“The business would not be here today without Mr Keith Hall’s foresight and vision. He has remained a constant figure of inspiration and guidance throughout our careers and those of all 300 staff we have at KH Hair” – Darren Messias and Tim Fee.
KH Hair Group is celebrating one hundred years of history which began with a single salon opening on a quiet corner in Long Eaton in 1920 and has since grown to comprise 21 award-winning salons situated throughout the East Midlands.
The first salon, ‘Halls’, was a modest establishment comprising six gentlemen’s chairs downstairs and, in accordance with his forward-thinking entrepreneurial spirit, owner Mr Arthur Hall, installed eight ladies’ cubicles upstairs, forming the very first unisex salon outside of London.
In 1939, Arthur’s son, Keith, joined the business when, aged 18, he was brought in to fill the gap left by four of the salon’s barbers who had been called to duty in WW2. Mr Keith Hall joined the Royal Air Force in 1941, later becoming a flying instructor. In 1943, his bravery was put to the test when he witnessed a landing Tiger crash and began to burn. Despite the intense heat, Mr Hall, with the help of his pupil, managed to free the trapped instructor. This act led to him being awarded an MBE ‘for gallantry not in the face of the enemy’.
In 1946 Mr Hall returned to the family hairdressing business. Inspired by the likes of Freddy French and Raymond Bessone, he moved to London for a year to train with the finest hairdressers of the day including Charles Pluckrose of Wigmore Street, beginning a lifelong commitment to bringing the best knowledge and expertise back to the Midlands region.
The ‘Keith Hall’ business grew steadily and after headhunting Stephen Messias from Vidal Sassoon in 1968, the duo embarked on improving creativity and building pioneering educational programmes to create skilled, professional hairdressers and managers. KH Hair has always been proud to provide exceptional and forward-thinking training. Mr Hall’s daughter, Sally, was one of the main trainers, sharing her skills in a small attic room in a semi-detached house in Long Eaton before expanding to what is now KH Hair’s head office and award-winning academy.
Mr Hall retired in the mid 1980s and, under his guidance, Stephen and his joint managing director, Brian Gosnell, turned the business into a more workable franchise format in 1985. Keith Hall became KH Hair in 2014 following a further re-brand.
KH Hair has picked up some of the most highly sought after accolades in the industry. Most recently, the Training Academy won a British Hairdressing Business Award in 2017 and Creative Team members, Jessica Neil & Mary Geoghegan were named Eastern Hairdresser of the Year at the 2018 British Hairdressing Awards.
KH Hair Group is, today, run by joint managing directors, Darren Messias (Stephen’s son) and Tim Fee (both former apprentices with the company). Tim is set to retire in March 2020, leaving Darren singularly holding the reins of the KH Hair Group – a challenge he is very much looking forward to.”It’s going to feel strange without Tim sitting in the opposite chair after all these years.” he says.
“However, I’m excited for the future of KH Hair and I’m determined to ensure all our salons continue to grow stronger and carry on delivering the very best in customer service and industry expertise”
Centenary celebrations will be in full swing throughout 2020 with events and offers including the giveaway of 100 free haircuts which will be handed out as surprise random acts of kindness. For more about KH Hair’s 100 year history, please visit: https://khhair.co.uk/newgroup-news/khhair100years/.