miller, then go into all of the salons I liked the look of and ask for more application forms.

    He dropped her off on Stafford Street, right outside Charlie Miller. “Everyone looked so cool, dressed in great clothes and the girls all wore heels. I knew that was where I wanted to be.”

    The following week, her dad dropped her off again, armed with the now filled-in applications, and she handed them all back in.

    Three other Edinburgh salons offered Lauren a position as an apprentice, but her heart was set on Charlie Miller. They were the last to offer her a position, and she remembers her first day vividly, not least because she was wearing four-inch heels, took them off as soon as she left and walked to the train station in her bare feet. The first and last time she ever did that!

    Lauren remembers one of the stand-out days as a trainee was when everyone was busy making pompoms with real hair in the run up to the 2003 MTV Europe Music Awards in Edinburgh.

    “I remember watching it and seeing the pompoms we’d made for the backing dancers, and being so excited that I’d helped make them, and now I was watching them on stage at the MTV Awards.”

    Lauren reflects on how much she’s grown as a hairdresser, even down to which celebrity she’d choose to do the hair of. “Someone asked me this years ago, and I said Slash from Guns ‘N’ Roses… but thinking back, that’s really not my cutting style!” Now she’d choose Julia Roberts. “She seems like a nice person and her hair is beautiful.”

    Through our long-standing partnership with the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Lauren has actually styled a number of celebrities in her time. “I try not to do too much research into them beforehand, or else I’d get nervous. I want to treat them the same as I would every other client.”

    One of her fondest EIFF memories is doing Jamie Campbell’s hair.

    Also known as Fifi la True, Jamie is a British drag queen who was the inspiration behind the musical ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ and its film adaptation. “He was with his mum and Gran that evening, and I ended up doing the hair for all three of them,” recalls Lauren. Whilst she was doing Jamie’s hair, his mum was ironing an incredible fuchsia pink, French Renaissance-style gown that had been made by his grandmother, and before Lauren left, she helped him into it, whilst he towered over her in beautiful 6-inch Louboutin’s.

    Another stand-out career moment was assisting on a shoot for Rachel Scott Couture at the Balmoral Hotel.

    Charlie Miller had been enlisted to style the hair at a special shoot for Rachel Scott Couture*, one of Edinburgh’s luxury bridalwear retailers. Rachel was launching Vivienne Westwood Bridal in her Dundas Street store; the first time VW ever launched outside of London!

    Lauren was sent a mood board full of braids and crimped hair, and by the time they were finished, the model was wearing a stunning satin gown and a crimped mohawk. “I didn’t want to leave!” says Lauren. “I wanted to stay and watch the photo shoot, and watch every shot taken by Blue Sky Photography, but I had clients booked in, and I went back to the salon on a high”.

    Lauren credits her three experiences with the prestigious L’Oréal Colour Trophy as defining moments in her career.

    “It taught me a lot. I was given trust and freedom from Jason to do what I wanted with my model’s hair,” she says.  

    “I got to support Molly during the photo shoot too and doing that made me realise I knew more than I thought I did; I didn’t feel nervous or out of my depth in that situation.” 

    She credits Company Director Jason Miller with teaching her so much on previous photo shoots. “I’ve always been part of the Colour Trophy shoots over the years, assisting in the background and watching.”

    Lauren’s inspiration for her entries comes predominantly from social media.

    Her love for hair colour means she always tries to have her finger on the pulse and has gotten to the stage that she finds herself picking up on trends before they happen. 

    Having a mum who was a stylist has also been a huge influence for Lauren. Her advice and support has always been invaluable. Particularly so when it came to preparing to enter the L’Oreal Colour Trophy from helping her choose outfits to calming her when she has a bit of a wobble. “She’s always unbelievably proud of anything I achieve. When I phoned to tell her about the three Charlie Miller Awards I won, she was in tears.”

    When Lauren was newly qualified, she worked in the salon we used to have in Harvey Nichols, where Cat Nicholson was her manager. Cat taught her the art of communication, and Lauren, who describes herself as naturally shy, values this immensely.

    A great consultation comes from asking investigative questions to get to the root of what the client truly wants, as well as the skills to help them understand their own hair shape and texture. As someone who’s passionate about colour, it’s important to Lauren to impart her knowledge on the vast differences between professional colour and box dyes.

    “It takes experience to be sure you’re explaining things properly, and confidence in your abilities to give the correct advice,” she explains.   

    Lauren is open and honest, which has created a great relationship with her clients. “I just want them to be happy!” she says. “That’s my main goal. Becoming part of a client’s life, doing their wedding hair and their hair for their birthday is a great feeling.” Her favourite element of hairdressing is working with people; “to show a client the end result in the mirror, see them smile and know I’ve contributed to that; well, it’s just amazing.”  

    There’s nothing that a client could ask for that would faze her, and she would take on any challenge, but experience has taught her that when it comes to a couple of colour techniques like balayage, that it’s okay to say, “I’m happy to do this, but my colleague here is even more amazing at it!”

    Lauren feels like an entirely different person from who she was a decade ago. “I’ve had a good few years,” she reflects. “I’ve had great experiences at the L’Oréal Colour Trophy, won my [Charlie Miller] awards and become Assistant Manager.”  

    She’d always known she wanted to lean into the artistic side of hairdressing, but her rise to Assistant Manager was a natural progression.   

    “I remember Charlie himself doing an interview where he said that everything that’s happened with the business was organic. And I feel like my journey has been, too. I’m not naturally the first to put my name forward for things.”   

    “My life really changed about 7 or 8 years ago.”

    “I moved out when I was really young but found myself properly on my own a few years back. I lost my dad around the same time, and he was my go-to, the one who would fix anything for me.”

    It’s clear that Lauren’s dad was her rock. “He was amazing. Incredibly supportive. That forced me to grow up; I was entirely responsible for myself. I came out the other side of that, 6 or 7 months later, much stronger and clearer. I got through it with constant support from my mum and the rest of my family, but it became obvious that if I wanted something, I’d have to do it myself.”  

    “I was always a bit wild.”   

    Lauren recalls that she and her fellow trainees worked hard, but always had a laugh. She remembers one of the girls getting into a towel box, but Amber came in for her lunch while she was in it, so instead of just getting out, she stayed in said box until Amber left the staff room. She’s unsure if Amber ever found out; of course, she will now!

    Lauren loved a night out (or an all-night rave, to be exact) and has experienced many a hungover Saturday as a trainee, but would never have dreamt of phoning in sick. It just wasn’t the done thing. “You just got on with it!” Lauren’s generation of hairdressers have certainly grown up now. “We’re all into wellness, yoga and matcha lattes now!,” she says.   

    Lauren has a novel way of relaxing on her breaks that might surprise a few people; she listens to Julio Iglesias!

    “He was my dad’s favourite.” she explains. She’s also a fan of Andrea Bocelli. Her favourite genre of music however, is rock or metal. She does throw us a bit of a curve ball though, when we ask what her go-to song for karaoke would be… “Without Me, by Eminem! I know every line, and Karen from Stafford Street will vouch for me on that!”   

    She also loves watching Schitt’s Creek, her comfort show, and an ideal day off would be spent with her little sister and mum. They often drive together to places like Callander or Kenmore. “Anywhere with fresh air and water.” She also loves quality time with her partner, Murray, who’s she’s been with for 7 years. She describes him as “incredibly supportive, encouraging and gives me space to do what I want to do.”   

    Murray has encouraged Lauren’s love of travel, contributing to her exploring more of the world than she has before. “I love travelling with him, he’s a lot of fun, really funny. He’s helped me feel confident about travel and I think I’d be able to go away on my own now.” Her favourite place so far has been Croatia, which is also where she had her favourite meal of all time, a traditional Croatian dish called Cevapi.   

    And on the subject of food; if she were one- what would she be?! She gets some input from others on this one, and two people say ‘melon’ (apparently, it’s a ‘chilled out’ fruit?!). Two others inexplicably say strawberry… Ultimately though, Lauren goes with “marshmallow, because I’m the world’s biggest softie!” 

    We ask Lauren if she happened upon a magic lamp, what her three wishes would be; she’d choose for her friends and family to be happy and healthy, for inner peace, and to be able to give her loved ones a comfortable life. If she could choose a super power, it would be to become a healer.  

    Ultimately, she’d like to be remembered as someone who was kind, chilled out and funny.   

    We’d go a little bit further than that; Lauren is a great support to the team at Holy Corner, a very talented and creative stylist and a great mentor. As much as Lauren credits others for teaching her how to communicate, her salon manager Amber tells us that Lauren’s abilities are very natural. 

    “It isn’t taught, it’s a feeling.” Amber tells us.   

    “Apart from her fantastic ability to look after each client with a great level of care and remembering all the details of previous visits, Lauren is incredibly intuitive at looking after staff and really listening to what they need. Lauren never seeks praise & always tunes in to the emotional well-being of the team.”

    “And,” adds Amber, “she always knows when I need a cup of tea.”  

    It’s word like these that show exactly why she’s a fantastic Assistant Manager, and a great asset to the Charlie Miller family.  

    You can also keep up to date with all the things our wonderful teams get up to by following us on our social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.


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  4. Quiet Luxury

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    We asked some of our stylists what colours, styles and general vibes were here to stay for winter and beyond, and the resounding answer were phrases such as ‘quiet luxury’ and ‘old money hair’.

    South St Andrew Street’s Salon Director Roz  predicts this winter will be all about ‘quiet luxury,’ and while rich auburns, velvety browns and beautiful brondes will be prominent, soft golden blonde is very much what she’s being asked for at the moment. “Think expensive Bond Street blondes that makes you question whether it’s the client’s real colour or not! These colours are effortless, not overdone. 

    These thoughts are echoed by South St Andrew Street’s Molly. Molly is one of our Senior Salon Stylists and a Salon Technician, who has noticed that “Old Money Blonde” is a popular search on TikTok this season… Think Sofia Richie Grainge’s soft multi-dimensional blonde or the lit-from-within caramel highlights of Blake Lively. She also highlights the amount of searches for “Old Money Hair” in general, which incorporates styling with soft, polished waves, low buns or big bouncy blow-dries, and cuts with curtain bangs and lots of layers. 

    Quiet luxury isn’t just for those with long locks either- French bobs and flicky, voluminous lobs are still very much in demand. 

    Asides from the length, it’s about finding a classic shade that compliments your complexion as well as your wardrobe. 

     We’ve certainly seen the return of clients investing in luxury haircare again over the last few months, and one key factor in maintaining opulent shades is to choose products that will genuinely contribute to its health, particularly giving it nourishment, lift and shine. 

    Whatever the tone, it looks expensive, along with a glossy finish, born from fabulous haircare.

     We’ve certainly seen the return of clients investing in luxury haircare again over the last few months, and one key factor in maintaining opulent shades is to choose products that will genuinely contribute to its health, particularly giving it nourishment, lift and shine. 

    Hydration is a must for luxe hair. Our Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner duo work magic on dry hair and scalps, making hair happier, healthier and thoroughly hydrated. Finish sleek styles and gorgeous waves, or repair dry and damaged hair with our luxurious hair oil. Our oil won’t leave your hair greasy! Just use one or two drops to make hair extra-healthy, sleek and shiny.

    You don’t have to frequent the Upper East Side of Manhattan or have a Bond Street adjacent post code to look a million dollars. 

    The beauty of ‘quiet luxury’ is that it embraces minimalism when it comes to colouring. 

    Taking care of your hair at home can keep your colour for longer. Enhancing your natural colour might mean you can stretch out the time between highlight appointments (perhaps going from a full head of highlights to a half head) or focussing on tinting and toning rather than going in with a lightener at each appointment. An honourable mention should be given however, to how far hair lightening has come; with the advent of professional use products such as L’Oréal’s 9 Levels Lightening Powder and epres Professional Bond Repair, our colourists can lift your colour more safely than ever.  

    Big hair is back.

    There was a clear shift in 2023 from slicked back, sleek hair and more demand for lift at the root.

    Something that can truly elevate your look is a quality blow dry; nothing says “luxury” like hair with body and bounce, which can be achieved with a round brush or  a wide straightener.  

    We’ve seen an influx in ingenious ways to create a wave or curl since the days of lockdown; whether it’s with heatless curls or tong techniques. 

    From the humble roller to hot brushes, there are ways and means of getting that ‘blow out’ look with a little less arm pain from wielding your hairdryer!   

    Your stylist wants you to be able to recreate the look they give you at home; ask as many questions as you need, soak up as much knowledge as you can.  

    Stafford Street’s Senior Stylist Cameron loves creating big, voluminous blow dries and is often our staff’s go to to create glamorous looks that last the night. If you’re recreating the ‘blowout’ look at home, Cameron recommends bending the ends of your hair in sections with a straightener, then adding a roller to keep your look bouncy for longer.

    If you need to enhance the body and bounce, our Volume Shampoo and Conditioner can give you that, without foregoing the moisture hit- no overly squeaky-clean hair here! Follow by applying our Volume Mousse before your blow dry; not only is it a conditioning mousse but a heat protectant which will give your hair so much body. Swap this out for Volume Spritz if you’d like an extra shot of shine with your root lift; our blow dry spray boosts hair volume and adds extra shine, making hair look fuller and healthier

    Thick headbands and bows are very on-brand when it comes to the quiet luxury, or old money aesthetic. Black velvet, lace or cream satin will add to the vibe perfectly. 

    A little extra help…

    Since we’ve launched our extension service, we’ve found that most of the requests have been less for length, more for thickness. 

    Whether with bonds or tapes, the added strands create a fuller head of hair encouraging bounce and movement, often adding to a client’s confidence. A luscious mane can work wonders for one’s self esteem! With thicker, more voluminous hair, you can also experiment with various looks and styles. 

    Our blow dry prices start at £43. Book your appointment online today!

    Explore our haircare range here.

    Call to book a consultation with one our colourists or extension specialists in any of our city centre salons. Find your closest salon here.

    Keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, and follow us on our social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.


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  5. Your hair extensions questions answered!

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    If you’ve got questions about extensions, you’re in for a treat! Whether you’re looking for added thickness, more length, or chemical-free colour, extensions could be the perfect solution. Our expert Ellie breaks down the most common queries, so you can ignite your understanding and wave goodbye to any confusion!

    At Charlie Miller we take pride in our commitment to ethically sourced human hair, providing you with the finest extensions while promoting sustainability. We proudly stand by the excellence of Great Lengths, a B-Corp Certified brand that ensures ethical fabulousness! The hair is ethically sourced from India in the most responsible way, and the extensions are handcrafted in Italy, promising premium quality and long-lasting beauty!

    But here’s the beautiful twist in the tale: when you’re done with your extensions, they don’t have to end up in the bin! Send them to The Little Princess Trust, a cause close to our hearts. Your worn extensions will transformed into wigs for children and young people experiencing hair loss from cancer or other illnesses.

    Some reasons why Great Lengths extensions and the brand stand out:

    Premium quality
    Each strand is gently processed (low and slow) to a variety of shades and tones. They are then expertly blended, to give clients the most natural and seamless results. The extensions are long-lasting, and will not cause any damage to clients natural hair or scalp.

    Blended by hand
    Great Lengths hair extensions are handmade in Italy. The extensions are expertly blended, strand by strand, and are respectful of the raw materials’ integrity.

    Ethically sourced
    Great Lengths hair is sourced in India in a traceable, ethical, and responsible way.

    Made in Italy
    Great Lengths is fully respecting of human rights, local traditions, and ethical values. Every strand encapsulates experienced Italian craftsmanship, together with the application of increasingly state-of-the-art technology developed in the field of hair extensions and in their application.

    Support Local Communities
    The company is involved in many activities to support local communities and to give back to the communities from where the hair is sourced.

    Providing hair to those who need it most
    The brand’s partnership with The Little Princess Trust was an industry first, allowing people to donate their worn hair extensions, once removed, to the charity to use the hair to make wigs for children and young people experiencing hair loss from cancer and other illnesses.

    Beauty and self-care first
    The goal at Great Lengths is to help to empower women to feel like their true selves and find confidence in how they look and how they feel.

    B-Corp Certified
    Great Lengths is the first extension company to achieve B Corp status in 2022, a reflection of the company’s dedication to use the business as a force for good, aligning with rigourous social and environmental standards.

    Curious to learn more, don’t hesitate to check out our page on extensions here and find out more about this industry leading brand. Alternatively, you can book a consultation today at any of our 4 Edinburgh salons by calling your preferred salon. Full details can be found here. Your dream hair could be just an appointment away!

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  6. Give the gift of great hair

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    With the big day fast approaching, are you stuck for the perfect gift this Christmas? Here we share how Christmas gifting with Charlie Miller can be that little bit more personal. 

    A Charlie Miller gift card is always a winner for Christmas gifting, but why not impress someone special with an amount for a service tailored just for them, and give the gift of great hair this festive season?  Here we share how Christmas gifting with Charlie Miller can be that little bit more personal. 

    Pre-party blow-dry from £41

    We might be biased, but we reckon nothing finishes off an evening look like perfect hair. For your friend, mum or daughter with an event coming up, a gift card for a blow dry before they head out could be a winning gift, Glam Hollywood waves are perfect for Christmas and New Year parties, but our hairdressers will happily share their techniques for your loved-one to recreate the look at home. Help them on their way to perfect party hair every weekend with some Charlie Miller Gloss oil to properly dress those curls or upgrade them to a Kerastase treatment tailored to their hair care needs.

    For your workplace Secret Santa – £15 model cut and blow dry 

    Our hairdressing apprentices are always on the lookout for models to help them progress to the next step in their career. That colleague who’s always saying they want to change up their cut might relish the opportunity to support our young trainees whilst getting a new look. Either guided or supervised by one of our talented hairdressers, a model appointment is a great way to gift the Charlie Miller experience on the office Secret Santa budget. 

    For those tricky- to- buy- for dad’s, husbands, boyfriends, brothers…why not gift them a bit of male grooming? Gents cuts from £41.

    Gents haircutting has been a part of our heritage since Charlie himself first opened ‘His Hair’ almost 60 years ago. Across all of our salons, we cut, style and colour the hair of many generations of entire families. Why not introduce the important men in your life to us this Christmas? Add in a Soft Clay Wax to top off your gift.

    Ultimate indulgence from Charlie Miller and Wo:mankind from £69 (based on a wash and blow dry with a Salon Stylist plus a file and polish from Wo:mankind) 

    For the ultimate pamper day, look no further than our Stockbridge salon. With the addition of Womankind Beauty in our newest location, spoil that special someone with a facial before, pedicure during, or manicure after their colour and cut. 

    Cut and colour make-over- prices upon consultation

    We’ll be honest, the week up to Christmas is a popular week for partners, sons and brothers seeking out last minute gifts that will impress; but not a lot of them realise the extra steps needed before their mum, sister or significant other can book in a colour. Colour can’t really be a ‘surprise’ gift, but it can be the perfect one with a little tweaking.  

    Colour clients new to us require a consultation and a patch test. Our colourists want to get the process just right, and a huge part of that is getting to know their client, talking through their wants and needs. Their safety is paramount too, so we always carry out a patch test. To get the gift of colour just right, we recommend arranging a consultation for your loved-one and presenting them with a gift card for an amount towards their service or covering the price on the day if you prefer! 

    Of course, there is an abundance of gifts available to pick up in salon.

    We have so many gorgeous Christmas treats for a special person in your life.

    With luxurious haircare products from Charlie Miller, Kérastase and L’Oréal available in salon or on our website, and some online-exclusive stylers from GHD (all of which our hairdressers use in salon) you can give the gift beautiful hair at home.

    Raise your gift game with the Charlie Miller Volume range

    Amplify your Christmas gifting with our Volume Shampoo and Volume Conditioner. Add the Volume Spritz or Volume Mousse for the ultimate lift!

    Give the gift of hydration  

    Hydrate Shampoo, Hydrate Conditioner, 10-in-1 Spray, Smoothing Blow Dry Crème and Gloss Oil is the ultimate hair care package for those seeking hydration from the first shampoo to the finishing touches.  

    Professional sized shampoo or conditioner from £74 

    Sick of your sister slathering on your shampoo? Fed up with your flat mate pinching your conditioner? 

    We offer these mega 1000 ml shampoos and conditioners as a salon exclusive, so stock them up for months with our backwash sized shampoos and conditioners. With two shampoos and two conditioners to choose from, there’s no excuse for them to be running on empty for a while. 

    For the jetsetter in your life, why not give them the gift of great hair on the go? 

    Each of our salons have a limited amount of Cordless GHD’s in stock online, meaning sleek hair can be achieved anywhere, without the worry of sockets or adaptors. Pair this with some travel sized Kerastase products for extra brownie points!  

    Finally, a few extra little Christmas tips from us to you… 

    Our most popular products can often fly off the shelves at this time of year! We recommend calling ahead to one of our salons to check we have what you’re after in stock! We will happily reserve that sought-after gift. Find your nearest salon here.

    For those seeking a particular gift from a loved one, feel free to ask our salon-coordinators to record exactly what you’d like from Charlie Miller on your salon record card. Friends and family need only ask when they pop in to pick up a present!

    For last-minute stocking fillers, we have Invisi-bobbles, Manta Brushes, Wow Colour Root Touch Ups and a range of mini Kérastase items in all of our locations ready to pick up from our desks! 

    Don’t forget we offer various discounts for anyone under 25, as well as students. View our price list here.

    View our Christmas opening hours.

    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, don’t forget to follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter

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  7. Join our ‘Big Hair Do’ Party!

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    Join us for the ‘Big Hair Do’, the UK hair industry’s biggest party, on Wednesday 8th November, 6.30pm-9.00pm at our salon in Holy Corner for an unmissable and fun-filled evening of hair & beauty inspo with fizz and nibbles and so much more!

    Our Charlie Miller teams will be joined by an array of exciting suppliers showcasing some fabulous retail opportunities and appetisers that are sure to kickstart your festive mood.

    Tickets are only £10 each and give you immediate entry into our fabulous raffle. Check out some of our fabulous prizes below.

    Click here to book your ticket online today!

    Take advantage of EXCLUSIVE on-the-night discounted products, service bookings, plus a great raffle. Everyone attending will also receive a fantastic goody bag. Numbers will be capped so to make sure you join the party by buying your ticket now, and remember to pop a reminder in your diary!

    What To Expect

    Hair Bars
    Charlie Miller stylists will be on hand at two separate HAIR BARS to answer your hair dilemmas and provide you with hair pampering and quick-fix hair sessions, lessons in styling, and top tips and advice on colour or cutting. Get invaluable advice on the products that work best for your hair type and enjoy a one-night only incentive on products bought on the night.

    Dream of thick or long hair? Visit our EXTENSIONS station and speak to our extension specialists to find out all about Great Lengths tapes and bonds and how easy it is to get the hair thickness or length that you really want!

    Womankind Beauty
    The award-winning, professional beauty team at Womankind are all about make-up & skincare and you can enjoy mini glow ups, skin analysis and product tips and advice.

    McLaren’s on the Corner
    The fabulous local bar bistro, McLaren’s on the Corner will be serving up some incredibly tasty festive cocktails to tease your tastebuds.

    Rosie Brown Jewellery
    From necklaces, rings and bracelets to earrings and charms you’re sure to be tempted by these creative, handmade silver and gold collections with understated designs.

    Choose from a display of wonderfully scented candles that are hand-poured and packaged locally using plant-based wax, cotton-core wicks, and paraben-free, fine fragrance oil to ensure a long-lasting burn.

    Inside Out Chef
    Edinburgh-based company Inside Out Chef is run by Wendy Paterson who will be showcasing her seasonal jams, chutneys, sauces and pickles made from produce from her own garden or local suppliers. Wendy prides herself on also creating bespoke menus tailored to your requirements for weddings, birthdays, or christenings.

    Paper Tiger
    The Edinburgh destination for exciting, innovative and distinctive gifts, cards, stationery and gift-wrap.

    STEKAskills and STEKA
    We continue our fundraising for STEKA’s* hairdressing school in Malawi through the sale of its handmade Christmas tree decorations. This year the team in Malawi have made cat decorations in memory of our dear friend and colleague Cat Nicholson who introduced us to the charity a few years ago.

    *Malawian charity STEKA (Step Kids Awareness) is partnered with Scottish charity STEKAskills to help marginalised and poverty-experienced Malawians learn a trade that allows them to move out of poverty and build sustainable futures.

    And there’s more to come! 

    Raffle Prizes & Free Goody Bag!

    Our multi-winner raffle has some incredible prizes up for grabs including:
    Free skin analysis with Prescriptive Facial from Womankind
    Charlie Miller voucher for cut & colour
    Winter Orange Candle from Can-to-Candle
    £100 Réalta jewellery voucher
    IJ Mellis Lunch Deal Voucher (bottle of wine & cheeseboard for two at the Cheese Lounge)
    Honeycomb & Co hamper
    Charm bracelet from Rosie Brown Jewellery
    3 course meal for 2 guests with 2 Grey Goose Cocktails each from McLarens on the Corner.
    Paper Tiger Goody Bag
    Hamper from Inside Out Chef 

    Win a large hamper full of luxurious products from the Charlie Miller Haircare range with our “Guess How Many…” jar.

    Your FREE take home goody bag will be filled with vouchers and useful information. And a selection of indulgent hair & beauty treats for you to enjoy at home.


    Click here & book your place today!

    We can’t wait to see you there!

    Keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, and follow us on our social channels, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok.

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  8. Colour Allergy Testing

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    While allergic reactions to hair colouring are rare, it can happen, so an annual Allergy Alert Test is the only way to know if it’s safe for us to use the product on your hair.

    Skin Allergy Tests help prevent the occurrence of allergic reactions to hair colour applications. We follow the guidelines from L’Oreal Professional (our manufacturers) whether you are a new or existing client. Symptoms of an allergic reaction to hair colour can include itching, hot or burning scalp, blood poisoning or at its most extreme, anaphylaxis.

    To ensure that we are giving you the highest levels of customer care, we insist on Skin Allergy Tests for your comfort and protection.

    Without one, we will not be able to colour your hair!

    A patch test for colour has long been a requirement in the beauty industry. Previously we’d always used the AAT method (where we apply a small dot of colour just behind the ear. We then ask that you leave it on for 48 hours). 

    However, we can now no longer patch test behind the ear! This makes it trickier for you to monitor for a reaction. Instead, we now apply the pre-mixed formula to your arm. If you wish, you can leave the salon with this on, as long as your arm remains uncovered for you to keep an eye on (not always a suitable option even in a Scottish summer month!). You’re then able to remove the colour after 45 minutes. If you have not had a reaction, you are good to go. 

    Colourstart, however, is our preferred allergy testing option; have you heard of it?

    Testing for colour allergy at home is a relatively new concept, and you may not be aware of what Colourstart actually is!

    We think its a real timesaver, cutting out the hassle of an in-salon patch test. Let us tell you about its benefits.
    Applying colour

    First, a bit of background…

    We introduced Colourstart as a patch-testing option in 2021. So far, hundreds of our clients have taken advantage of this time-saving addition to our health and safety measures. 

    We use the highest quality products in all our salons. So, it makes perfect sense to use the highest-quality product on the market to screen our clients for allergy. 

    As the only clinically proven screening test for hair colour allergy (PPD) in the UK market, Colourstart is a genuinely high-quality product to screen our clients for allergy. 

    Colourstart is classed as a medicine and regulated by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency). They’re responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe. Due to Colourstart being classed as a medicine, the industry isn’t allowed to give these out for free. They must be sold at a recommended retail price of £15. You can read more about it here and on the Government website here.

    Now, let’s get serious.

    Reactions to PPD can range from mild irritation in the scalp (this might be itchy rashes, redness or blisters) to an allergic reaction that can potentially trigger serious symptoms throughout the body. The latter is extremely rare, but it is possible. 

    We’re often asked if we have a waiver for our clients to sign, or if we can just bypass the patch test, and in all cases, we have to a say a resounding “no”.Colour swatches professional products

    We get it, sometimes you just want your colour done. Whether it’s on a whim, for a last-minute holiday, or you’ve got an event and you’ve just lost track of time. We truly hate to disappoint anyone… but your safety is far more important to us. 

    Hair dyes containing PPD are perfectly safe to use if safety instructions are followed. These products are strictly regulated and there’s a maximum limit to the amount of PPD the product can contain. 

    If you, or indeed your hairdresser, ignore the safety instructions that come with the dye, which includes the patch testing procedure, you could be at risk of a serious reaction. 

    According to NHS UK, “You’re particularly at risk if you have (or have previously had) a black henna tattoo. These temporary tattoos should be avoided because the paste often contains high levels of PPD, which can increase the risk of an allergic reaction the next time you’re exposed to it. So, you could even develop a life-threatening allergic reaction when you next use PPD hair dye.” 

    Colourstart Benefits: 

    Professional colours require allergy tests.Unleash your creativity – any colour, any time. 

    Some of us like to decide on the day of our appointment exactly what shade we’ll choose. 

    Sometimes, you can’t quite put your finger on what tone of blonde to go for, and that’s absolutely fine. We’re here to guide you through what suits best. But here’s where it can get complicated, not to mention disappointing. If we opt for a shade that isn’t of the same sub-brand as the one you were patch tested with, either we can’t use that colour, or we’ll have to patch test you with that and reschedule your colour appointment. Obviously, neither of those are ideal! We use L’Oréal colourants across all our salons, but within the L’Oreal brand there are many different sub-brands of colour. We tend to use Dia Richesse, Dia Light, INOA or Majirel. While they’re all sisters, they’re all different.  

    This is where Colourstart comes in. It covers you whether you decide to drastically change your colour, or are gradually changing it appointment by appointment.  

    Similarly, you and your colourist might feel that your highlights or balayage might benefit from the use of a few different colour types. Without Colourstart, you’d now have to be patch tested for all those different brands, but opt for the one-off payment for Colourstart, and you’re free to choose any colour combination you (and your stylist) desire. 

    Colourstart saves time – you can test at home, with no need to come into the salon. 

    We know every time we ask you to come into the salon for a patch test it is at least a little bit annoying, no matter how necessary it is. With Colourstart there’s no need for any more pre-appointment visits. You apply the patch test at home and log your own results using the Colourstart Digital Passport app.   

    Yes, the testing kit is £15, but train fares or city centre parking soon add up, and if you need to come into the salon multiple times, Colourstart is a no-brainer.  

    Peace of mind

    Colourstart is fully covered by insurance, regulated & clinically proven.

    It’s the only clinically proven screening test for hair colour allergy (PPD) in the UK. Because it’s a one-off application*, you’re less likely to develop an allergy due to “active sensitisation” (basically, the opposite of a tolerance to it). Sensitisation to active substances is defined as an increased effect from the substance following repeated doses. It also comes with its own product liability insurance. 

    Simple to use and mess free

    The Colourstart Patch Test is as easy to use as plaster. No more colour applied directly to your skin with the potential of getting it on your clothes or hair. There’s no chance of Colourstart ruining your favourite top! 

    You’re not just covered in Charlie Miller salons 

    There are many salons now using Colourstart. For example, if you visit another salon while you’re in London and they are a Colourstart salon, you don’t have to go through the rigmarole of getting tested again!  

    How does it work? 

    If you pass any of our salons, pop in and purchase one there. You can also call any of our salons to arrange for one to be posted out. 

    You will be prompted to download the Colourstart Client Passport, which is an app used to record your Colourstart test results at home and,  you must then share your results with your preferred salon. 

    Simply upload a photo when the patch is applied, and again after 96 hours (the patch is removed after 48 hours), then record whether there has been a reaction. 

    No reaction means a green ‘OK to colour hair’ digital passport. 

    Any participating Colourstart hair professional will accept a green passport, making walk-in colour a reality for the first time. 

    You can renew your passport any time by retaking the screening questions. Providing your answers don’t change and your health remains the same, the passport stays green and you’re free to colour again and again.  

    Got more questions about the benefits of Colourstart allergy testing?

    Your stylist, or our reception team, are more than happy to talk you through it! 

    Pick up your Colourstart pack from any of our salons.

    Find out more about the benefits of Colourstart allergy testing here.

    *Subject to the correct use and negative reaction to Colourstart® Patch Test as per the Patient Information leaflet, and an ‘OK to colour hair’ status in any participating Salon’s Colourstart® Professional Passport, Colourstart® need not be repeated. There are exceptions including black henna, live dermatitis etc, please read the Patient Information leaflet carefully. 

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  9. A hairdressing career – what does it look like?

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    Ever wondered what drives our trainees? What they do in their day? If you’re considering an apprenticeship, we’re here to share the details on what a hairdressing career looks like.

    Why choose a hairdressing apprenticeship?

    Christie, one of our trainees from Stafford Street, tells us “An apprenticeship is a great opportunity for someone who learns better hands on, rather than academically”. She thinks they should be advertised more in schools, so people know more about them.  Many of her colleagues echoed this, so we listened; over the past few months we’ve attended more career fairs than ever before, and given talks on the realities of daily life as a trainee in schools in Edinburgh and the Lothians. So far, we’ve attended Dalkeith, Portobello and Forresters, with visits to Gracemount, Wester Hailes and St Augustine’s imminent. 

    Sophy, apprentice from Stockbridge, adds “I knew I wanted to have a career in hairdressing from a young age. I felt like an apprenticeship was a better option for me than going to college. You get to learn the salon basics before you become a hairdresser. You don’t just get thrown in at the deep end.” 

    But Millie, who’s qualified as a stylist in October 2023, warns that this isn’t just an easy alternative to leaving school. “Definitely make sure that it’s the thing you want to do. Sometimes people just go into it thinking “Oh, that’s what I’ll do, that’s an easy option”. But make sure that it’s definitely suited to you. Something that you’re genuinely interested in and something that you enjoy as well.” 

    What might their journey look like? 

    Our apprentices are the building blocks of our company. They’re essential to keep our business thriving. We’re almost continuously seeking out new trainees. As the others flourish and grow, we must have new generations of trainees coming through the ranks ready to learn and impress. 

    Trainees join us on an initial three-year contract. 

    In these three years they begin to cover the basics of hairdressing, which begins with a straight blow-dry.  They then progress through to more complicated cuts and colours. By their third year, trainees have advanced to more challenging cuts such as crops and sharp bobs, colour changes, and have had a taste of Avant Garde styling.  

    Their three-year contract is sown with competitions, seminars, workshops and their SVQ, which they must pass to advance through their career. They’re taught how to consult with their clients, problem solve, and how to be a hairdresser in every sense.  

    And it’s not just hairdressing skills and experience that these trainees gain. Millie, who has gone from strength to strength, feels her confidence in social situations just got better and better,  “In the beginning, I never felt like I could really just start chatting to anyone,” she said. “But now, because this is such a social job, I was able to go out somewhere and feel a bit more relaxed. And I feel like I’m better at small talk!”

    What happens when they’re almost ready to qualify? 

    As the years pass, training becomes more intense. Their trainers look for perfection, whilst their model timings become shorter, and their columns become fuller. 

    A few years ago, those starting in their third year began a ‘tour’, spending a few months in each of the other salons. This gives them an opportunity to bond with all of the teams, work in a new environment and further benefit from the vast amount of expertise in the extended Charlie Miller family.

    Although moving salon is a nerve-wracking thought for many, our hairdressers look back on these memories as defining moments in their career. “It vastly expands your knowledge” says Ruth, who is now a Senior Salon Stylist in South St Andrew Street. “As a third year you have a lot more freedom to grow.”

    Molly, also a Senior Salon Stylist in South St Andrew Street agrees, and adds that aside from the invaluable hairdressing knowledge, some of her strongest friendships were formed on tour. 

    What happens once they qualify?

    As they near the end of their contract, their trade test is on the horizon. This usually spans three days, and their model column allows them to showcase their skills on almost every type of cut and colour.  

    These days are intense, there’s no room for error and the trainees know this. To be a Charlie Miller hairdresser, you must execute these cuts and colours to the highest standard.  

    It’s tough but fair; to provide the highest level of customer care as a hairdresser you must know your trade, and in turn the trainees must feel confident in their own abilities. 

    With such a wealth of knowledge and fantastic trainers, these youngsters have the support of the entire team, and qualifying is always an emotional occasion. The end of an era, and the hard work doesn’t stop there. In turn, the newly qualified hairdressers are taught how to educate the new trainees, and it’s been this way for generations. Most of the Charlie Miller team, with only a few exceptions, started their hairdressing life here as a 15 or 16 year old. 

    Constant Creativity

    Hairdressers are continually learning, keeping up with what’s current and relevant and striving to be the best they can be. Ahead of them are five more cutting levels and two more colour levels they can progress through, as well as adding specialities to their craft such as Keratin treatments, wedding hair and wig cutting.  

    What happens when they aren’t doing models? 

    Although their main goal is to qualify, their day to day duties see the trainees supporting the stylists. This means washing clients hair, assisting with colour and keeping the salon clean and tidy. A busy salon also means lots of colour bowls and hair strewn floors. the apprentices work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our salons spotless. 

    When they’re not doing this, they’re observing, soaking up all the knowledge they possibly can from their colleagues. 

    Ask a trainee how their first week as a hairdressing apprentice has gone, and they’ll always say their feet hurt! 

    What’s the best part of being a trainee? 

    “The most rewarding thing about being an apprentice is knowing the outcome and that my training will benefit me in the long run and that my apprenticeship is paving my future” says Christie, while Millie tells us that, “making people feel good about themselves is really rewarding and just learning new things all the time. Also, how sociable it is. You’re constantly chatting to people, and everyone gets along. It’s tiring, rewarding and fun”.

    Sophy tells us that she’s seen her confidence grow so much, and that “seeing other hairdressers with different techniques and people being creative every day is something that inspires me.” She continues: 

    “An apprenticeship is hands on, and you get a realistic experience of becoming, and training to be, a hairdresser. You also become part of a team with other people on the same level as yourself and it’s good to push each other to achieve more goals rather than doing it individually.”  

    Why else should you work for Charlie Miller? 

    Alongside our hairdressing program we also have an extensive learning timeline to support our younger stylists and help them be the best they can be. 

    As members of the Charlie Miller family, all staff have immediate access to our wellbeing support team. We provide a listening ear or signpost them to the relevant services. The wellbeing team are also on hand to promote awareness on certain mental health topics. They also offer learning opportunities to explore these topics further.  

    At Charlie Miller our staff wellbeing is of paramount importance. We go to great lengths to ensure our colleagues work in a safe and comfortable environment. 

    We’re also mindful that many of those in the hairdressing industry come under the Neurodivergent umbrella. We take pride in our diverse team. Those who have ADHD, Dyslexia, are on the Autism Spectrum, or display any other neurodivergence, are assured that there are certain adjustments that can be put in place to make their career work for them. 

    It takes all of our staff to be healthy, happy and feel valued to function as a successful business. Our trainees are the future. Without their hard work, dedication and determination we wouldn’t be where we are today.  

    Thank you to each and every one of our hairdressing apprentices, past and present!    

    Find out more about the role and how to apply to be a hairdressing apprentice here, or email iwanttowork@charliemiller.com.

    Hear more from our trainees as they teach you how to wash your hair like a professional.

    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  10. Choosing and Maintaining a Creative Colour

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    Is it time for you to change up your colour?

    Creative colour to us is anything that doesn’t look like natural colour, be it vivids, pastels or two-toned hair. Choosing and maintaining a creative colour isn’t always easy, but we have the insider knowledge on how to get the most from your bright or muted hue.

    We’ve been working with bright and pastels for many years. While they once used to shock and surprise and were often reserved for Avant Garde hair shows, nowadays they’re highly requested fashion choices. What’s more, there’s certainly no age limit on creative colours; pastels look incredible in naturally grey or white hair, and since many of the more striking tones can fade faster than natural colours, they’re often favoured by those who are new to colouring their hair.

    Get all the facts before you change it up.

    For expert tips on choosing and maintaining a creative colour, we turned to Ellie, Senior Salon Stylist and Salon Technician in our Stafford Street branch. Ellie loves to work with beautiful bright colours, and here she guides us through the decision making that goes into getting creative with your colour. (more…)

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  11. Are you making mistakes with your wash and blow dry?

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    After more than 55 years in the hairdressing business, we’ve seen our fair share of hair faux pas. From home bleaching gone wrong to ill-advised YouTube tutorial fringe trims, we’ve fixed many a blunder. 

    Some errors are so subtle it can be easy to make them day by day, without realising why your hair is feeling lacklustre.

    Ever wondered why your hair feels greasy, despite washing it daily? How it feels like straw despite the fact you’ve just conditioned it? We’re here to share some of our expert tips that you can easily adopt into your haircare routine, to encourage your tresses to be the very best they can be!

    Today we talk you through the three most common mistakes you could be making when it comes to your wash and blow dry routine.

    1. Not getting your hair wash routine right?
    One of the most common mistakes with your wash and blow dry is to do it too often, or with the wrong product.

    Over washing can affect the integrity of your hair, especially when using harsh shampoos or the wrong shampoo for your hair type.

    Too much washing can remove the sebum your scalp produces, which is vital to shiny, healthy hair. If you’re noticing your hair looking more frizzy than glossy, you may well be overdoing it. A little oil isn’t a bad thing; over cleansing contributes to hair dullness, possibly creating coarse feeling, difficult-to-style hair.

    Ideally, we should be washing our hair when it feels unclean to the touch, and of course this often depends on our hair type.

    Fine hair often gets greasier quickly, while thick, wavy or curly hair can afford to leave a little longer between wash days. Hair can often be ‘trained’ with a little patience, trial and error to forego the shampoo a little longer. But what if we have a particularly oily scalp, work out daily, or feel the need to wash more often due to a certain style? Hair that gets oily, sweaty, plied with styling products or just won’t sit right without a daily blow dry can be cared for better with the right daily shampoo. Solve bed-head problems with heatless styling; experiment with sock curls and sleep in rollers.

    Shampoo with the product that best suits your hair type and hair needs. Your hairdresser can advise you on the product that suits you and your routine.

    Investing in premium haircare might be the best thing you could possibly do for your beauty routine. Using sulphates, drying alcohols and other damaging ingredients might be the reason your hair isn’t thriving. Look for high quality ingredients and tried and tested products with a professional seal of approval.

    A little goes a long way.

    While it might seem pricier, you need only use a small amount of product, and may well get away with an extra day or two in your routine. For fine hair in need of a boost, pump up the volume and give your hair body and bounce with our salon-quality Volume Shampoo, and quench thick, dry or curly hair with Hydrate Shampoo, which works wonders on dry hair and scalps.

    See our handy directions for how to wash hair like a pro.

    2. Not taking care of your wet hair after your wash might affect the final finish. 

    You’ve got that wash routine down, now it’s time to ensure you’re detangling your tresses properly! Even if you’ve remedied all other mistakes with your wash and blow dry, being heavy-handed with your just-washed hair can undo all of your hard work.

    Gently blot and squeeze the excess moisture from your hair. In salon, our trainees do this using a microfibre towel, but an old t-shirt will work as a great substitute.

    Our hair is at its most vulnerable when wet, so it makes sense that we should be treating it as gently as possible at this stage. However, it’s easier said than done when we’re in a rush.

     Despite being in its most delicate state, our wet hair is a utopia for nourishing products while damp.

    Even after using the best shampoo and conditioner for your hair concerns, your locks may still need further treatment.

    Much like our skin which often needs more than just a cleanser and moisturiser to look its best, our hair often cries out for a little extra TLC.

    When detangling, comb or use a wet brush and gently work from mid lengths to ends first. Only comb straight through the hair once your hair is carefully untangled. Our 10 in 1 spray is full of Charlie Miller magic! This leave in conditioner spray nourishes dry hair, protects your hair and scalp from the sun and prevents split ends – all with a formula that’s paraben and sulphate-free.

    The change in your hair’s structure allows ingredients to penetrate and nourish the hair from within, so this is your optimum time to treat it with your preferred (and recommended) product. We suggest Charlie Miller Smoothing Blow Dry Crème to protect your hair from heat of up to 230°C. Both paraben and sulphate free, this heat protectant treatment keeps hair looking smooth, soft and frizz-free after styling.

    3. Your final wash and blow dry mistake could be that your blow dry technique needs work!

    We’re all guilty of blasting our sopping wet hair dry when we’re in a rush. Learning some skills from the experts could save you time in the long run.

    Don’t tackle too much at once. Separate your hair into sections, starting underneath and clipping the rest away. Investing in a professional hairdryer with a nozzle can make the world of difference and use a vent brush for more control. Take a small section of hair in your brush, point your nozzle downwards and slowly work it down the section from root to tip.

    For the perfect finishing touch, apply an oil to your lengths and ends. A small amount of our Gloss Oil will give an extra boost of moisture, help repair any split ends and encourage shine.

    Don’t be afraid to ask for a demonstration on the best technique for your hair the next time you’re in the salon. Your hairdresser wants your chosen style to work for you every day; they’re more than happy to share their tips and tricks, to advise on products or tools to make every day a great hair day!

    The full range of Charlie Miller products are available exclusively in our salons, as well as our haircare website. Revamp your haircare routine today with free delivery when you spend £20 or more!

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  12. How To Wash Your Hair Like A Professional

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    Have you ever marvelled at the technique used by hairdressing apprentices to get the right balance of clean yet manageable hair when they wash yours?

    Read on to find out exactly how to wash your hair like a professional!

    Having your hair washed in the salon just hits different. Often, we get a lot longer out of our wash after a visit to our hairdresser.

    But what makes a professional wash so superior to the routine we have at home?

    Having shampooed clients by the thousand, our hairdressers and trainees are the perfect people to teach you how to wash your hair like a professional.

    Not ones to gatekeep, we asked our team to share the secrets of their routine. They help us translate their technique so that you too can be a shampooing expert!

    The first reason you’re likely to get longer from a professional wash is that hairdressers use a salon approved shampoo chosen for your hair’s specific needs. 
    Finding the right product is a game-changer.

    Using the wrong product is more common than you might think, and while it might not sound like a big deal, it’s prime suspect when looking into what’s making our hair greasy the day after our wash, or why it feels like we can’t get any moisture into our manes no matter how hard we try.

    We’ve formulated our very own haircare range to help your hair feel salon fresh every day.

    For a lighter shampoo to encourage body, our hairdressers might suggest our volume range. For an intense hit of moisture, we’d encourage the use of our hydrate shampoo and conditioner.

    “Before I started, I didn’t realise I wasn’t washing my hair in the best way possible”, says Toni Partridge, one of our amazing Salon Stylists.

    Based in our newest location at Stockbridge, Toni has four years’ experience in caring for clients. Amongst many other things, one of Toni’s main duties before she qualified was to shampoo and condition our client’s hair, ready for our stylists to cut and blow dry.

    Perhaps the next reason you’re not getting as long from your at-home wash is that professionals tend to shampoo twice. Once explained, this makes complete sense!

    “People often wonder why we do two shampoos,” says Toni. “The first shampoo will cleanse your hair of any dirt, oiliness, or product. The second will treat your hair with the benefits of the shampoo. For example, if we’ve chosen a hydrating shampoo such as Charlie Miller Hydrate, the first one cleanses the hair and scalp while the second gets to work at its particular job; which in this case will be to intensely nourish the hair and scalp.”

    Toni has perfected her technique over the years.

    “Wet the hair with warm water, rubbing your hands together slightly for activation and to ensure you’re applying it evenly.”

    There’s no need to add shampoo to the lengths and ends of your hair.

    Concentrate on the scalp and roots, and the product will work its way through as you rinse. Your first rinse doesn’t have to be super-thorough; you’re going to repeat the process.

    You need only use a small amount of shampoo too.

    A little goes a long way with professional products, so start with a 20p size for each shampoo, depending on the length and thickness of your hair. “You shouldn’t need more than a 10p size amount” suggests Toni.

    For an experience more like your professional service, get to know their expert moves!

    “I always start at the nape of the neck” says Sophy, a hairdressing apprentice at Stockbridge. “Then I work my way up the head, concentrating on the crown and then the front of the head, being careful to reach every part of the scalp.”

    Toni agrees. The crown and the nape of the neck are the areas people miss on their own hair most often.”

    This tried and tested technique calls for a relatively firm hand. Using the fingertips to push in toward each other, interlacing and then repeating this motion. Do this for around a minute, then rinse.

    Many of our clients tell us that having their hair washed- alongside a luxurious head massage- is their favourite part of the experience.

    Great for nourishing and thoroughly cleansing the scalp, enhancing blood circulation in the head and neck area and strengthening the roots. It also simply feels like a luxurious treat.

    Traditionally at Charlie Miller we introduce our head massage during the second shampoo.
    You can try this at home on yourself, by lathering up and then concentrating on your pressure points.

    Trainee Jodie gets many compliments on her head massages from clients. She recommends being firm yet slow.

    “The five pressure points are at the front of the head, the temples the backs of the ears, the nape of the neck and then the crown. Work your way round with your fingers in this order, keeping the pressure, and making three circles with your fingers at each point. Go back round, pressing on each pressure point this time.”

    You’ll probably find that the shampoo doesn’t lather on the first shampoo, because it’s getting to work on the oils. On the second, you’ll feel a lot more foam. This is a great way to check if you’ve got your wash technique correct.

    To truly wash your hair like a professional, condition the right way!

    Use around a 5p size amount of conditioner on your lengths and ends. Again use more if your hair is thick or particularly long. Comb through gently, and then rinse after 3-5 minutes.

    Avoid your roots! Warns Toni. “If you feel you need a little conditioner on the ends of a long fringe or around the hair framing your face, go ahead and apply it to them.”

    It can be so easy to over rinse your conditioner, fearing a greasy blow dry, but your hair shouldn’t feel squeaky clean. It should detangle easily without feeling oily if you’ve got the balance right.

    Toni warns us off wrapping our hair in a towel, as it can cause breakage. Instead, lightly dry with a microfibre towel then wrap it loosely.

    “Always finish with your desired heat protector before you begin your blow dry. Skipping this stage can undo all of your hard work. ”

    Heat protectors create an essential barrier between your hair and your styling tool. Our Smoothing Blow Dry Crème protects up to 230 degrees, and keeps hair looking smooth, soft and frizz-free after styling. Again, a little goes a long way- apply 1 or 2 hazelnut sized drops through your lengths and ends, then onto your blow dry!

    A professional and effective wash takes our trainees a few weeks to master, so don’t worry if you’ve not achieved the desired results straight away.

    With a little practice, you could be shampooing and conditioning like a professional, encouraging your hair to be the best it can be and getting a few more precious days from your blow dry!

    Alternatively, book online for a wash & blow dry in any of our city centre salons, and get some expert advice first-hand!

    Need a recommendation on the right shampoo and conditioner for you? Visit any of our locations for some friendly, complimentary advice.

    Our team de-bunk some more common myths in this Masterclass.

    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  13. Help us Name a STEKAskills Hairdressing School in Malawi!

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    We are thrilled that with our clients’ help in the past 2 years we have raised enough money to kit out a STEKAskills* hairdressing school in Malawi.

    The young people at the Malawian STEKA care home are so thankful, they have asked us to name the school and we’d like your help!

    On our social channels you will have the chance to either suggest a name for the school or choose a favourite from the 3 suggestions below:

    1. Tsitsi Lokongola School – meaning beautiful hair in Chichewa (Malawi’s main language
    2. The Lotus-Miller Hairdressing School – the national flower for Malawi is a Lotus
    3. The CM School of Hairdressing

    We are selling the decorations again this year too. We are hoping to raise money to pay for a teacher, hairdressing kits and even some scholarships.

    These beautiful decorations are made by some of the people at the STEKA care home. They are available in all 5 salons whilst stocks last.

    *STEKAskills is a Scottish charity partnered with the Malawian charity STEKA (Step Kids Awareness) to support STEKA’s ambition to build a Centre for Vocational Skills & Community Enterprise in Malawi. Young people there are being helped to build a sustainable future.

    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, make sure you are following us on our social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.

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  14. Post-Treatment Hair Series – The Third Cut

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    Sarah’s post-chemotherapy hair journey – The Third Cut

    Throughout her process, we have been publishing Sarah’s updates about her hair journey following treatment. In her first blog you can find out how her first visit after treatment made her feel normal. Her second blog describes her delight that by following the scalp hair regime as prescribed by her stylist she began to see healthy new hair growth, giving her hope of reaching her hair goals. The Third Cut brings you right up to date and with colour too!

    Identity Struggle

    I’ve been struggling with my identity these past few months. After the initial relief of my hair growing back last autumn, followed by my few cuts to encourage healthy growth and hone a style, I started to feel more like the old me. Then, lockdown II happened and my short crop lost its way. And, in turn, I lost my way too. 

    You see, I’ve been used having long blonde hair most of my adult life. It shaped how I dressed, what styles and colours I gravitated towards, even the makeup I wore. Now, with short dark hair that was growing wildly in places (sadly not on top as I wanted), my clothing choices looked frumpy or just plain wrong. My makeup needed extra oomph. My colour palette, an overhaul. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror so I avoided going back to the hairdressers thinking I would forgo a trim to let it grow as quickly as possible. 

    Eventually, after seeing one particular picture of myself, I realised enough was enough and made an appointment. A teeny tiny trim, I told them on the phone. The third cut. 

    On the day, I plucked up the courage to explain how I was feeling. It was the biggest relief. The team instantly put me at ease, explaining precisely why my hair growth had led me to this stage. When you have short hair, and especially when you have short hair post-chemo, little and often is the way to go (as often as every three weeks). Small trims every few weeks would have kept my hair looking sharp, and stimulated my much-longed for growth on top. Instead, I was left with no style. Oops.  


    When they suggested colour to give me a further lift, I was initially reluctant. With hair this short, and my seriously warm undertones, it could easily look wrong. But instead of a typical all-over tint or woven highlights, the team recommended a hair gloss with just a hint of colour.   


    Hair gloss has been around for a while now and the service does much more than add noticeable radiance and mirror-like shine finish to your hair. It can even fine tune hair colour and add a subtle, semi-permanent tint for a natural-looking hue. For post-chemo hair, it offers a safe and much needed boost to fragile hair.

    The team recommended the best colour for me and it was quickly applied and left on for just 20 minutes before my hair was washed and trimmed. The result was a transformation for me. My colour was elevated and enriched, my hair looking super healthy. Even my husband noticed.

    And that teeny tiny trim? It made the biggest of difference, both to my look and my confidence. I was back.


    We are delighted that stylists Roz and Casey at South St Andrew Street have been there for Sarah and although her hair goal journey is not over, she is looking amazing! We’ll keep you posted as the journey continues.

    And remember, you can keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.


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  15. Embracing your Curls

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    Curls….love them or hate them! Where do you stand?

    Those of us with curly hair are always seeking out new ways to control waves, coils, kinks, spirals, S-bends and naturally textured hair. Some of us decide to leave our hair do its own thing instead of opting to style or straighten it.

    When blogger Sophie decided she no longer wanted to fight her curls but to embrace them, she asked Stafford Street’s Leigh for tips and guidance on how to work with its texture. The results are fantastic!

    In her first blog you can read all about Sophie’s reasons for embracing her curls. Her second blog reveals all the advice and techniques she was given from Leigh, and the products that worked for her curly hair.

    Prior to applying the colour, Leigh used an Olaplex treatment to help repair and protect the damaged and broken bonds in Sophie’s hair. She then applied Majirel copper tones in foils with a Dialight gentle toner that was taken through the mid-lengths and ends to diffuse the ‘lockdown’ root and tone in Sophie’s blonde.

    Sophie’s hair was shampooed with Charlie Miller Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner for added moisture. To help control the curls she also had a Curl Manifesto Instant Treatment from the new Curl Manifesto range by Kérastase.

    Before being diffused dry, Sophie’s hair was then twisted with Charlie Miller Gloss Oil mixed with Shu Uemura’s Kengo Feather. Leigh finished the look with a little more Charlie Miller Gloss Oil to shake out the curls once the hair was dry. Embracing your curls in 2021 can lead to beautiful results!!



    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, make sure you are following us on our social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.

    You can shop our full haircare range online here, or on Amazon UK. 

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  16. Embracing Your Grey

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    Gone are the days of ‘grey hair only suits men’. So many amazing women are showing up online to encourage others to ditch their preconceptions about grey hair, and fully embrace their natural locks.

    You might be warming to your natural grey but feel a bit apprehensive after years of colour treatments and have no clue how to begin your transition to a new look.

    Fear not! We have rounded up some of our top tips from our professional colour specialists, to help make your journey to silver locks as smooth as possible.

    photo credit: @silverstrandsofglitter on Instagram

    Create a Natural Transition with Colour Treatments

    Your stylist knows best. They know you and your hair and will be able to recommend the best colour treatment, specifically for your needs and preferences. They will advise the best combination of lowlights, highlights and toners that will tastefully phase out any existing colour.

    Some of our clients prefer this gradual process, but some choose to bleach their colour out completely, and use silver shampoo and toners to enhance their cooling tones as their hair grows out. Every head of hair is different, so speaking to your professional stylist is the best way to choose a method which will work best for you.

    Metallic and ash tones are hair trends that aren’t going anywhere, so there really hasn’t been a better time to make the transition.

    Keep Your Grey Fresh with Silver Shampoo

    Silver shampoo is our number one hero product for silver/grey hair, bleached or blond highlighted hair as it’s formulated to neutralise and remove yellow tones. Using a Silver Shampoo once a week in your hair care routine will help to keep your grey looking lively and fresh. Our Charlie Miller Silver Shampoo is also formulated with antioxidant rich sage oil, which promotes hair development and helps your hair to retain moisture.

    photo credit: @k_growing_gray on Instagram

    Master Your Grey Hair Regime

    White and grey hair has a very high porosity, so it is crucial that you invest in some good quality haircare to keep your hair looking its best. Grey hair can be silky but can often be a little coarse in texture too, so it’s very important to use products which encourage smoothness and add moisture to your hair. Always use a heat protectant when heat styling, and finish with a nourishing oil.

    Don’t Underestimate The Haircuts

    Finally, invest in a great cut. Short, cool, choppy styles work great and help speed up the process to full head grey. A chic bob, if it’s really sharp, can also look just as fabulous. No matter what your hair goal is, haircuts are essential to maintaining the health and condition of your hair.

    If you need more inspiration to embrace those natural greys, have a look at the following hashtags on Instagram: #silversisters #silversistersinternational #greyhairmovement

    photo credit: @the_gray_gal on Instagram

    To keep up to date with all things Charlie Miller, make sure you are following us on our social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.

    You can shop our full haircare range online here.

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  17. Post-Treatment Hair Series – The Second Cut

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    Long-term Charlie Miller client, Sarah Howden, is sharing her post-chemotherapy hair journey with us.

    Throughout the process, we will be publishing updates from Sarah, as well as sharing advice and recommendations from her stylists Roz and Casey. Along with other stylists across the company, Roz has a wealth of experience in helping clients deal with hair loss during cancer treatment and giving guidance on how best to encourage growth and optimise the health of the hair.

    If you missed Sarah’s first blog, you can catch up here.

    Reflecting on the First Cut

    I have to admit, I was nervous about my first post chemo cut. It has taken me an age to grow what little hair I had, and I was reluctant to lose any length. But, I never forgot stylist Roz telling me pre chemo to come back early for a cut to encourage healthy growth.

    Wow, she was right. Trimming the ends of my hair, which were chalky from the effects of chemotherapy, left my hair glossy-looking. The expert cut also injected some much-needed depth and texture, fine-tuning my short hair into a stylish pixie crop. However, as Roz and the team highlighted, I had work to do too – namely, looking after my scalp and hair health to help stimulate cell turnover and maximise growth.

    Haircare At Home

    Their eponymous sulphate and paraben-free haircare range, which is designed to lock in moisture, sooth scalps and encourage new hair growth, was used religiously and felt seriously indulgent. A little of their products go a long way too making them great investments. As was my Manta hairbrush which I massaged onto my scalp daily to encourage hair growth. After each wash my hair was glossy and healthy looking, the results make for addictive usage!

    That first cut – and my new haircare regime – stimulated some serious growth on my sides and back. And just five weeks later, in December, I was in need of a tidy up. I was self-conscious about the lack of growth along my hairline so Roz recommended I add a new product to my skincare regime – L’Oréal Pro Serioxyl Denser Hair Treatment. Just like I would diligently use a facial serum every morning and night, this water-based scalp treatment was applied every evening along my hairline and massaged into my scalp, using my Manta brush, to stimulate my follicles and encourage more growth. Then, it was re-applied every morning after my shower.

    It’s now January and, if it wasn’t for lockdown, I would be back for another trim…my scalp care regime is clearly working and my hairline has had a serious growth spurt. I suppose this month will allow me to focus on my whole scalp and haircare regime in the hope my next cut gets me more to my cropped hair goal.

    Sarah will be back in the salon soon for her first appointment post-lockdown. So keep your eyes peeled for her next update in the coming weeks.

    If you don’t want to miss this series, make sure you are following us on our social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.

    Products mentioned in this post:

    Charlie Miller Haircare – Hydrate Shampoo (also available in Charlie Miller Salons)

    Charlie Miller Haircare – Hydrate Conditioner (also available in Charlie Miller Salons)

    Manta Brush (also available in Charlie Miller Salons) 

    L’Oréal Pro Serioxyl Denser Hair Treatment

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  18. Post-Treatment Hair Series – The First Cut

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    We all know that hair loss is a common side effect when undergoing cancer treatment, and something that effects thousands of people every year.

    Our hair is a very important part of our identity and losing it can be a distressing experience in an already challenging time. But what happens post-treatment when the hair starts to grow back? It may have changed colour and texture. It may have grown back unevenly and at varying speeds.

    Following treatment, our very lovely, long-term client Sarah Howden experienced just that and asked us for help and advice. And, to support others in a similar position, she has kindly offered to share her journey in a series of post-chemotherapy hair blogs, this being the first.

    Throughout the process, we will be publishing updates from Sarah, as well as sharing advice and recommendations from her stylists Roz and Casey. Along with other stylists across the company, Roz has a wealth of experience in helping clients deal with hair loss during cancer treatment and giving guidance on how best to encourage growth and optimise the health of the hair.

    The First Cut

    I have been having my hair cut at Charlie Miller Salons for over 30 years, originally sitting on a booster cushion as I was so young, and having Charlie himself trim my long, thick hair. I absolutely loved the whole experience, always left feeling so special and it is why, as I enter my 40s, I wouldn’t consider anywhere else.

    The team have styled and transformed me through every big moment of my life. My graduation. My first red carpet movie premier (for work, sadly!). My wedding. The birth of my three children. And my cancer diagnosis last year. My stylist counselled me through wig choices and took the time to look at my selection, guiding me to the best one. She cut into my selected wig to ensure it looked as natural as possible and chopped my own hair short in preparation for it falling out. The team made me feel normal and gave me the confidence to enter this new terrifying stage with my head held high – hair or no hair.

    My hair did fall out, just two weeks after my first IV chemotherapy. I was so unwell with the cocktail of drugs and the extreme effect it had on my body that I actually didn’t care. Losing your hair does strip you of your femininity and it was hard to look at myself in the mirror. However, I was prepared, and my wig looked great on the days I was well enough to put it on.

    Now, more than a year later, after six rounds of chemotherapy and a gruelling stem cell transplant, I have new hair. It is dark (I used to be blonde), it is messy, it’s different lengths and textures but it’s back. And so, my first cut was a big deal to me. It was symbolic. I had made it to remission and my new stem cells had grown me a new mane.

    I was only ever returning to Charlie Miller Salons and, as ever, I felt instantly at home. And special. First up was a bit of an education on scalp and hair health to stimulate cell turnover and maximise my regrowth. I invested in their eponymous haircare range as all are sulphate and paraben-free, formulated with jasmine extract, organic calendula flower extract and organic sage oil to lock in moisture, sooth scalps and encourage new hair growth. Post cancer, you become extremely aware of what you put on and in your body.

    I also picked up a Manta hairbrush, a super gentle and anti-breakage innovative brush that also hugs the contours of your head, massaging the scalp to encourage hair growth. Funnily enough, it was developed by a professional hairdresser who created this brush for his wife who’d lost her hair after cancer.

    Then it was haircut time. My consultation had revealed that the ends of my hair where almost chalky with the effects of chemotherapy and needed to be cut away to promote healthier growth. After a wash, head massage (oh how I’d missed the Charlie Miller massages!) and hydrating treatment, my stylist trimmed and tidied my hair, expertly working it into the choppy pixie look I was hoping to achieve down the line. I was then shown how to style it and the best products to use to add depth and texture.

    The result was perfection, a masterclass in transformation. Friends and family loved it, strangers in the street complimented me. I no longer looked like a cancer patient and, importantly, for the first time in a long time, I felt good. Pretty, even.


    In the next post, Sarah will share an update on her progress with her hair: how it is growing and feeling, and how she has felt getting to grips with her new products and routine. Roz will also be sharing the wisdom behind the products she is recommending, as well as other advice for promoting hair health.

    If you don’t want to miss this series, make sure you are following us on our social channels. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To find your nearest salon click here.

    Products mentioned in this post:

    Charlie Miller Haircare – Hydrate Shampoo (also available in Charlie Miller Salons)

    Charlie Miller Haircare – Hydrate Conditioner (also available in Charlie Miller Salons)

    Manta Brush (also available in Charlie Miller Salons)

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  19. It’s Here! Charlie Miller Volume Mousse!

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    Introducing the latest addition to CM Haircare;
    Charlie Miller Volume Mousse

    Volume Mousse is the perfect add-on to the Charlie Miller styling range. It’s a lightweight mousse that will add volume and lift to dull, lifeless hair,  giving it a fuller, thicker look. This hair mousse will add natural body and lift without weighing your hair down. It also provides heat protection and helps boost texture.

    Key Ingredients and benefits:
    Adds volume and body to the hair and provides instant detangling, de-frizzing and combability
    Helps boost texture and provides thermal protection
    Nourishes hair from the inside, out
    Leaves a lasting shine
    Paraben-free, vegan and gluten-free

    With its refreshing fragrances, Volume Mousse will tickle your senses with top notes of green tea, orange and lemon combined with soft jasmine, rose and lily, gentle herbs, musk and oakmoss.

    The expansion of the Charlie Miller haircare range has been the ultimate goal for Joint Managing Directors, Jason and Josh Miller. “We’re thrilled to be expanding our product range and couldn’t have anticipated the amount of success that it has already received. It’s a dream come true!”

    You can buy Volume Mousse and all our other styling and haircare products in all 5 Charlie Miller salons or online at www.charliemillerhaircare.com.

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  20. 500 Free Haircuts For NHS Workers

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    ALL 500 FREE HAIRCUT APPOINTMENTS HAVE NOW BEEN FILLED. Thank you to all our lovely clients for your support, and to all our NHS staff for your incredible work.

    During our closure, team Charlie Miller announced that we were donating at least 250 appointments to NHS staff when we reopened our salons. In additional to this, we gave clients a chance to help us pay it forward further.

    We sold online e-vouchers for clients to redeem off future appointments. For each and every £100 online e-voucher purchased, we added an additional appointment for an NHS worker to our total.

    We are thrilled that, thanks to the help of our amazing clients, we have reached our target of 500 free haircuts for NHS staff.

    Until now, appointments have only been available for existing Charlie Miller clients. We are thrilled to announce that our 500 free NHS haircuts are now open to new clients!

    If you would like to redeem one of the 500 appointments, please email all of your contact details to info@charliemiller.com, along with which of our salons you’d prefer to attend for your appointment. Please note that appointments will be allocated dependent on salon and stylist availability.

    All salon locations can be found here.

    This offer is of course still open to existing clients. If you have an upcoming appointment, please get in touch to let us know you would like to redeem this offer. If you have had an appointment since we reopened and missed out on this offer, you can contact us to book your next appointment in advance to make sure you secure your slot before the appointments fill up.

    These appointments will be allocated on a first come, first serve basis, and are already filling up fast! Get in touch with us soon to secure your slot.

    You will need to present a valid NHS staff ID at your appointment to redeem this offer.

    We will announce on our social media channels once all 500 appointments have been filled.

    To keep up with all things Charlie Miller, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.





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