Robert Eaton – British Hairdresser of the Year 2021

28 November 2022

Robert Eaton was crowned British Hairdresser of the Year 2021 at HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards last year and is back again this year as a finalist with the hope of bringing the prestigious title home again.

Robert has been a longstanding client of SalonIQ  at Russel Eaton Hair and we caught up with him recently to see how he is doing.

What does your typical day look like?

Life is non-stop constantly to be honest. I’m either in one of the salons, I usually work 4 or 5 days a week in Leeds and 1 day a week in Barnsley. Usually there is at least one day a week I do some creative work for Wella or some work for The Fellowship. So there is a lot of creative activity alongside running the business and the salons as well. As everyone knows running salons and running businesses takes a lot of time so there is always a lot of work involved with regards to managing the team, looking at how the salon is doing generally from a performance perspective, looking after clients and customer care. And of course I am really active doing clients myself so I’m really active looking after clients I have looked after for many years.

How many days a week do you spend in the salon?

I do one day in Barnsley and the rest of the week I’m in Leeds so 4 or 5 days where I focus on mainly looking after clients but also keeping the team motivated and inspired. I use some of the features on SalonIQ to make sure the team are reaching target as well.

What is your favourite aspect of hairdressing?

I love all aspects of hairdressing, I love the feeling of making someone feel better about themselves by changing their hair. It’s always been the ultimate part of what hairdressing is all about, looking after the clients. All the creative side of the industry is amazing and I love doing all the shows and shoots and all the things I do for product companies. But ultimately we all do that for a reason which is for our clients that visit us in the salon and that is, always has been and always will be for me the most important thing. I love that I am part of a family business, it’s now nearly 45 years old so we’ve got generations of clients that come into us. I love the fact that we see all these generations of clients that have supported the family business for so many years which is a really lovely feeling.

How did it feel to win British Hairdresser of the Year?

Winning British Hairdesser of the Year was fantastic! I was so honoured just to be nominated in the first place and to be up there with some of the names that I had always really respected in the industry. For me it was a win for our family business as well and the rest of my family because we have all worked hard as a team to develop our own family business and the brand that we have got. The creative part I have always been supported by our salons to be able to do those kind of things so it was a really nice, proud moment for us all and particularly to be recognised by people in our industry was fantastic.

Do you have any advice for the next winner?

My advice would be to enjoy the whole experience and process. For me actually the part I enjoy the most is creating the collections and the creative process up to being part of the competition. The competition itself is of course amazing and winning is brilliant but I would say that part of it really is great. The other part is to make the most of it and to really maximise the exposure it can give your business and yourself as well.

How do you feel SalonIQ compliments your salon?

SalonIQ compliments our business fantastically. It offers everything that we need from a support perspective and everything that we need to analyse and monitor the targets that we need to monitor running a business in what is a really competitive world now with regards to so many different options for clients. For me it’s a really useful and important tool for so many reasons, from a marketing and PR perspective, from a practical day to day perspective and all that we can do day to day from it when running the business. Also it helps to forward plan what our future goals are and to look at targets to incentivise our team and to really see any areas of weakness in our business of things that need to improve on.

What are your favourite features of SalonIQ?

We just recently upgraded to the new UI and Hub which has been brilliant, there are so many features on there. I love to be able to look at what each individual team member’s performance is and to really look at any areas that we can support those people more by looking at the figures. The figures don’t lie, they really show what is happening in our business and within our salons. I also like to look at our clients, how often they visit, look at who has visited and spent the most and how we can reward those clients and how we can really engage with them. There are so many features that are really amazing for anyone considering using SalonIQ.

Would you recommend us to other salons?

Yes absolutely, I think the support is fantastic, the training we get is amazing and the actual product itself, the SalonIQ system, really delivers on all levels for us.

Tell us something about you that we don’t know

Outside of hairdressing I am always with my family, my wife and my daughters. I enjoy cycling when I get chance to do it. Ultimately hairdressing takes over my life. Hairdressing is not only my job, it is my hobby as well. I fit everything else from a hobby perspective around that. Family is always really important to me, that is my main focus outside of work.


We’ve showcased Robert’s incredible collection below.

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