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Who's Behind The Chair? Q&A with Oliver Thompson

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Oliver from our London salon

Worry -- that niggling emotion that can keep many of us lying awake at night and can often keep us from enjoying our day to day lives.

“Stop worrying and start living.” Our expert stylist Oliver Thompson chose this message to pass on to his guests. With a passion for talking through people’s problems and amazing skill with scissors, it’s Oliver’s mission to ensure his guests leave the salon feeling great about themselves in every possible way.

Oliver’s ethos is incredible and we wanted to share with you a little more about him. So, who is really behind the chair? Let’s find out.

Tell us a little more about you

I was born and raised in Hull, which may shock a lot of you but it was a fantastic place to grow up! I was raised by an extremely hardworking family that I am super proud of. Travelling is a passion of mine. I’ve travelled the world as low as the Cape Horn to the heights of the glaciers past Norway. But I’m still a very grounded human being that loves to meet new people.

Fashion is another love of mine - I’m a self-professed fashion geek. I absolutely love researching new styles and looks. There isn’t just one style I love, I appreciate all fashion. My admiration encompasses the weird and wonderful, and even fashion that is considered ‘bad’. I am always intrigued by what specific choice the designer made that went into creating a certain look.

My music taste also follows suit by being super varied. I love everything from EDM to house to 60s. Nothing beats Motown on a Sunday!


So how did you get into hairdressing?

A post shared by Oliver (@oliverh4ir) on

I was always interested in hair from the age of 14 but I never thought it would be something I would do. It was after spending 4 weeks at college hating every day of it that I realised I needed a change, and hairdressing was it! I think I knew I needed to be around people. So I began my journey at a salon in Hull, which was extremely skilful in classic hairdressing as it had a mixture of older and younger stylists. The older stylists gave me such a strong set of foundation skills and the younger stylists inspired me to break boundaries. From day one I loved everything and I have never looked back.

It sounds like you had a great start! What was it that drew you to London?

I felt as though I had achieved all I could in Hull. I was eager to grow, not only in my personal life but my career too. I heard about The Chapel through a friend that had been to get his haircut there and he said he had an amazing experience. Having made a list of salons I was keen to work for in London, initially, The Chapel wasn't in my top three. My interview at the salon changed everything and I knew I wanted to work there - something just felt right.

What is it do you think that makes The Chapel so unique?

We are unique because of the way we work. Our working culture gives me the chance to find out as much as possible about each one of my guests: who they are, what their profession is, their dress sense and the lifestyle that they live. This time allows me to assess my guest’s vibe and helps me define how the hairstyle they have requested will suit them. Then we both work together to adapt any style to them.

A big one for me is being able to work out what inspiration was behind an idea for a haircut. A lot of people tend to scroll down Instagram and follow the next trend -- I want to know why they were drawn to it in the first place. I love the creativity of taking a trend and making it in someone’s own, having the time we do in The Chapel allows me to bring this to life.

It sounds like the conversation is a huge part of being a stylist for you. How else do you feel The Chapel benefits your work and your guest’s experience?

We love to educate our guests on all things hair. A lot of salons tend to forget to do this. For example, some stylists will do a high colour job on a client and forget to advise them on how to look after their style and care for their hair properly. The Chapel allows me to educate each guest on their hair type and style, giving them handy tips and tricks to get the best out of their look.

Again we always ensure that we manage expectations at The Chapel which is often another area that can be neglected in other salons. We always explain thoroughly to our guests what styles and colours are achievable, how long it will take and what outcome they can expect. Without this reassurance, guests could have a disappointing experience which is exactly the opposite of what a salon visit should be.

Overall, we have more time to tailor a cut and colour to an individual and reach their goals without rushing. Not having a set time like usual salons allows me to think about every step of the process in detail.

And finally, what do you wish you could say to all of your guests?

If you're wanting to switch up your look and want a relaxing escape, then come and visit The Chapel!

Come down to our Islington salon where you’ll find Oliver ready to work his magic on making you and your locks feel better than ever. Check out Oliver’s Instagram here to keep updated with his amazing work. If you are keen to book in with Oliver or any of our other fabulous stylists, our guest relations team will help you out with anything you need. Don’t forget to stay tuned with our Who’s Behind the Chair blog series next month!

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