Top hairdresser hits out at EU salon safety diktat


ONE of the UK’s top hairdressers, Charlie Taylor, has hit out at suggestions made this week that the latest European Union proposals would see hairdressers up to their elbows in rubber gloves and banned from wearing high heels.

The three times winner of Scottish Hairdresser of the Year and Member of the British Hairdressing Hall of Fame operates four successful salons in the East of Scotland and has trained and employed hundreds of hairdressers in a stellar career that spans over 35 years.

“These proposals are utterly unbelievable!” said Charlie.

Charlie, pictured last year, has hit out at the proposals

“I honestly cannot understand why a bunch of bureaucrats sitting in Brussels think it’s appropriate to dictate the footwear and jewellery choices of hairdressing professionals, whose very business is about style and fashion. What next? No high heels for models on catwalks? They need their heads examined!”

Charlie, who trained under Trevor Sorbie before returning to Scotland to start her own salon business in the 1980s, will be defiantly treading the boards this weekend, in platform heels, at one of Russia’s biggest hairdressing events, The Golden Scissors, where she will present to a crowd of hairdressing professionals 1000 strong.

Flying out to Chelnyabinsk with fellow stylist Lee Kerr, Charlie will be working with some of the country’s top models to deliver a hair show that Russian hairdressers travels literally thousands of miles to attend. And the last thing on their mind will be rubber gloves and flat shoes.

“I’ll be wearing my heels on stage on Saturday, make no mistake.” said Charlie.

“And I would consider it utterly impractical to cut hair wearing rubber gloves. Being able to feel the client’s hair is critical to delivering a professional and high quality cut. To be honest I’m still reeling from the sheer stupidity of their suggestions.”

Charlie, who last year styled the hair at Europe’s biggest song contest, Eurovision, has always worn heels on stage and while working but future displays of such stylish expertise will undoubtedly be banned if the Brussels bureaucrats get their way.

Among the proposals tabled for hairdressers include elbow length rubber gloves, flat non-slip shoes, no jewellery or watches to be worn, “suitable” clothing, and regular breaks for chats with fellow hairdressers to prevent “emotional collapse”.

Charlie commented “I’ve been in business for over 25 years and being in business now is tougher than ever. There are too many small companies struggling to keep going during this recession, weighted down with unnecessary red tape. These proposed rules have little or no bearing on day to day reality. Health and safety is important in any industry, but so is common sense and it’s about high time some of these bureaucrats employed some – before they put thousands of jobs and livelihoods at risk.”

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  1. This is entirely misleading and he is commenting on a Daily Mail twited news story – these are draft plans being drawn up by the employers’ and workers’ representatives – Coiffure EU and UNI Europa Hair & Beauty – rather than the EU itself. UK hairdressers are themselves represented by the National Hairdressers Federation, which forms part of Coiffure EU. The draft agreement does include a clause that stipulates:
    “workers shall wear suitable clothes for their activities or workwear clothing and, in particular, shoes with non-slip soles.”
    However there is no mention at all of ‘banning’ high-heels, and a spokesperson for the Commission in London confirmed that the draft proposal “says nothing about heels.”

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