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Hair Professional celebrates 40th anniversary

By Lydia Catling

A family-run salon is celebrating its 40th year in business.

Hair Professional, on Maidstone’s King Street, opened in 1979 and has served thousands of customers over the years, including Ann Widdecombe, the then Maidstone and Weald MP.

It was set up by Petros and Maroulla Papaspyrou, who decided to consolidate their large Kent salon chain into one location. The business has remained in the same building ever since.

The busy salon in the '80s
The busy salon in the '80s

The couple and their two daughters, Anthea and Erina, lived in Mountsfield Close, Maidstone, until they decided to move back to their home country of Cyprus in 1989.

Their eldest daughter, Anthea Mitchell, 52, remained in the UK and eventually took over management of the salon, buying it from her father in 2000.

Mrs Mitchell, who now lives in Vinters Park, became a familiar face around the business from a young age, working there on the weekends and during the holidays when she was at Maidstone Grammar School for Girls.

A purple theme for the '90s
A purple theme for the '90s

She said: “Back in 1979 the big thing we did was cutting. At that point the haircut was everything.

“Now nearly everyone has long hair the big thing is colour.

“In the 70s and 80s we were doing around seven perms a day. Now we do that in about six months.”

How the salon looked at the beginning of this decade
How the salon looked at the beginning of this decade

Renovations are underway at Hair Professional, now adopting a colourful retro style, which will be unveiled at an invite-only cocktails and canapés celebration tomorrow.

Plans for a new loyalty scheme will also be revealed.

Philip Powell, Anthea’s husband and business partner, said: “There are very few salons that could boast such longevity and loyalty so we are almost uniquely placed to offer such a scheme to our clientèle.

Anthea Mitchell, manager and owner of Hair Professional on King Street, Maidstone (14893882)
Anthea Mitchell, manager and owner of Hair Professional on King Street, Maidstone (14893882)

"We value them, and we know they value us.”

The boutique offers a range of treatments and is one of the only salons in the town to offer support for those with hair loss.

Mrs Mitchell said: “We see several people every month who are undergoing chemotherapy or suffer from alopecia. It just makes such a difference to them.”

Staff from Hair Professional taking part in a fashion show at British Home Stores in 1984 News Review (14891558)
Staff from Hair Professional taking part in a fashion show at British Home Stores in 1984 News Review (14891558)

Hair Professional also includes a beauty salon, making it what the owner calls “a one-stop shop for all clients’ needs”.

Instead of hairdressing, Mrs Mitchell actually had ambitions of becoming a journalist or a priest after graduating from university.

In addition to her work at the salon, she volunteers at the Maidstone Churches Winter Shelter and is now training to become an ordained minister.

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