A family business in Hook has celebrated 25 years of providing cuts and styling to residents of the area.

Hooked on Hair opened 25 years ago, and has since expanded to take in clients of all ages, genders and styles. Charlotte Waring, the current head of the business, says they’re hoping to continue the family firm into the next generation.

“I am the second generation of my family to run the business,” she said, “but my daughter, aged 4, already says she will be the next to take on Hooked on Hair and loves being in the salon!”

Hooked on Hair opened in 1996 when Charlotte’s parents bought the salon, when she was 11. At the time, she wasn’t planning on becoming a hairdresser, but found herself being drawn in.

“At the time the family business was quite important in our lives, even when we were younger,” she said, “but I never thought we would all be involved in hairdressing - all my sisters are hairdressers too – it just ended up that way. We just all took that route and it wasn’t planned.”

She says that over the past 25 years, the basics are still the same, but the salon has tried to move with the times, sending their staff on courses to learn the latest fashions. Many staff have grown up with the business, with colour technician Megan starting at 14 and working her way up to become one of their most in demand stylists at the age of 27.

“We’re very much a salon that tries to cater for everyone in the market from children all the way through the teenage years up to senior citizens. We aim at every part of the market as we are a village salon so try to cater for the village that we’re in.”

Over time, Hooked on Hair has expanded, taking on the next door unit to open Master Barbers of Hook, as well as offering a range of other treatments. However, it’s Covid which has presented the biggest change.

“When it all started we weren’t sure how we would carry on,” said Charlotte, “in an industry where we are up close and personal with people.

“We couldn’t comprehend how we were going to deal with the restrictions in place, but once we got our heads around that we started setting up how we were going to reopen the salon as soon as we closed in March last year.”

She said the salon tried to be “ahead of the game” by second guessing new restrictions, which worked in their favour when they ordered screens to be put in before demand spiked as other businesses began buying them.

“We’ve done our best to handle it,” Charlotte said. “It’s not been an easy time for anyone, it’s been challenging, but at the same time we had good feedback when we reopened about customers saying it was one of the safest places they’ve actually visited. So we have to take that and know we’ve done the right thing.”

Having hit 25 years in business, the salon has been offering a range of discounts with 25 per cent off. However, she says they’re still very busy getting through the backlog of female clients needing their hair looked after.

Looking to the future, and Charlotte wants the salon to keep moving with the times and catering to the people of Hook.

“We hope to carry on moving with the market,” she said. “We’ve got an empty beauty room we’re hoping to find different solutions for what we can fill it with. We’re just investigating the current market of what is popular, cosmetic things seem to be popular but we’re still undecided.”

However, with her 4-year-old daughter enjoying life in the salon, it can only be a matter of time before the third generation of owners gets their first taste of hairdressing.