Meet the Edinburgh stars of new BBC Scotland reality TV show Mirror Mirror
HAIRSTYLISTS Kate Murray and Hannah Crerar hit it off pretty much instantly when they found themselves working together at chain of city centre hair salons. So much so, that two years ago they decided to go it alone and, investing their life savings, opened Rock ’n’ Rose on Dalziel Place.
So much so, that two years ago they decided to go it alone and, investing their life savings, opened Rock ’n’ Rose on Dalziel Place.
From next Thursday, the pair will feature in the new BBC Scotland reality series Mirror Mirror, filmed in barbers and hairdressers across Scotland.
Shot by a hidden camera behind a two-way mirror, the series promises to pull no punches capturing the honest opinions of real people.
Across the series, Kate and Hannah will be found cutting hair as their clients chat about life, the universe and everything.
In the first episode, the theme is sex, online dating, pets and health - Rock ‘n’ Rose customer Elizabeth confessing to some Tinder date bad behaviour.
Hannah recalls, “The way it came about was so random...”
“...we though it was a wind up at first...” adds Kate
“...and it happened so quickly.
“They phoned us one week to ask if we would be interested, said it would be like Big Brother in a salon, and the next week we were filming. We couldn’t believe it,” laughs Hannah.
Eavesdropping on conversations between client and hairdresser, the series buys into the age-old belief that hairdressers are, for many, also a counsellor.
“It is that thing of a trip to the hairdressers being a bit of a therapy session,” explains Hannah.
“People tell you stuff that they wouldn’t tell anyone else.
“We are outside their friends and family groups so they can confide in us and they know they can come back and see us again.”
She adds, “I also like the fact that this was an opportunity to show a cool side of Edinburgh.”
Nonetheless, the day the film crew arrived was “quite nerve-wracking” admits Kate.
The crew quickly put them at their ease
“It was so natural, the way it happened, you would never known that they were here and I forgot the camera was on me,” says Kate, who co-owns the salon with Hannah.
Both started hairdressing at the age of 15, the former training with Cheynes Hairdressing, the latter with Charlie Miller.
Kate, 29, mum to Thomas, 9, and Zack, 4, attended St John’s Primary in Portobello before going on to Holyrood Secondary, and recalls, “From a young age I wanted to be a hairdresser and now, here I am, specialising in creative colouring...”
“...alternative hair,” chips in Hannah, 29, who went to the Royal Mile Primary and Drummond High, and is mum to seven-year-old Lily.
“Originally I wanted to go to art college but when I was 13 I got a Saturday job in a hairdressers and just loved it.
“So when I left school at 15 I stuck with it and did my apprenticeship.”
The pair met in 2014 and “instantly clicked” even though they were working in different salons at the time.
“It was clear that we had a lot in common,” says Hannah.
Kate continues, “When we opened this place, we didn’t tell any of our clients, out of respect for our previous employer.
“We opened not knowing what was going to happen, having quit our jobs and put everything we had into the business,” she admits.
The power of social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, quickly ensured that their services were in demand, however.
“At the start there was just the two of us - we never took a holiday for over a year,” says Kate, “but since building the business we have been able to expand and bring in more staff and we’re getting our life work balance back.”
Today Rock ‘n’ Rose (“Kate is the rock and I’m definitely the rose,” says Hannah as they both burst into laughter) has a full compliment of five, Kate and Hannah being joined by stylists Anna, Jay and trainee Allise.
“And they’re all amazing,” smiles Hannah.
In the first episode of Mirror Mirror the cameras capture customers sharing often personal tales with their stylists.
“It’s easy to have a conversation if you can relate to their situation otherwise you just listen and let them talk,” says Kate.
Hannah adds, “A client won’t open up to you unless they feel close to you, so when they do it’s nice for us to know that.”
It is all about trust, she insists, as is letting them loose on their hair.
“Your hair is your whole image. It says a lot about you. It’s the crown that you wear on your head, so it is nice knowing that people trust you with it,” says Kate.
One of those to trust Kate with her hair is reality TV star Frankie Maddin, who appeared in Channel 5’s The Bachelor UK, last month.
“Although she has now moved to London, she still comes back up to see Kate to get her hair done,” says Hannah, proudly.
Next week, of course, the pair will get their own taste of being reality TV stars.
Both are fairly down to Earth about the prospect, “It’s so exciting but it seems like so long ago that we filmed it, but I think it will be really good,” says Hannah.
“There was two cameras filming, one was behind a two-way mirror they brought with them, and the other was on us, hopefully it will show viewers what sort of shop we are and, if they like what they see, they will come along and get their hair done,” adds Kate.
Which begs the question, who do they go to, when they need their hair done?
“I would only go to Kate,” says Hannah, “and vice versa,” says Kate.
With 30 years experience between them, the pair have seen many changes in the business, not least the rise of colouring, which, both say, can be far more expressive than a cut.
“We are an alternative hair salon, we want people to be comfortable to ask for what they want when they came in,” says Kate, whose dream is to have a chain of Rock ’n’ Rose salons across the Capital.
“There’s a lot more variety in hairdressing now,” adds Hannah, “People used to think it was either ‘blue rinse’ or ‘high end,’ but there are so many different concepts now.”
With a knowing laugh she adds, “But the old dears with the blue rinses... they have all the best stories.”
Mirror Mirror begins a 12 week run on BBC Scotland on Thursday 2 May at 10.30pm