The managing director of KH Hair Group, Darren Messias, is celebrating a 35-year milestone with the company after joining its apprenticeship scheme back in 1989.

Darren joined the company (then named Keith Hall) at the tender age of 16, working his way from the salon floor to head office. Now, as managing director, Darren heads up one of the most established and best-known hairdressing groups in the UK, with a current portfolio of 21 salons, including a barbers, all situated throughout the East Midlands.

Darren is passionate about training and oversees the KH Hair Training Academy in Long Eaton, winner of a British Hairdressing Business Award in 2017. He is also creative director for the Group and leads the acclaimed Creative and Colour Teams – specially selected and highly skilled stylists and colourists who represent the brand internationally at photoshoots, on the catwalks, in the press and at industry shows.

Darren’s 35-year career path:
• Darren joined the team at the Derby St Peters salon in 1989 and began his training at the newly-opened Keith Hall Academy in Long Eaton
• After qualifying as a stylist and spending four years at the St Peters salon (winning the Sarah Brown Trophy – the equivalent to the now-termed 3rd Year Competition in 1992), Darren moved to Derby St James Street to work with future business partner Tim Fee and the team. Here he spent the next three years becoming a busy stylist and embarking on his creative journey with the company
• In 1994, Darren was chosen to be a member of the exclusive Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s F.A.M.E Team with Errol Douglas and, in 2003, was winner of the Best Men’s Collection at The Association Internationale Presse Professionnelle Coiffure (AIPP) Awards
• In 1996, the opportunity to become a co-franchisee with Tim Lacey and Amanda Fall at Keith Hall’s Leicester salon came up and Darren knew this was a chance not to be missed. His career as a franchisee and business owner had begun
• In 2004, Darren joined forces with Tim Lacey and Tim Fee to become co-franchisor of KH Hair Franchising – claiming his head office desk where he still sits today
• Tim Lacey retired in 2007, leaving Darren and Tim Fee as equal partners
• Darren received a Fellow with Honours Award from the Fellowship of British Hairdressing in 2016
• In 2020, Tim Fee retired leaving Darren at the helm of the 21-strong salon group which is now branded KH Hair. This year, the Group celebrated its 100-year anniversary
• In December 2023, Darren was awarded a ‘Fellow with Distinction’ medal for his work to support the Fellowship, going above and beyond to contribute to its activities and promoting UK hairdressing as a whole

Darren says that, while he can reflect on a successful career so far, he is very much looking forward to an exciting future ahead for the Group. “One of the key strengths of KH Hair is our organic growth and the career paths we offer to our teams,” he explains. “This has been a key element of growth over the past 35 years and my focus is to continue to grow the brand by offering training to all our future franchisees so that they are equipped with the skill sets they will need to either take over from an existing franchisee or open their own KH hair franchise.

“I strongly believe one of the biggest contributing factors to the longevity and success of KH Hair is our genuine sense of family and belonging.” he adds. “This goes right back to the late 1940’s and our founder Mr Keith Hall MBE. This ethos is the very foundation that KH Hair is built on and has been carried on passionately throughout the years.”