Concerned for the welfare of your colleague or client? Celebrity hairstylist Sam Kerswell shares his first-hand experience, so you know how best to help.

Sam Kerswell

Sam Kerswell, photographed by Lynett Genockey of Harplette Photography with make-up by Tracy Graham

It’s no secret that the hair salon is seen as a safe space by clients – it’s a chance for them to vent, divulge details from their personal lives and chat to hairdressers like old friends. Often, hairdressers consider themselves to be agony aunts, but what happens when it goes beyond discussing a new relationship or family drama?

A hair salon can be a lifeline for someone experiencing abuse and may provide a safe place to seek help, be it as a client or as an employee at the space. For hairdresser Sam Kerswell, a survivor of domestic abuse, his clients knew something was up because of him repeatedly cancelling or rescheduling appointments. When they eventually got to see Sam in person, they noticed how his physical appearance had changed because of the abuse he was suffering at home.

Like so many victims of domestic abuse, Sam was afraid to speak out against his abuser, with those in his life none the wiser as to what was causing the bruises, weight loss, and much more besides. Fast forward a year, and he’s now sharing his story to raise awareness and help anyone else who is suffering in silence.

If you’re concerned about a colleague or client, here Sam shares the signs you should be looking out for, and what to do if you’re wanting to offer support but unsure how to help. 

10 things to look out for

1. Physical injuries: Notice unexplained bruises, cuts, or marks, especially if they occur frequently or seem to be escalating in severity.
2. Changes in behaviour: Look for sudden changes in mood, anxiety, or withdrawal from social interactions.
3. Isolation: If a co-worker or client becomes increasingly isolated, avoids social gatherings, or makes excuses to not participate in group activities, it could be a sign of controlling behaviour from an abusive partner.
4. Excessive absences or tardiness: Consistent tardiness or unexplained absences could indicate the need to hide injuries or emotional distress caused by domestic abuse.
5. Unusual financial strain: Notice if a co-worker or client suddenly experiences financial difficulties, such as requesting pay advances, selling personal items, or borrowing money frequently. This could be a result of financial control or manipulation by an abuser.
6. Fearfulness or nervousness: Pay attention to signs of fearfulness, nervousness, or being easily startled, especially if they seem to be in the presence of their partner.
7. Overly controlling partner: If a co-worker or client’s partner exhibits overly controlling behaviour, such as constantly calling or texting, monitoring their whereabouts, or restricting their communication with others, it could be a red flag.
8. Unexplained excuses or cover-ups: Be wary of inconsistent or implausible explanations for injuries, missed work, or changes in behaviour. Unexplained weight loss and excuses as to why is also an indicator as some abusers limit food intake.
9. Uncharacteristic clothing choices: Notice if a co-worker or client wears clothing that seems inappropriate for the weather or situation, which could be an attempt to hide physical injuries.
10. Expressions of fear or concern: If they confide in you about feeling afraid or concerned about their safety at home, take their words seriously and offer support and resources for help.

Sam Kerswell with friend Annie Franklin

Sam with friend Annie Franklin

Sam Kerswell behind the scenes

Sam behind the scenes of a photo shoot

How to help

1. Choose a private and safe space: Initiate the conversation in a private setting where the individual feels comfortable and safe. This could be a quiet office or a secluded area away from others.
2. Express concern and support: Begin the conversation by expressing genuine concern for their well-being. Let them know that you’ve noticed certain signs or behaviours that have raised concerns and that you are there to support them.
3. Listen actively: Allow the individual to share their thoughts, feelings, and experiences without interruption. Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, nodding, and providing affirmations to show that you are engaged and empathetic.
4. Avoid judgment and blame: Refrain from making assumptions or placing blame on the individual for their situation. Instead, focus on validating their experiences and feelings while offering reassurance that they are not alone, and that help is available.
5. Offer resources and assistance: Provide information about available resources, such as domestic violence hotlines, counselling services, legal assistance, and support groups. Offer to assist them in accessing these resources if needed, while respecting their autonomy to make their own decisions.
6. Respect confidentiality: Assure the individual that any information they share with you will be kept confidential to the extent possible, while also explaining any legal or professional obligations you may have to report certain disclosures of abuse.
7. Create a safety plan: Work together to develop a safety plan tailored to their specific situation, which may include steps to ensure their immediate safety, such as identifying safe places to go or establishing a code word to signal for help.
8. Follow up and check in: Continue to offer support and check in with the individual regularly to see how they are doing. Let them know that you are there for them whenever they need someone to talk to or if they need assistance in any way.

By approaching these conversations with empathy, understanding, and a commitment to supporting the individual’s autonomy and well-being, you can help clients and colleagues feel empowered to seek help and make positive changes in their lives.





Promotion – Fresha

Take a closer look at the hair and beauty landscape for the months and years ahead. 

Fresh Dopamine beauty
Fresh dopamine beauty

The ever-evolving beauty and wellness industry is being propelled daily by cultural drivers and technological change. Clients and consumers respond to trends, and this determines the direction of the future of the industry, meaning that staying ahead of the curve is a key way to capitalise on these trends for your business.

Fresha, one of the world’s biggest salon software providers, published its first trend report crafted from more than 1,000 consumer surveys across three continents, as well the data from 600 million bookings on its platform, to nail exactly what is trending and what the future has in store. The good news? It features a whole lot of fun!

Dopamine beauty and cultural intellect are set to dominate the landscape as consumers place higher value on diversity, expression, and emotional wellbeing. This is triggering a rise in beauty services that are inclusive, meaningful, and playful, with consumers prioritising their self-expression and focussing on finding services that are right for them. 

Shag! salons is incorporating these trends into its businesses across London, ensuring clients can embrace colourful, inclusive services. 

Fresh Shag! London

Client at Shag! London

So, what’s dopamine beauty? 

Wellness that prioritises playfulness. 

Dopamine beauty is centred around exploring self-expression through colours, textures, and scents for the ultimate feel-good factor. The trend focusses on joy and mental wellbeing and is an extension of the ‘clean girl aesthetic’ or ‘no make-up make-up’ trends that social media platforms such as TikTok have seen skyrocket in popularity. A surprising 58.5 per cent of consumers think wellness is about how they feel mentally, rather than physically, so dopamine ditches the beige and brings back youthful wonder, presenting opportunities for your beauty and wellness treatments and services to be playful.  

“Dopamine beauty is a trend we were inadvertently using as soon as we opened. Both of our salons are filled with colour,” says the team behind Shag!, who use colours such as bright pink and ocean blue in its salon interiors. “We’ve noticed a surge in people going more extreme with hair colour. It started last year when all the blonde and brunette clients tried the copper trend. It then became the norm instead of a bold move, and now they’re looking for the next big thrill with their own hair. We’re ready to see a lot of pink tones coming back over the next year.”

At its core, Dopamine Beauty encourages consumers to feel that extra bit happier and fulfilled after a self-care service. It is also becoming more important for a younger demographic to resonate with as they place more importance on their mental health. Shag! stylists are noticing an increase in clients discovering that they can have fun and use their hair colour to feel happier.

What is cultural intellect? 

Representing a greater diversity of needs. 

While dopamine beauty creates a space to encourage clients to be themselves, that space also needs to be able to accept a diverse range of people. The industry is calling for safer community spaces, better education around textured hair, and a wider representation and understanding of hair types. 

Shag! salons aims to provide clients the most luxurious service possible and offer a space they can come to which feels more exclusive, safe, and private, as well as being able to provide disabled access and a private room for clients who require those elements. Services like this are integral for businesses to strive in the industry and Fresha’s data reflects significant contrast between customer satisfaction rates, with Black consumers threetimes more likely to be dissatisfied with their options for haircare, skincare, and makeup.

Shag! London

Shag! London stylists

“Inclusivity has been a huge problem in the hairdressing industry for a long time,” says the Shag! Team. “Textured hair was only recently added to hairdressing training and even that required a 100,000-signature petition to City & Guilds to get it added in.” 

Shag! Salons prides itself on having built a business around inclusivity. It covers everything from the basics such as gender-neutral pricing and training in all hair types, through to more in-depth practices. “We offer a private room for any clients that may need to cover their hair for health or religious reasons. We have tried to build a space where literally anyone can come in and ask for anything they could imagine. We have also made sure all our staff are well trained in cutting textured hair and brought in experts for several styles and hair types for courses to make sure the whole team is confident.” 

Investment in education is vital for the success of every business. Being up-to-date with cultural needs globally and locally allows you to provide the best client care possible and future-proof your services. 

Want to discover more about trends in the beauty and wellness industry?
Check out The Future of Beauty and Wellness Report 2024 by Fresha and WGSN here 





Six social media stars from across the industry have been selected to join the prestigious team.

#SKPCollective 2024 team

2024 #SKPCollective team

Following a fast-paced final audition day at Schwarzkopf Professional headquarters, the 2024 #SKPCollective team has been chosen. Out of the 12 talented finalists who showcased their skills and creativity, six social media-savvy stars have risen to the top, impressing the judges, including Creative HEAD’s digital director Kelsey Dring, with their passion for hairdressing and
their innovative approach to social media content creation.

The final auditions, held on Monday 8 April, commenced with a warm welcome from the Schwarzkopf Professional team, followed by the reveal of an exciting challenge. Each finalist was tasked with creating, editing, and posting an engaging reel within just one hour, using a box of Schwarzkopf Professional products. With an open brief emphasising the importance of showcasing their unique personality, the finalists rose to the occasion and delivered an impressive variety of content, ranging from hair transformations to ‘POV’ skits

behind the scenes SKP Collective
#SKPCollective audition process

Following a brief lunch break, the finalists engaged in one-on-one interviews with the judging panel, where they demonstrated their social media expertise, shared their vision for the #SKPCollective team, and reflected on their experience throughout the day.

The standard of talent showcased during the auditions was seriously impressive, making the final decision incredibly difficult for the judging panel. However, after much deliberation, the six members of the new #SKPCollective team for 2024 were selected…

Meet the new #SKPCollective team:
Alex Melville from The Hair Club in Stirling – @_styledbyalex
Chantelle Jones from Seckingtons in Northampton – @chantellehaircraft
Grainne McClelland from Coventry – @grainnemcclelland_hair
Harry Watson from DooDahs Hair in Hertfordshire – @hairbyharryx
Tommy Hardy from House of Marshall in Falkirk – @tommyhardyhair
Vishali Visavadia from London Road Hair in Leicester – @vsvstylist





Inspired by ‘90s fashion photography, Glamorama by Danilo Giangreco combines the timeless glamour of black and white with daring hair shapes.

Hair: Danilo Giangreco
Photography: Danilo Giangreco
Hair assistants: Emy Roccabella, Enrica Russo, Stephanie Dwyer
Make-up: Enrica Russo
Styling: Emy Roccabella






Session stylist Laura Chadwick shares her top tips for success when styling onset of a music video.

Laura Chadwick

Laura Chadwick

With a background in fashion, I never imagined myself working on music videos.  

However, fate had other plans, leading me on a journey filled with unexpected opportunities and thrilling experiences. 

 It all began during the Covid pandemic when I was brought in by a make-up artist to provide haircuts and styling for a music video shoot for Inhaler in Dublin. Despite the challenging circumstances, my skills as a qualified barber impressed the production team, opening doors to a world I had never considered. 

Working on that first music video was a turning point for me. It made me realise that there was so much more to my craft than just fashion. Music videos offered a whole new realm of creativity and expression. 

With my foot in the door, my journey in the music video industry continued to unfold. A contact in Sony recognised my talent and offered me opportunities to work with various music artists, ranging from emerging talents to established names. These experiences working with smaller artists gave me a solid foundation and understanding of the industry. I learned to adapt to different styles and visions, honing my skills along the way.  

Becky Hill’s music video for Outside of Love

It was a connection through a stylist named Kyle Devolle that would change the trajectory of my career. Through Kyle, I was introduced to Becky Hill, a chart-topping artist known for her powerhouse vocals and dynamic performances. Working with Becky was like stepping into a whole new world. The scale of the productions was immense, with elaborate sets and breath-taking locations. It was an exhilarating experience, and I felt privileged to be a part of it.  

Despite my initial focus on fashion, I have found a new passion in music videos. Each project brings its own challenges and rewards, but there’s something special about seeing your work come to life alongside the music. As I continue to make my mark in the music video industry, I remain grateful for the opportunities that have come my way. I never could have imagined this journey when I started out, but I’m grateful for every twist and turn that has led me here. My story serves as a testament to the power of following unexpected paths and embracing new opportunities. With passion and determination, there’s no telling where my journey will lead next. 

10 things you need to know when working on a video shoot 

  1. Creative collaboration: Working behind the scenes on a music video as a hairstylist involves collaborating closely with the creative director, stylist, make-up artist and artists to bring their vision to life through hair design. I usually receive a brief or a ‘feeling’ of what’s wanted, then I create a separate hair mood board to complement the theme. Ensuring we all know what the outcome is going to be reduces any changes or wasted time.
  2. Versatility is key: Be prepared to create diverse hairstyles that match the concept and theme of the music video, ranging from edgy and avant-garde to classic and elegant. This is where all my years assisting on fashion shows really helped as I’ve learnt so many techniques that’s you’d never use in the salon that I can put to good use.
  3. Time management: Music video shoots often have tight schedules, so being efficient with your time and able to work quickly under pressure is essential.
  4. Attention to detail: Every strand of hair matters, as even the smallest details can make a big difference in the final look on camera. I am always right there behind the scenes, ready to jump in at any moment to keep the hair looking perfect. Of course, on video you’re going to get a certain amount of movement so it’s important to take that into consideration when choosing your style, especially when shooting on location and being open to the elements.
Becky Hill


  1. Adaptability: Conditions on set can change rapidly, so you must be adaptable and able to adjust your hairstyling techniques accordingly. On my last video with Becky Hill there was a last-minute decision to shoot in the water next to some waterfalls, so I adapted the hairstyle by creating a wet look with some oil-based products, so it retained the texture and suited the environment.
  2. Communication skills: Clear communication with the director, artists, and other crew members is crucial to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding the desired hairstyles.
  3. Product knowledge: Familiarise yourself with a wide range of hair products and tools to achieve different textures, volumes, and styles as needed for the shoot. Over the years I’ve collected a large collection of products to suit every hair type and environment.
  4. Continuity: Pay attention to continuity throughout the shoot to ensure that hairstyles remain consistent across different scenes and takes. I always take pictures of the screen to look back on so the styles can be matched down to the smallest detail.
  5. Problem solving: Be prepared to troubleshoot any hair-related issues that may arise during the shoot, such as frizz, flyways, or unexpected changes in weather conditions.
  6. Professionalism: Always maintain a professional demeanour, as working on a music video set requires teamwork, reliability, and a positive attitude to deliver the best results. They are usually very long days and keeping positive and upbeat always keeps the team and artist on a positive vibe.