A new hair salon in Whitley Bay is ensuring that everyone, regardless of race, gender, disability or sexuality enjoys a warm welcome, a relaxing environment and a safe space to be without any prejudices.
Professional stylist, Amy Bishenden from Wallsend has opened Finch in Station Road Whitley Bay and together with her partner Katie Raven who has helped to get the salon ready for opening, they look set to lead by example in the fields of inclusivity and eco friendly hairdressing.
Amy’s passion for hairdressing has previously seen her work for top, national brand salons in London and the south of England and she’s been trained by some of the biggest names in hairdressing including L’Oréal.
‘Finch’s company ethos is all about treating everyone the same whether they are straight, gay, transgender, disabled or they simply feel that they are different to other people. It really doesn’t matter as we are all equal,” said Amy.
“Not everyone is comfortable going into a salon especially if the world regards them as “different.” I want all of my customers to be free to express themselves and to be comfortable in their own skin when they come in for a haircut.”
One client who travels from Morpeth in Northumberland to get her hair done is 21-year-old trans woman Becky Newman.
“There’s a great atmosphere in Finch that makes me feel comfortable and safe. It’s fantastic to see people from all walks and aspects of life getting their hair cut with no judgement,” she said.
Amy has also introduced gender neutral pricing to counteract the traditional method of women being charged one price and men being charged at usually a lower price.
“Anyone with hair length longer than their ears will be charged as long hair and anyone with ear length or above will be charged for short hair. This is a reflection of the time it takes us to carry out our services and nothing more. We don’t mind what style is required or how the person identifies, it’s just about ensuring that the client has a safe, stress free experience and ultimately leaves the salon more confident and looking great.”
The green aspect of business is very important to Amy too. The salon has a number of eco-friendly features including LED lighting, biodegradable towels, glass containers rather than plastic and all products are sourced locally wherever possible. Their ethical approach has also led to a partnership with Kevin Murphy, a brand that cares about the environment and recognises the seriousness of climate change. All their products are cruelty free with vegan options and all of their packaging is made from ocean waste plastic.
Finch are also working with The Green Salon Collective who facilitate salon sustainability by recycling the unrecyclable. Their profits get redistributed and recycled and benefit charities and local communities.
“I love working with them because they recycle the majority of our salon waste including hair, used foil and even left-over colour. This means the colour chemicals are not going down the drain and back into our water system and I particularly like the fact that our green actions are helping others less fortunate than ourselves,” said Amy.
“It’s strange to have opened Finch at a time when most other businesses are closed but what we do is an essential service and it’s about making people feel good about themselves irrespective of their sexuality, race, disability or gender,” said Amy. “It’s lovely to see our client base coming from all parts of our community and long may that continue.”