My day: On a working day I get up about 6.45am and my first job is to walk my dog Summer, a cavalier King Charlies spaniel. I always walk Summer before I feed her she likes a routine and the walk wakes me up a bit and helps to clear my head. Once we get back from our walk I feed Summer then I need to think about getting myself ready for work – shave, shower.
I arrive to the salon at around 8.30am. My first job of the day is to check if all the lights are working, one of my pet hates is bulbs out. I turn the music and TV on, it’s great to create a bit of atmosphere and buzz first thing in the morning.
I check the toilets and have a final look over the salon to make sure everything is ready for the first clients to arrive. Then I will grab a coffee – I’m a nightmare without caffeine. I usually grab some lunch in between clients just whenever I have the time.
Every day is completely different in hairdressing. I love that about my job. All of my clients are so individual; they all like to put their own twist on a current celebrity hairstyle. Whether it be Kate Middleton’s glossy brown blow dry or something a bit more edgy like Jennifer Lawrence’s crop.
I finish after my last client leaves the salon. Then it’s home to chill and relax, I’m a bit of a home bird.
If I could give any advice to young upcoming hairdressers it would be to keep yourself up to date with current trends and techniques, you never know when a new trend is going to explode. For example, until a few years ago ombre hair was unheard of, now it’s huge. Stay motivated; take advice from your peers and more senior members of staff.
Remember that anything is possible if you work hard. When I was younger I could never imagine winning Midlands Hairdresser of the Year and now I’ve been lucky enough to win the award twice.
Dress: When I have worked for others I have always had to wear a uniform. I don’t wear one now or enforce it on my staff, as our work is about being individual and creative.
What is the favourite part of your job? I love having the ability to make someone feel and look good. It’s so satisfying. Meeting interesting people from all walks of life.
What is the least favourite part of your job? I had to think really hard about this question as I love my job. I suppose I am like everyone, I have my moments, where I think it would be nice to stay home but on the whole I enjoy coming to work.
What would be your dream job if you weren’t doing what you do now? My dream job is hairdressing but if for some reason I couldn’t do that, then my second choice would have to be gardening, a garden designer or something on those lines.
How do you relax when you are not working? I am very much a home bird and love gardening. I find it relaxing.
What is your favourite film? As Good as it Gets with Jack Nicholson has to be one of my favourites, I have seen it so many times and it still makes me laugh.
What is your favourite book? All of the Harry Potter books.
What is your favourite song? Billie Holiday’s That Ole Devil Called Love.
If a film was made of your life, who would you like to play you? Oh I don’t know, this is a difficult question, maybe Keith Lemon, although my staff might say Elton John would be most like me.
Have you had your 15 minutes of fame? A few times. When I was presented on stage at the Grosvenor House in London with the British Hairdressing Award for Midlands Hairdresser of the Year in 2009 by Dermot O’Leary and again last year by David Walliams.
Name: James Whyte
Job: Style Director at Soul Hair
Born: I was born in Manchester where I lived until I was 13 and then moved to Chester.
Lives: I still live in Chester, It’s a great place to live.
Education: The School of Life!
Family life: I have today’s modern family.
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Next week: Graham Wilson, leadership catalyst at Successfactory