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Michelle Griffin’s passion for extensions

Michelle Griffin
Michelle Griffin has been in the hairdressing world for over 40 years and has watched the industry evolve and change over time. She started off working for small salon where the owner was professional dancer and working with added hair became second nature. As someone with fine hair Michelle realised that adding hair was not just about fashion, but also for hair loss. At the age of 22, Michelle took over the salon and introduced hair extensions as a service for clients.  She began working with Raccoon and soon became an educator for the brand.
Michelle has had an incredible career – travelling abroad, styling hair for celebrities, working alongside Anthony Mascolo as his extensionist as well as Nick Irwin. Her career with extensions also been remarkable. Michelle left Racoon, when she couldn’t see herself going any further with the brand and began her next challenge. Back to college, Michelle achieved both her teaching and Internal Verifier qualifications and went on to develop her own academy and hair extension systems.
Knowing she had quite a knack for hair extensions, Michelle wanted to pass on her passion and skills to other hairdressers; she has a firm belief that hair extension services are just as important to a business as colour services.

Where does your drive come from?

I love both the business and creative side of hairdressing – not everything is hair extensions. I’ve won Racoon an award for pushing their business forward as well as colour awards. My drive is to inspire my team and other people as well as putting extensions on the map for more and more salons to take on the service.

You’ve had your salon Griffins for 35 years, what’s the secret to your success?

Belonging to the community. I feel like I am highly thought of around Barton Green and I like to help as much as I can doing charity work. I have plans to put on an event on and support the community who support me. I may only be in the salon two days a week, but it is at the forefront of what I do.

You’re a salon owner, session stylist, educator and you have your own hair extension range. How do you fit it all in?

I’m happy doing it all. About five years ago a manufacturer reached out to me who wanted to use my name for their range. I wasn’t keen on this route because if people had complaints and came to me I wouldn’t be able to help. This did give me the idea to create my own line. I wanted to enhance a person’s look and for the extensions not to be seen. Loxbox was then born. It has grown so much and now has it’s own team in an office at the back of the salon. I am also Vice Chair of The Fellowship. I am working 7 days a week but I have learnt (only this year) that I need a cut off point. At 6pm that’s it; no messages are answered I’ve signed off. I am so busy but it’s great and I love it.

Why is the Fellowship important to you?

I’ve been part of the Fellowship Council for 12 years. This year it has been reinvented and there is now an executive board of eight members. This smaller number means things move forward quicker. I’m there because I want to be part of moving forward the industry. Everyone is good in their own area and together we are a great team.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I’ve always loved hair, fashion and makeup since I could walk. I’m always following what’s happening and am lucky to be involved with LFW. I have private clients and LoxBox clients who are fashion designers; I love listening to what they do and what’s happening in the fashion world. Plus it helps with business.

Why Unite?

I’ve always been interested in the brand because the simple packaging stood out to me and I’ve and heard such good things. My son, Rory left the salon and went to work for Malcolm Lacey He has become very passionate about Unite products and has been talking to me about them for a while. It’s been quite a process, and I’ve had lots of information from Rory. I put a lot into making LoxBox a sustainable brand and I’m now making changes in the salon to match these values – Unite fitted perfectly.

What’s it like to be part of the Unite family?

I haven’t been with the brand for long, but I already feel like part of the family. I can’t wait to meet people, especially the Runway Ready graduates on fashion week and be part of the events that go on.
My own business is a family business and both my children work in different areas of the hair industry. Working with Unite is also a family and fits with my family business concept. When I went to the Unite HQ I took my puppy Moses along who was really popular amongst the team and got involved with the Unite products.
Moses the dog

Favourite Unite products?

The 7Seconds  range, especially the Detangler. It’s a legend. For the first time ever I feel like I can wash my hair and leave it.
The Blonda shampoo and conditioner is also a favourite – it’s like a soft toner and really helpful when clients have got suntan lotion in their extensions or some kind of staining. We love it!

What’s next?

I’m currently updating my business plan of where we’re going and I’m wanting to bring in more products, help with apprenticeships and help with educators and colleges. The big one for me is to get hair extensions recognised as a proper service across the UK – actually all over the world!

Learn more by visiting Lacey’s Distribution.

For more news from Unite click HERE

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