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EP117 Tom Smith talks to Nicky Pope about a portfolio career in hairdressing

Tom Smith joins the Respectfully podcast host Nicky Pope for a conversation about having a portfolio career in hairdressing! They chat about how to find a great balance in what you pursue including session styling, salon work and being a brand ambassador. Tom shared his views on working with the owner of a salon to create a mutually rewarding way of running a client list while undertaking roles away from the salon. As an educator, innovator and sessionista with many calls on his time, Tom has great advice. Growing a massive Instagram following has been important in creating his personal brand. And, Tom also explains to Nicky how he has carved out a reputation for trends forecasting. 

Nicky Pope with Tom Smith
A hairdressing conversation round the kitchen table!

Tom Smith: A varied career

Tom Smith trained with Vidal Sassoon – where he initially focussed on being a colourist. He credits his time at the company with his discipline and understanding of taking a holistic view of each client service such as considering the texture of hair at all times. Going on to practice cutting skills to balance his considerable technical knowhow on colour, Tom now is more than competent to deliver a complete service on all hair types. Based for the past 13 years or so at Billi Currie salon in central London, Tom is able to purse a his ‘portfolio’ style hairdressing career thanks to the open-minded and supportive attitude of his bosses Billi and his wife Debbie Gee. 

Tom tells the Respectfully podcast how he has become interested in product innovation – being one of the first adopters, and ambassador, for Olaplex. He has also been working with the Australian brand Evo, and travels extensively delivering education around the world.

Find out more 

Follow Tom on his Instagram: @tomsmithhd 
For the Billi Currie salon, follow @billicurrie

Click to see our feature on his trends forecasting HERE

To browse our library of great hairdressing conversations, click HERE

To explore the library of Respectfully hair podcasts, click HERE

For more of the latest industry news, click HERE.


Respect is a hub for UK hairdressers of all ages and stages to find out what We LoveWe Hear  and We See  as the best product launches, styling advice, hairtools, education training and seminars and hairshows! Sign up to our newsletter which is sent fortnightly direct to your email, so you stay up-to-date with salon styling information, trends in session work, advice on presenting on stage or progress in educating – whatever your interest, whether you’re a trainee or creative director, an educator or team leader, you’ll find all the opportunities and ideas on

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