Dalkeith salon owner is top colourist in Scotland

A Dalkeith salon owner has been named best colourist in Scotland, less than 18 months after opening on the High Street.

Gemma Hill (28), who opened her salon Luvely on Dalkeith High Street in April 2021, was named the best colourist in Scotland at the 2022 Scottish Hair and Beauty Awards (SHABA).

She saw off the other 350 colourists from across the country who entered, making the final 10 before picking up her award last month.

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Gemma explained: “To get into the final it was a public vote, so I have had a lot of community support and customers voting for me. Then in the final I had to submit a piece of work, which the judges obviously liked.

Gemma Hill (centre) with her Luvely team, pictured at the awards ceremony in Glasgow last month.

"I’m very chuffed to have won. I have coloured hair since the age of 16, it’s my niche. It’s what I’m best known for so it’s great to be recognised for it.

"I trained at Paterson SA and I became a master colour expert with Wella, so it’s great to be recognised now for all the hard work I have put in.

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"It’s given everyone here at Luvely a massive lift. Since we came back from the ceremony my team feel inspired. My trainees are my future so anything I can do to inspire them is great, that’s the future of my business.

"And every member of my team is wanting to go for an award next year!”

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Gemma with her award.

Gemma reserved special praise for her model Lauren Wylie: “She let me push the boundaries on her hair.”

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Gemma added: "We are a salon that specialises in creative colour and colour corrections. We can fix customers’ hair and transform them. Seeing them leave the salon happy is such a great feeling.

"My clients are so proud of me, they have made me feel like my work is worth it. It was them who made me feel comfortable enough to go for this and win it.

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"And obviously I couldn’t do it without my team, they boost me and get me going.

Gemma's hair model, Lauren Wyllie.
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"Because we have only been open for such a short space of time, to get an award already is incredible, but it’s really just the start.”

Luvely employs three trainees, four stylists and a receptionist. Most of them, along with some friends and family, attended the SHABA ceremony at the Hilton in Glasgow on September 11.

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"It was a wild night, and great that so many of the team were there,” added Gemma.

“It was a late one too, I never got to bed until 2am!”