The team at KH Hair Ilkeston is celebrating as the salon reaches a 60-year milestone in the town.

The award-winning salon opened on the first floor of No.28 South Street in 1964 under its original name, Keith Hall Hairdressing. Forty-eight years later, in 2012, the salon expanded into the old butcher’s shop underneath, making the salon more accessible to its ever-growing clientele.

Today, the busy salon is run by director, Anna Hartgrove, who began her career as a 15-year-old KH Hair apprentice in 1993. After completing three years of training and gaining NVQ level 2 and 3, Anna became a fully-qualified stylist, quickly moving up the ranks to salon manager, before becoming joint director with Sheila Mumford in 2003. When Sheila retired in October 2004 and moved abroad to live her happily ever after, Anna eagerly took over the reins as sole director.

Anna says she’s really proud of her hard-working team, who produce amazing hair day in, day out. “I am really lucky that each and every one of my team is as committed to the success of the salon as I am,” she says. “Some of them have been here even longer than I have! In 2022, we said goodbye to Maureen Langton who had served KH Hair for an incredible 54 years as a stylist, and later a receptionist, before heading off to enjoy her well-earned retirement. The current team includes Judith, who has been with us for 37 years and Alex who is catching her up with 36 years. Everyone always ensures our clients are receiving the very best in customer service and take a real pride in their work in the salon.

“Of course, we are all immensely grateful to our loyal clientele too,” she adds. “Some of them have been coming since Mr Keith Hall MBE opened the salon door in 1964. This is a testament to our staff and the relationships they have built up with our clients, without whom, we would not be celebrating this notable milestone.”

Client, Mrs Jill Barratt, has been coming to the salon for 58 years and remembers there were no computers to help with making or changing appointments. “Just a pencil and a rubber!” she says. “Each Friday, my appointment day, Mr Hall would come to the salon to say ‘good morning’ and nod his head to each client, making us feel very welcome,” she reminisces. “I’ve seen many girls come and go – some to get married, some to have children and eventually come back again and I would like to say thank you for all the attention and kindness I have received. May you continue for many more years, giving your clients the professionalism you have always given.”

Mrs Pat Greasley says she had the honour of having Mr Keith Hall himself do her wedding hair back in 1958! “I was a client at the Long Eaton salon at time,” she explains. “My ambition from leaving school aged 16 was to have my hair done at Keith Hall’s and I saved all my money until I could do so. With my wedding approaching, I mentioned to my stylist that I would love Mr Hall to style my hair for the big day. She went over and asked him and he said he would be delighted.

“I have stayed with the company ever since, even when I lived in Cheshire for several years. I have been coming to Ilkeston for many years now and I love having my hair done each week. Thank you to everyone and I wish you all the very best for the next 60 years. Although I don’t think I’ll still be here by then…”

Anna and the team have been busy scouring photographic archives to produce a slide show of staff and clients from the last 60 years which we will be shared on the salon’s social media channels. They will also be thanking clients, old and new, during a week-long celebration (w/c 15th April) which will include cake, Prosecco, personalised merchandise, raffles and free samples. “And, as a special thank you to our regular weekly blow-dry clients, their appointment that week will be just 60p!” says Anna.

The Ilkeston salon is part of the KH Hair Group which opened its first premises in Long Eaton back in 1920. Founder, Mr Keith Hall MBE, went on to grow a portfolio which today comprises 21 salons including a barber’s shop. The franchise is run by managing director, Darren Messias from KH Hair’s Head Office in Long Eaton, which is also home to the company’s award-winning training academy. “We are so proud of our Ilkeston salon for reaching 60 years of business,” says Darren. “This really is a remarkable milestone, and we would like to thank Anna and all the teams, past and present, who have helped make this possible. We would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our clients over the past 60 years for showing the Ilkeston salon so much support and loyalty.”

As for the future, Anna says she will be working hard to ensure the salon continues to thrive. “I’m looking forward to maintaining and growing the exceptional level of both customer service and hairdressing skills the town of Ilkeston has come to expect while also nurturing the next generation of stylists, salon managers and directors.” she says. “So here’s to the next 60 years!”