Trevor Sorbie reveals the key to beautiful hair

“Great hair is an attitude”

Hairdresser to the stars, Trevor Sorbie M.B.E., reveals the key to beautiful hair, guarding against the harsh desert elements and the charity that’s close to his heart

Have you ever had the Wedge, the Scrunch or the Chop? These iconic hairstyles are the mark of British hairdresser Trevor Sorbie, who has opened his first salon in the Middle East at Fashion Avenue, bringing more than 50 years’ experience to the emirate. For ladies only, the salon is buzzing with bookings: “Not long after we opened in May, one client flew here all the way from Egypt for her appointment, and flew back out later the same day,” says Trevor.

With 18 styling stations offering dry styling, cutting and specialist colouring as well as selected beauty services (lashes, brows, mani-pedis and waxing), plus a VIP suite for those who require privacy, the salon’s draw is testament to Trevor’s reputation for offering a stellar service.

I never had a burning desire to be a hairdresser but I am interested in understanding how women think – especially when it comes to their hair. I left school aged 15 and went to work at my father’s barbershop in Ilford, Essex. I started cutting hair and, while at hairdressing school, I was introduced to Vidal Sassoon and then my career took off. I could never have guessed, though, tha, over half a century later I’d be in Dubai launching my sixth salon.

The Dubai team has been handpicked from the UK. I put up a notice in each of my five salons with the news that we were opening a new venture in Dubai, calling for people to raise their hands if they would be keen to join us. We got a big response. It was the only way to do it, as all my staff go through a tough training programme with a final exam that involves creating looks on 10 models, which I personally assess, so I have full confidence in their work.

At the salon, we offer a very thorough consultation. This is a very important part of the service in order to pinpoint what hairstyle will work for you, based upon your personality and lifestyle. Typically, your hairdresser will ask you a series of questions like: whether you’ve had a fringe before and it if worked; how you style your hair on an everyday basis; and what sort of cuts you liked as opposed to those you didn’t. It’s a bit like having a doctor’s consultation. It’s so important as, if you get it wrong, the client won’t like the end result. Everyone’s had a bad haircut at some point in their lives – and it’s not something you easily forget.

Many women invest a lot of time and money on spa treatments and skin creams, and you should put the same time and energy into caring for your hair. You get out what you put in.

Dubai is very cosmopolitan, just like London but the hair trends are very different. Many customers have long, dark hair so colouring services are not as popular but blow-dries are. Our Brazilian Blow Dry is proving popular, as it guards against frizz caused by the humid weather. It lasts for six to nine months, so is great to tide you over the summer season.

One of the biggest hair enemies in this part of the world is the strong sunlight. Being exposed to UV rays can cause colour fading and the best protection is a head covering or hat. As a temporary fix, you can also consider using haircare products that offer protection, such as Trevor Sorbie Salon Colour Protect Conditioner (Dhs61 for 250ml) and Multi-Protect spray (Dhs54 for 200ml), which contain has UV filters and green tea to help prevent colour fade.

Having great hair is more of an attitude than finding that one special style. Hair trends used to be led by catwalk shows whereas today celebrities have more influence – the Beckhams are responsible for a number of popular styles, for instance, as they keep on reinventing themselves. In London, younger women are very experimental with their hair – they might shave it all off on one side or dye it blue or green. On the flip side, long, tousled, natural-looking locks are also in vogue. If you walk down the King’s Road in Chelsea you’ll see it on practically every woman you pass – it’s a very feminine style. Those in their 40s and 50s, however, are more likely to opt for a more modern cut.

I’m 69 and at this stage of my life, I found myself wondering what would happen to the company if my health took a turn for the worse. With this in mind, I sold the business to the Dubai-based The Grooming Company in 2017, while retaining a role as Creative Ambassador. They are a fantastic partner to have as they share a vision to globalise the brand and they are dedicated to keeping its soul alive.

I am passionate about my charity, mynewhair, which provides a wig styling service for people suffering from cancer and medical hair loss. Each week, we train 15 new hairdressers in the UK and we recently had our first group training seminar in Dubai. It’s not just about cutting wigs. We work with high level educators to coach hairdressers in offering a caring and sensitive service to their clients as when you’re tending to someone affected by cancer, the conversation is very different. It’s something that The Grooming Company is very supportive of – it wouldn’t be happening without them.

It’s a happy coincidence that my first salon in the Middle East is in Duabi. My wife Carole and I have been coming to the emirate on holiday for eight years as the hotels are fantastic and we’re both foodies so we enjoy dining out at all the great restaurants. The location in Fashion Avenue is a bonus – it’s the place to be.

To make a booking, call +971 (0)4 388 8440 or email