We were delighted to see Robert Eaton, one of the nicest men in hairdressing, lift the British Hairdresser of the Year Award trophy at the annual bash in November. Here we bring you his stunning Chromatic collection and a look at his journey to the top.
Credits: Hair – Robert Eaton, Creative Director at Russell Eaton salons; Photography – Richard Miles; Make up – Lucy Flower; Styling – Clare Frith
Robert Eaton is a multi-award-winning stylist and the Creative Director at Russell Eaton salons in Leeds and Barnsley. Widely known within the industry as a true colour expert, he has extensive knowledge in a wide area of hair and styling, as well as being a fully qualified trichologist – making him one of the most in-demand hairdressers in the region.
Robert’s career started in 1996 when he joined his father, Russell Eaton, in the family’s Barnsley salon as an apprentice when he was 16. He’d been working in the salon on Saturdays since he was 11, and after completing an NVQ whilst still at school, he started full time in the salon already a step ahead of others starting out in the industry. “I really loved everything about hairdressing, and I couldn’t wait to get started!” Robert enthuses.
Robert gradually began to enter industry competitions and attend as many events and seminars as possible, and this dedication saw him rapidly rise to become an up and coming star, securing national accolades such as a place on the Fellowship for British Hairdressing’s F.A.M.E Team, and wins in renowned competitions such as the L’Oréal Colour Trophy. After three wins as North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year in HJ’s British Hairdressing Awards, Robert become one of the most respected names in the hairdressing industry.
Robert opened the family’s second salon in Leeds in 2012 which has become a destination salon and spa offering the ultimate hair and beauty experience. Robert says: “We opened this in the recession, and it was hard work building the business client by client. I am very proud that ten years on we have become one of the leading salons in Yorkshire.”
The Eaton family have been in hairdressing for over 40 years, with Robert regularly working alongside his award-winning sister, Isobel Eaton, who is also a two-time winner of the North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year title.
This is the first time Robert was nominated for what can only be described as the ultimate accolade within the hair industry. He wins British Hairdresser of the Year after a trio of wins in Schwarzkopf Professional’s Colour Technician of the Year (2016, 2017 and 2018), Afro Hairdresser of the Year (also in 2016 partnered with Karla Ancliff-Smith) and North Eastern Hairdresser of the Year (2002, 2003 and 2007). He reveals: “To be nominated for British Hairdresser of the Year this year was always one of my ultimate career goals. And to win is a complete dream come true!” Robert’s British win means he joins just two other Yorkshire champions in the 34 years of the event: Mark Hill and Andrew Barton.
Recently Robert completed a two-year course at the Institute of Trichology followed by two more years of mentoring by the institute, and now works extensively with wig personalisation helping clients with hair replacement due to cancer and alopecia.
“I wanted to really understand more about why people experienced different hair loss conditions and am a bit of a hair geek! I wanted to further my knowledge and learn more about the medical side of hair. I then introduced trichology as a service within our salons in Leeds and Barnsley and it has been a great addition to our business and has really helped us to strengthen our reputation as true hair experts in our area.”
Roberts parents are both still active in salon life. “Dad still works on the salon floor one day a week, and Mum is still involved in front of house and is the best bookkeeper! We often call her ‘The most important Eaton’ as she keeps all the book work and wages in perfect order.
“Work does take a huge amount of time up and I think working in a family business becomes a way of life not just a job! My spare time is generally taken up with family life – my daughter is three years old, so life is very busy at home too!”
Robert is the UK and Ireland Technical Director for leading global colour house, Wella Professionals, for whom he frequently travels the globe educating in all things colour. He’s also a member of the elite Wella Professionals Colour Creatives, which means he’s often called upon to develop new ranges and techniques. In addition, Robert is the European Brand Ambassador for electrical hair styling brand, Hot Tools. This role sees him leading the brand creatively whilst working on new product concepts – a position he is immensely proud of.