It is a name that is known and respected world-wide for setting the standard in precision hair cutting.

Glasgow's hairdressing sector - and staff - were dealt a major blow when Vidal Sassoon announced the closure of its Princes Square salon last year after more than 30 years in the city, ending the brand's presence in Scotland.

Despite the initial shock, Stephen Doran, who was with Sassoon for ten years culminating in a top role as creative director, says it was the push he needed to fulfill a long-held ambition to open his own salon.

The Herald:

He brought five of stylists with him and just over a year after opening in Bath Street he now has 12 staff - including a Ukrainian refugee - and bold ambitions to expand across the UK and internationally.

READ MORE: World-famous hairdressing brand moving out of Glasgow after 34 years 

"When Covid happened a few members of staff left and they weren't replaced so we knew something was happening," he says.

"We were then told the business was closing and given three weeks notice.

"It was actually the push I needed because I had always had the ambition to open my own salon. It happened so quickly I didn't really have time to worry.

"It was perfect because it meant I had other staff members to bring with me. 

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"Everyone is ex-Sassoon so opening the salon was a way of keeping the family together."

Mr Doran says they were able to retain most of their own clients from the Princes Square salon.

"Customer retention was incredible," he says. "I've been seeing my regulars for 10-12 years."

Those regulars have included members of the Scottish band Texas while the hairdresser had a regular presence at New York and London fashion week.

READ MORE: Obituary: Remembering Vidal Sassoon 

He says he realised that the business was going to be a success when the salon was "incredibly busy" in January, a time that can be difficult for the industry after the rush of the festive season.

"I think that maybe there is room for a new name in the industry and hopefully that's ours," said Mr Doran, who is a former UK stylist of the year.

"We want to expand nationally at first - Manchester and London - and then I'd open in other parts of the UK as well.

The Herald:

"Ultimately New York and probably also Spain.

"We are doing great but it's all about the team and we have an incredible team."

He says he took all the experience he had gleaned at Sassoon "essentially in cutting" and added on what he felt his new enterprise could be better at, including customer service.

"We offer champagne and you can order food when you are getting your colour done.

"It's a focus on service over and above everything else and that's what I'm so proud of. 

"I believe it's an experience like no other."

READ MORE: Tributes paid to Glasgow hairdressing pioneer after her death at 75

He said his ambitions also including opening a training academy for young hairdressers in his home city - he was brought up in Newlands on Glasgow's South Side.

"I would say hairdressing in general is quite an ageist industry," he said.

"I didn't start until I was 21. I went to university after school and studied softwear engineering.

"I didn't enjoy what I was doing and announced to my parents I was going to become a hairdresser and moved out the same day."

He was taken on and trained by a local salon and quickly excelled, joining Vidal Sassoon just three years later. 

"It was an amazing experience to work for a company like that and to be part of that pedigree," he says.

"It's a great inspiration for what I want to do and it's what Vidal Sassoon did, he built up an empire after opening a salon in London.

"I think the future for hairdressing is bright. When the Scottish Government announced the end of lockdown, everyone cheered when they said hairdressers could open.

"As a hairdresser, that felt incredible."