Subrina Kidd hairdressing


 Home: London

My route into this world was… At 17 years old, I dropped out of college – I was studying Art & Design, but I didn’t feel I was good enough. At the time I lived with my amazing foster Mum, she said “Subrina, I understand you don’t know what to do as you are young. However, in this household you are expected to either study or work or do both! So, until you decide, you will get up with the rest of the household and do chores.” 

She gave me food for thought. I thought how I can study and get paid? I also liked doing hair and did my friends’, so I decided to take it up professionally. I did an apprenticeship at Toni&Guy in Kensington. I also worked in an Afro hair salon called Pacific’s Concept Noir and La Coupe part-time. I worked and trained 6-7 days a week so I could learn to work with all hair types and textures. I trained for approximately 4 years. 

Subrina Kidd hairdressing

My first job was… At aged 12. I worked in a Japanese Hairdressers in St John’s Wood.

My mum worked in a dry cleaners doing alterations, she would take me to work with her as she didn’t have childcare. I walked around the high street when she would allow me and I saw a beautiful salon, I thought it was an antique shop at first. I saw a notice for a ‘Junior’ and asked my Mum to ask the Owner if they would give me the job. The Owner, Mrs Yosimoto, was reluctant as I was underage, but I begged her and my Mum for the job. In the end she gave in and I worked until I was sixteen as a Saturday Junior and in the summer holidays. Mrs Yosimoto was fascinating, she was an artist as well and had her work displayed in the salon. She took me to the Royal Opera House once – I was a silently impressed teenager. She inspires me to this day.

My current job is… As a freelance hairstylist. I’m based in a wonderful salon ‘The Collective' in Marylebone. I work with haircare brands such as Aveda and high-profile clients.

When I said I wanted to be a hairdresser... My older foster brother, who is a plumber and runs his own business said – “People will always need a haircut and washing machines fixed. A trade is good Subrina. You’ll be good!”

If only parents knew that hairdressing… Exposes you to so many fascinating people. It truly expands your mind and offers the most diverse opportunities. So much freedom and the potential to have a wonderful lifestyle.
I love working in hair because… After the recent uncertain times due to Covid-19, which have been wrapped in ‘fear’, going back to work made me realise that hairdressing allows one to make a person feel amazing despite the circumstances. What a superpower/gift to have!!! Wow!

My mentor is... My friend Karen Lambert co-owner of ‘The Collective’ salon. We met on my first day as an apprentice in 1994 and we work together now. She saw potential in me from day one, that I didn’t know I had at the time. Whenever I’ve felt I wanted to just be average, she says “I haven't invested in you all this time for you to be mediocre!”

Subrina Kidd hairdressing

The three hairdressers who inspire me most are… Thèrèse Haynes who owned Pacific Hair Artists in Knightsbridge next to Harrods. I did work experience there on the advice of a wonderful Art Director, Joryce I used to assist at Toni&Guy. When I wanted to learn all hair types and textures, he took me to Pacific. The salon was so inspiring. All the stylist looked amazing and did all hair types to a high-end level. I was 18 and extremely impressed! I was like, ‘yes, this is the type of space and work I want to do!’

I’m a massive fan of Lacy Redway and Nikki Elms! They are incredibly talented hairstylists that can do any hair! Game-changers! The types of hairdressers I would have loved to have seen growing up!

Subrina Kidd, Jennifer Hudson

The most important piece of advice has been… Find something you are passionate about and work out how to make it viable and it will never feel like hard work.

My most treasured possession is... My hands. They have afforded me the skills to create the opportunities in my life and provided a long-standing career even when times were challenging, which has been my saviour! And my passport!!!

The best part of my day is Getting up every morning, after all these years, and still getting excited about what I do! Wow!
I’m inspired by... Anyone who has the courage to be themselves and trusts their unique creative taste! I truly admire this mindset. It took me years to fully come into my own.

Working in hairdressing makes me feel… Happy to get up joyful every day and know my job is to make someone happy! All the while having a mutual exchange with clients and colleagues, creating artistry, building self-esteem, listening to music, getting dressed up in the mood that takes me that day and at the same time, it all being financially viable.

It’s never too late to become a hairdresser because… I have trained people from all backgrounds, prior career paths and ages! This career can be ageless and flexible depending on how one curates it.

Subrina Kidd hairdressing

Want to get started? Your first step should be to... Do an apprenticeship! Assisting gives you realistic experience. Approach the area of the industry you want to be in and don’t be frighted to ask for what you want. Ask whoever or whatever organisation directly what apprenticeship/assistant schemes they have available. This career does not have to be rigid; it is ever evolving!
Make sure you… Keep practicing your craft. You will learn something from everyone. Learn all hair types and textures it will make you an all-round incredible hairdresser!

I had to pinch myself when… After just under a year of going freelance, which I was petrified to do, I was recommended to look after Jennifer Hudson’s hair for almost a year. She then took me and her team on a private jet to do her hair for a 3-day commercial. 
If it hadn’t been for hair, I wouldn’t have… Met the most diverse, eclectic group of people, which has definitely expanded and evolved my skills and mindset.

I’m proud to be a hairdresser because… It changed my life. I’m proud that the gift of hairdressing, which has changed my life, is one I am now able to use to positively change other people’s lives - be it client or colleague.

Subrina Kidd hairdressing
My career highlight so far has been… When my client pointed out “Subrina you have been working on your reputation for over 20 years and now your reputation, since going freelance, has been working for you” - what a wonderful thing to say. I didn’t realise until she said it. It was humbling to hear this.

The other is when I did an actress’s hair, and I was trying to be professional and cool but inside I was bursting with excitement. In the end I had to tell her how I felt, and she said she was excited I was available to do her hair! We were both gushing over each other! Ha! It was so funny to just be real and show appreciation.

Subrina Kidd hairdressing

My ambitions include… Being the example I would love to have seen when I was a young trainee.

I am now in my 6th year of volunteering for my friend and client, poet Lemn Sissay’s Hackney Christmas Dinner initiative. I do this with my close friend and hairstylist Chie Sato. On Christmas Day we have set up a pop-up hair salon for young people who transition from being in the care system to living independently. It’s a challenging time of year.

We have gone from the two of us and not knowing how to get started and scratching our heads to last year gathering volunteers from hairstylists and barbers to manicurists, make-up artists and reaching out to some kind people, brands and organisations who have donated generously to support this cause. We all created a wonderful salon experience for over 60 young people between ages of 16-25.

When I was a trainee I was in a similar situation as some of these young people and being exposed to hairdressing, colleagues and clients really built my self-esteem and ambitions.


≠ Find your passion and work out how to make it viable! It will never, ever feel like work! Trust me! Imagine being paid for what you love doing. Wow...working smart not hard!

≠ Study the business side of hairdressing. Financial awareness is key in order to build a stable career. It will help you negotiate your worth and truly know your value. Have a financial, creative and all-round realistic encouraging support mentor.

≠ Make friends or connect with other creatives you genuinely vibe with so you can build organic projects together - hairdressers, photographers, make-up artists, stylists, illustrators, singers, artists, models, brands, products, filmmakers, writers, journalists, influencers etc...

≠ Document your work. It can be as simple as taking before and after pics on your phone. Then develop into working with photographers etc. This allows you to see how your work and taste is evolving. It also gives you content to showcase your work. I was given an opportunity for a great job based on this approach, prior to having a full-on website portfolio. It really does help as a starting point.

≠ Be open to all source of inspiration- environment, nature, music, art, conversations, film, poetry, Books, travel, culture, history, people watching and whatever inspires you personally!

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