Ken Picton, the renowned Welsh hairstylist speaks openly to Style of the City on his successful business, top styling advice and future events.

What inspired you to open your salon in Cardiff Bay?

Well originally I opened in 1990 when I was 21-years-old in Castle Arcade, but I found that I didn’t need to be on the high-street due to how the industry was running. The walk-in clients weren’t really there and if they did come in, we were too busy. We were the first hairdressers down the Bay and it gave me the opportunity to do, what I call, a ‘destination salon’, which is multiservice salon, so that people came to you instead of just being a local salon.  We made sure we had everything we needed, from stylists, to makeup artists, therapists, nail technicians and an in-house chef.

What differentiates you from other hair salons in Cardiff?

I think we are multiskilled and we always try to maintain our high-standards, with the wonderful opportunities we create for our staff as well as the experience for our clients. Our beautiful waterfront views it makes us stand out from others.

What is your advice to others on how to succeed in launching their own independent hair or beauty brand? 

You need to have a clear path of what you want to be, I think there are a lot of avenues to venture with in salons these days, research what other salons aren’t providing to their customers and that could be something you could offer. Most importantly be true to yourself and it is going to be hard work if you want to be successful.

Tell me about the event that you’re hosting in Cornerstone

I’m the president of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing which is a creative body of all the best hairdressers globally and as the president I’m the face of the organisation. So one of the things I’ve worked on over the last two years is brining fellowship events to Cardiff and into Wales, as I distinctly felt there was a lack of creative inspirational events for the hairdressers here in Wales.

This will be the third year of us having the fellowship and the event is free for any Welsh member and it is also a platform for Welsh members to be creative! We have the celebrity hairstyle, Jamie Stevens, coming down too! It’s been a mission of mine to keep this event here as people keep asking me to bring new business to Wales, as we do need it.

What do you see in someone to make you think that they are a talented hairdressers?

I think the reality is you can teach someone to cut a haircut and over a bit of time they will be able to perfect that haircut. But, a great hairdresser is someone who can create the right haircut on the right person and someone who can identify the face shape, hair texture and be able to tweak and change that to suit the person. That instinct is hard to teach, they must have an eye for design.

What’s next for Ken Picton?

Well we aim to keep doing what we’re doing. The next step for me is a possible expansion of the business and to help my team members achieve their goals, by offering them support to gain further skills and awards.

Ken Picton’s main salon floor
Ken Picton’s main salon floor

Top styling advice from Ken Picton

What are your top tips to achieve healthy hair? (oily, dry & damaged, combination etc.)

I think the top tip is to be aware of your scalp condition and hair texture. It is important to use great shampoo, treatments and conditioners as they are really beneficial. Also, by protecting your hair from heat , it should create healthy hair. Your scalp is also an important issue to consider, often people believe they have oily hair, but mostly it’s an oily scalp.

What are your top styling tips for different hair types?

The more natural hairstyles are currently popular, which I love. Use Sea Salt Spray to make it your hair nice and soft.

What do you believe are the new upcoming hair trends for 2020?

I think it’s going to be all about the fringe, such as a strong and a bolder shape.

For more information visit

Location: Ken Picton Salon, 8 Mermaid Quay, Cardiff, CF10 5BZ

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