Home: South London

My route into this world was… By starting in a local salon in Maidstone. I thought it would be a short-term thing and I was there to wash hair and earn some extra money. However, I fell in love with the salon vibe and the creativity of the guys I was working alongside, so I decided I would move to London and work/train for a big name. I started at Charles Worthington for 18 months, then I finished my training at Trevor Sorbie. I was then lucky enough to be taken under the wing of session stylist Eugene Souleiman and I worked for him for a couple of years. What I learnt from these talents has given me an incredible career.

My current job is… Owner and Founder of Percy & Reed.

My first job was… Trainee carpenter.

When I said I wanted to be a hairdresser... Most of my friends thought I was joking, but I never really had any negative feedback from them. Although, I have had plenty from other people I have met in my life!

If only parents knew that hairdressing… Had the boundless opportunities that it does as a career.
I love working in hair because… It is an incredible material to work with. You can change its shape, colour and texture, plus it grows!

It’s never too late to become a hairdresser because… There are so many amazing salons that will teach you if you are willing to put in the work.

My mentor is... Eugene Souleiman.

The three hairdressers who inspire me most are… Vidal Sassoon, Eugene Souleiman and Guido.

Paul Percival hairdressing

The most important piece of advice has been… ‘Measure twice, cut once’. Both in carpentry and hairdressing.

My most treasured possession is... My classic car.

The best part of my day is Sitting down with my family for dinner.
I’m inspired by... Mostly film and photos that capture different times in modern history.

Working in hairdressing makes me feel… Positive. This job is one of the only jobs you can do where you basically make people feel good!

Working in both the salon and session sectors of hairdressing I've found... That these worlds have never been so closely linked. When I started out, they were two different worlds and I was one of the very few people that had a foot in both. Now, as long as you still give 100% to your salon work, you can also get some great creative experience from being involved in session work. For me, as much as my day-to-day is session and has been for two decades, the salon team and vibe will always have something very special about it.

Paul Percival

Want to get started? Your first step should be to... Aim high! Find a few salon brands that really inspire you and email, call, persist, until you get to meet them face-to-face and tell them why you want to work with their brand specifically.

Make sure you… Do your homework on whoever you are going to meet.

You’re working with lots of people every day. Always remember to... Be a team player.

I had to pinch myself when… THERE ARE SO MANY MOMENTS LIKE THIS… like when I worked with one of my music heroes Björk for the first time.

My career highlight so far has been… First opening a salon and then seeing clients in the chairs.

If it hadn’t been for hair, I wouldn’t have… Seen behind the curtain of so many things like celebrity, film, music and fashion.

My ambitions include… Seeing some of Percy & Reed’s brilliant trainees go on to conquer the world.

I’m proud to be a hairdresser because… Most of the best people I know are also hairdressers.


≠ Always be ready for an opportunity. Grabbing them is how things happen!

≠ Watch EVERYTHING when you are around other talent

≠ Share your skills with others whenever possible.

≠ Never be afraid to fail

Practice, practice, practice.

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