Photo by Lucy Wright
Anthony Llobet became a hairdresser by accident, landing his first job in a London salon as a teen. Fast foward twenty years and Llobet has a small hairdressing empire, with no less than five salons in Barcelona. He has just been named as the representative in Spain for haircare brand, TRESemmé.
How did you get into hairdressing?
Truthfully, I was walking down Kingston High Street with a mate and we saw a salon with a help wanted sign. The salon was full of girls, so my mate told me to go in for a laugh. They asked if I could stay and I started straight away. I was 15. The first year was 95 percent cleaning but little by little they trained me and by 17 I was cutting hair. Since the first day I knew I wanted to be a hairdresser.
So your career began in London. What prompted the move to Barcelona?
My father is Catalan, and we used to come here every year on holiday. When we came home I would always really miss Spain. So 20 years ago I decided to move and the whole family came with me.
You opened your first salon in Gràcia 10 years ago. How did you get to that point?
When I came to Spain I didn't speak Spanish, so I got a friend to write down the simple sentences I would need to cut hair. I started cutting hair on a campsite, then I got a job in Sant Cugat. I was there four and a half years before I started cutting hair at home. By the year 2000 I had enough clients—I even had staff–to open my own salon. Since then, I've opened one every two years.
And now you have five in the city—why do you think they have proved so popular?
It's down to quality, price, and the look of the salons.
When you're after inspiration for the latest hair trends do you look to London or any other cities?
London for me is the number one. I think styles start there. I wouldn't look to any other city. But I don't look at trends when I'm cutting. I look at what will suit the person, their face shape and features.
Your salons have a very vintage feel to them. Where does this love of retro come from?
I've always loved antiques. I would never have one of my salons in the usual black-and-white and plastic. Even the artwork on the walls is done for me by an artist.
You've recently been chosen as the representative in Spain for haircare brand TRESemmé. Why do you think you were chosen and what does the opportunity mean to you?
It's because of the success I've had. I have good communication with the company and get on really well with them. And they love my accent. They told me, "Anthony, your Spanish is terrible, keep it that way!" I write for a lot of magazines now. Every week I write articles and they send me questions to answer. I've also just done all the hair for a film shot in Catalunya. It's a lovely new area for me.
With all that media work, do you still find time to get back to your roots and just cut hair?
I only cut hair one or two days a week now. It's very important for me to do that, because I don't want to lose the feel of it. I have to keep up-to-date on styles and physically, if you don't cut hair for a while you lose the feel of it.
So what's in the future for Antony Llobet salons?
Well, we've hit our 10th anniversary of being in Barcelona. It was actually last year but we're going to have a big party to celebrate later this year.