The Errol of Hairdressing salonnv January 12, 2018 Errol Douglas MBE is in great company. On Monday, 4th of December, at the Dorchester Hotel in London, he joined Vidal Sassoon, Trevor Sorbie MBE, and Ann Herman, as only the fourth person to ever be granted the Patron of Honour award by the Fellowship for British Hairdressing. It’s the latest in a long list of accolades presented to the award-winning stylist based in London, but one he treasures greatly. “It still hasn’t sunk in,” Errol tells us. The award is so prestigious it’s only brought out for truly game-changing hairdressers, and usually as their careers are coming to a close, but such is the impact made by Errol he has received it while still in his prime. “They gave it to me at 52 and my career isn’t over by any chance, so to get it now is bizarre. It’s an honour within an honour – it’s enormous! “It shows that it’s not because of your age or what you’re doing, it’s because people respect that you’re at the top. For my name to be on that alongside the likes of Trevor Sorbie is mindblowing.” Member of the British Empire When you’ve won just about everything there is to win in the industry – Errol is twice British Afro Hairdresser of the Year, he’s won the London L’Oreal Colour Trophy and also the Fellowship Hairdresser of the Year – it might be hard to pick a crowning achievement. But Errol is also one of a select few hairdressers who have been honoured by none other than the Queen herself, it ranks right up there alongside his Patron of Honour award. “I can’t top being the youngest to get an MBE,” he says. “That will top everything apart from this. I got my MBE in 2008 when I was 46 – that was crazy. That wasn’t gifted to a lot of people in the industry so it’s a major thing to have. “It’s an accolade beyond accolades. And it wasn’t Prince Charles or Prince Harry who gave me it, it was the Queen. Where I come from if the Queen gives you something you’re going to remember it for the rest of your life.” Incredibly, Errol and the Queen had a lengthy chat about their shared acquaintances in London’s hair and fashion circles. He recalls: “I was having a conversation with the Queen about her hairdresser Charles Martyn, who was on call to her all the time, and her dresser Stewart Parvin. One of her aides came up and had to tap her to move on! That’s what you call an incredible thing and to get it and for her to give it to me was golden.” Fellowship Getting to the stage of meeting the Queen and earning honours alongside industry legends takes dedication, passion, an enviable work ethic, and a little bit of help along the way. Fortunately Errol has had a decades long association with one of the most beneficial organisations in the industry, the Fellowship. As a member of the Fellowship, Errol was entitled to apply for the exclusive F.A.M.E. Team artistic squad. To show you the calibre of talent identified by the Fellowship for the team that year, as well as Errol, two of the final six included Antoinette Beenders and Sergio Giannasso, stylists who are now at the very top of the industry, and with whom Errol remains firm friends. “The F.A.M.E. Team creates massive, massive, stars. Anybody who is anybody knows that if you work hard, especially in this profession, it pays off. The Fellowship can get you in the spotlight and it can train you. It’s got every facet that can connect you with how you can get to the top. “They have four strings to their bow. ClubStar which you can join aged 16-25 and is a third of the price but it’s amazing. Then you’ve Colour Project and you can go and have a year’s degree of colour work with the best people in the industry – only about 10,12 people get chosen. Project X is different, more styling; it’s the finishing school to get into the F.A.M.E. Team and it’s another platform that gets you out there. And if you’re fortunate you get into the F.A.M.E. Team. Every person who has got into the F.A.M.E. Team is someone. “Chris Appleton, who does the Kardashians, he’s one of my ex-people and he’s huge. Antoinette Beenders, Jamie Stevens, Indira Schauwecker from Toni & Guy, Paul Merritt was F.A.M.E. Team, Zoe Irwin… We find it and we bring it out of them. In the F.A.M.E. Team you don’t just work with one person, you go and work with everyone. Now I’ll give up a day, Mark Hayes will give a day, Angelo Seminara will give a day. “There’s so many perks to it and it’s one of the best networking opportunities around. It can get you on stages you’ve never been before. Then there’s the Fellowship Luncheon, President’s Night, very prestigious. You can find yourself sitting next to John Frieda or Trevor Sorbie – that’s what you’re buying into.” Errol has devoted much of his professional life to advancing the Fellowship, including a spell as President and his love for the organisation is clear. But what else can up-and-coming stylists do to help advance their career and get to Errol’s level? “That’s the million dollar question,” Errol says. “My level is unique to me. That wasn’t a chosen career. If you know the person I am, I’m a Capricorn. I’m a climber, I hate being bored. I don’t use people I just get on with it. I would say to anyone who wants to do what I’m doing is you have to have a steady climb. Train yourself in everything and make yourself available to everything. Your steady climb is a unique fingerprint to you. “I’ve always been interested in pictures – that’s how I made my reputation with my collections and the TV work fell into it from that. A lot of people think that it was a natural path, it’s not. You just need to see where it takes you. It’s a huge avenue and I think a lot of people limit themselves in that respect – they’re going for one goal, you should be going for many.” Future Having achieved more than the vast majority in the industry, there could be a temptation to sit back and enjoy what he has built. But Errol isn’t like that and he’s still inspired to work and create. “New things drive me forward,” he says. “New collections, new shows, anything connecting us to the future. I don’t do the same thing. People love what we do and if that can live on and we can do that all the time I’ll be happy. I just like creating and doing new things.” There’s a lot in the pipeline in 2018 including a relaunch of his electrical range and bringing new wet products to market so expect to see much more from Errol – his journey is nowhere near done yet.