Dom Lehane has been in the hairdressing industry for more than 30 years and has launched multiple hairdressing ventures alongside his own salon.
He founded online community and events platform HairClubLive before more recently turning his hand to weekly podcast How To Cut It, where he interviews inspirational figures from all corners of the hair industry.
He has also launched a new magazine-style YouTube channel, The Hair Show. We caught up with Dom to find out a bit more about what he does.
Concept Hair Magazine: Tell us a bit about yourself…
Dom Lehane: I’m a 4th generation hairdresser – after my mum, nan and great-nan. I didn’t want to do hairdressing but there was a moment when I went to Salon International and was completely blown away by the entire industry! I went straight from school at 16 to doing my apprenticeship full time at Trevor Sorbie. I moved to London for just under a year but I got homesick and I came back and finished my training in Northampton. I went to college on a Youth Training Scheme. I loved college, the competitions and getting involved on the salon floor was the best thing ever.
CH: How has your career progressed since finishing training?
DL: I had a bigger salon which I sold in 2009 and really focussed on HairClubLive. We now have a smaller, rural, independent salon run by myself and my wife and one apprentice. I’m still on the floor four days a week – I have been doing it for a long time. Every other part of my life involves producing podcasts!
CH: About the podcasts… what is How to Cut It?
DL: The podcast was created in March 2017 but I had been planning it for at least a year. My very first show was with Trevor Sorbie artistic director Tom Connell. That was the very first and I knew straight away with the feedback that it would be successful. The whole show was born out of letting people know the opportunities: insight, inspiration and information. I like the story behind the person, we talk to all kinds of people: photographers, journalists, make-up – anyone from that industry who has a story and is going to get people excited. It comes out every Monday morning.
CH: How will listening to it help apprentices?
DL: It will get them excited about the hair industry and realise what you need to do to get there. It’s about them understanding there is a lot more to hairdressing than washing hair and being a mobile hairdresser or salon owner. I want people to know the different opportunities.
CH: And what about The Hair Show? What’s that about?
DL: The Hair Show was an idea from myself and Dan Thomas, an industry photographer. Dan was gunning for YouTube – we both like content, information. We felt there wasn’t anything else created in the unique way we are doing, bringing in industry guests to talk about their particular focus.
CH: Where do you see the future of the hairdressing industry?
DL: It is at a really exciting point. Social media has completely reinvented the industry. Independent hairdressers can build their own brand like never before. Their portfolio can be their Instagram account. I believe we will see more loft-like salons – smaller salons away from the high street, like Ky Wilson’s The Social. It is an exciting time if you want to go into hairdressing and you can earn good money.