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| February 26, 2021

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Sam Robinson


How did your hairdressing career start? Have you always been with the Rainbow Room International brand?

I didn’t start hairdressing until I was 21. Before that I had left school as an apprentice joiner, which I hated. I then went on to do business studies before deciding to embark on my hairdressing career with Rainbow Room International.

What sets the Rainbow Room International brand apart from other salons groups and what do you enjoy most about working with the brand?

What I feel sets Rainbow Room International apart is that we are like one huge family. There is a career path for everyone, whether you want to be part of the artistic team, education team or even the management team, there is growth for everyone if they want it. Although, some of our highest earners in the company just have the love for the craft and their clients and want to come to work to be really successful at their craft. I think that’s why we have such high staff retention, because there is a path for everyone.

How did you work your way up Rainbow Room International to become an Artistic Director and Owner of the George Square salon?

I have been with company for over 25 years starting as an assistant and going on to qualify as a stylist and from there I was promoted after 6 months on the floor! Which I still hold the record for fastest promoted stylist in the company history haha. My love was always for being creative and soon after I was helping out on our Artistic Team turning up and doing anything that was asked of me and constantly learning and soaking everything up from everyone. This was a huge growth area for me and gave me a huge buzz to talk about it to clients in the salon. From there I then worked up to presenting on stage for the company both in the U.K. and abroad with the Art Team and my artistic path continued to grow. Having been with the company for 14 years Linda and Alan gave me and Yasmine (my good friend in the company) the opportunity to go into business as a franchisee. We both had been with the company for about the same time and Yasmine was very much the business brains, which allowed me to still concentrate on the brands artistic side and education. It was a marriage made in heaven.

How did you become a Schwarzkopf UK Ambassador and what’s your favourite thing about working with the brand?

I have been a Schwarzkopf Ambassador for a few years now. It’s an amazing opportunity and a great family to be with, giving me the opportunity to work alongside some of the best U.K. hairdressers and allowing me to showcase my work to a global market.

You own a Rainbow Room International salon, are a Schwarzkopf UK Ambassador and International Artistic Director at Rainbow Room International, how do you juggle all of the roles and do you have a favourite role?

Lucky for me I have two wives in hairdressing. One, Yasmine, who is my franchise business partner and also Suzie McGill, who is my creative partner. This combination allows me to juggle both careers. I think it’s really important to show hairdressers that you can do both and it’s really important when teaching that you can relate to the audience and give them something that can be used in the salon.

You have won the Scottish Hairdresser of the Year category at the British Hairdressing Awards three times, as well as many other awards, what did winning the Scottish titles mean to you and what award is your goal to win next?

Winning Scottish hairdresser three times has been a huge achievement for me. It has always been something that has driven me in my career both personally and for our brand at Rainbow Room International. Winning these awards also shows what an amazing career you can have in hairdressing and attracts new clients to our business through the PR and exposure. For the future the dream would be to win the British Hairdresser of the Year category at the awards. I think it would be nice to have someone from Scotland in there!

Two of your Scottish wins were with your Rainbow Room International colleague, Suzie McGill. How did you come to working together and how do you decide on the ideas and inspirations behind your collections?

Two of my wins have been with my hairdressing wife Suzie McGill. We had already been working with each other for such a long time over the years with the Artistic Team and had grown closer in friendship and in our work. Suzie had already won Scottish and been nominated numerous times over the years when she asked me if I would like to enter with her. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity. I think sometimes people think it must be easier to win when you have two creatives but I actually think it makes you work harder, as we both have different ideas and have to meet in the middle with so much during the course of the shoot. It could go horribly wrong for people but because we have such a close regard to each other’s work and are both aiming for the same goal, it has brought us closer together over the years. Our goal is to always create creative imagery that truly represent the Rainbow Room International brand.

How did you come to enter awards and create photographic collections and what’s been your favourite collection you’ve created?

This is too hard a question, as I have loved all the collections that have been created over the years. We have also used a similar team over the years with John Rawson being our photographer and this has allowed our work to grow and evolve. This also enabled my 2020 collection to work really well, as there was such a backlog of images using the same team that gave us different collections from merging the images and forming a new one for 2020 when we couldn’t shoot due to the pandemic. I think it’s so important to find the right team to shoot with and build on the relationship over the years.

What’s been the biggest highlight of your career?

My biggest highlight of my career was qualifying as a hairdresser. Linda Stewart, Co-Owner of Rainbow Room International with Alan Stewart, gave me a bottle of champagne for graduating. I still have it and always said I would open it once I feel like I have achieved something. I call it my push button to make me want more. You never stop learning, achieving or aiming to do better than you did yesterday in this job. So who know if I will open it but for now it keeps me wanting more!

What’s been the biggest challenge of your career?

My biggest challenge has to be paperwork but up until last year this challenge has been replaced with Covid and the struggles that we are all facing in our industry both in business and creatively. The amazing thing about our industry is that we really pull together to help each other and give each other help and advice. The success of both the hairdressing awards and the business awards this year have shown how we are all adapting. I think our hairdressing community will come out of this stronger and more creative.

For more info on the brand, visit RainbowRoom International here.