On July 3, hairdresser Frank Rutland, 71, will close the doors of his Kingsbury Street salon for the last time. He told Marlborough.news, “I will miss my customers, many whose hair I’ve been cutting since I moved here from London in the 80’s, and the conversations.”
Swindon born Frank, who started his training as a hairdresser in 1970, said, “The secret of being a good hairdresser is not how well you cut hair but how you interpret a look on an individual – knowing what suits the individual.”
Over the years he has done his best to pass this wisdom on to the many hairdressing juniors he’s trained. He is pleased that many of them, such as Lee Matthews and Ingrid of Curl up and Die in Pewsey, have gone on to have their own salons. One time Saturday girl, Kimi Smith, left the salon to work at the John Frieda salon in London’s West End.
Frank always knew that hairdressing was his dream job and so he ignored his father’s belief that “hairdressing was not for men” and landed an apprenticeship at Annie Russell’s salon on the King’s Road in 1970. After six months he moved to Michael John and then became a junior stylist at Leonard’s. Leonard’s was, at that time, considered to be the most prestigious salon in the country and Leonard Lewis was the stylist held responsible for Twiggy’s bob and the Beatles’ mop tops.
Frank has very happy memories of his seven years at Leonard’s and being part of the swinging 60’s/70’s scene. A steady stream of celebrities passed through the doors of the salon, Tony Curtis, Bianca Jagger, Lynsey de Paul, to name but a few. Even Princess Anne was a one-time client. Frank also found himself styling for films such as ‘The Orient Express’ and ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
While at Leonard’s he worked with John Frieda and Nicky Clarke, who started at the salon after Frank, and who had to wash Frank’s client’s hair.
Frank’s dream was to have his own salon and after working at several other salons in Marlborough the opportunity to take over the salon on Kingsbury Street arose. Frank, however, has still kept in touch with the hairdressers from his London days.
Now, he is looking forward to retirement, to spending more time with his one-year-old granddaughter and to relaying his four train sets in his spare room.