IT is a new hairdressing salon with a simple mission... being kind to customers and kind to their hair.

Clayton Hair, on Pitt Street, has newly opened with its staff pledging to be as inclusive as possible - from a private room for clients with autism to vegan-friendly haircuts.

But the hairdresser's has only come into being thanks to a series of coincidences bringing its three stylists together.

Dave Clayton, who owns the salon, always knew he wanted to run his own business but he needed the perfect partners to make his vision come true.

He had known Una Boag for a number of years and was determined to have her on board - but Una had plans to go move to South America.

But when Una's plans changed at the last minute, Dave was able to persuade her to join Clayton Hair.

Meanwhile, hairdresser Kerri Copeland was looking for a new challenge and met Dave working in a previous salon.

Dave said: "I'd been living in Australia when the trend for men's grooming took off.

"When I came back to the UK I trained at Vidal Sassoon in London then worked at what was the Men's Room on Great Western Road before the Men's Store but I always wanted to open up my own salon.

"I've always had a vision of being inclusive because of places where I have worked in where there's been certain people not welcome at certain times.

"So I wanted that friendly, fun vibe. Kids are welcome, dogs are welcome - everyone.

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"Other places I have worked there's been lots of constraints put on your day because it was solely money oriented.

"Whereas I want atmosphere first and the money will follow - hopefully."

Una came to hairdressing after winding route that lead her to the other side of the world and back.

She had planned to train as a classical singer but her performance career came to an end after she developed vocal nodules.

Una said: "My father said, 'The one thing you're good at it eating,' but I didn't want to be a chef so I went to hospitality school instead."

Una then went and worked overseas in America and Australia.

She added: "For five years I loved being away but then I thought I should get a real job, which came from my mum's Chinese influence.

"So I got a job as a mortgage advisor and had a real job for about six years, which lead to me being as assistant bank manager.

"But I just wanted to be in a job that made people feel good and make me feel good and let me be creative so I went back to night school and did hairdressing and totally loved it.

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"To leave my job – by that time I had a house, responsibilities – was nerve wracking."

A lecturer suggested she go into bridal hair and Una specialised in vintage styles for five years, building her business part time while still working in the bank.

When she was offered redundancy it was the perfect chance to go into hairdressing full time and she met Dave while working in a salon.

Una said: "I met Dave in a salon that wasn't as welcoming as you would have hoped but he heard me singing and was like 'Who's that?' So we got friendly and hit it off.

"We stayed in touch and he approached me two years ago to tell me he was opening a salon.

"I said, 'Nah, I'm emigrating, I'm learning Spanish, I'm moving to South America.'

"But then loads happened last year and my life settled a bit differently. I'd sent Dave a text message to wish him happy birthday and he replied to ask if I was still here... then everything fell into place."

Kerri also started off in Vidal Sassoon, having known since the age of five that she wanted to be a hairdresser after being impressed by her mum's home hairdresser.

She worked there for five years before moving on to Aveda for another five before changing to the salon where she met Dave.

Kerri said: "I love cutting. That's my thing. I love colour as well but cutting always has a wee special place there in me.

"I wanted to do hairdressing from a young, since I was about five. And I absolutely love it.

"I left school at 15 because I had a really hard time at school. And it turned out it happened for the best.

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"I love hair cutting because of how it makes people feel, it's just an instant relief and way to make yourself feel more confident.

"I just enjoy making people feel happy."

"But you have to have the right environment so I was nervous about meeting Una for the first time.

"Luckily we clicked and when we're all here it's just very chilled, very relaxed and you want people to feel that too and just be comfortable."

Una and Kerri both speak of how important it is to make their clients feel comfortable and so the salon has a private room for clients who need it.

Una said: "We want to be open to Muslim women or to people with autism.

"Some of my clients suffer from anxiety so that private space is really important. "

The salon also tries to be as vegan friendly as possible, using all natural hair products from the brand MOOD.

Kerri said: "Every salon will tell you that Wella and Schwarzkopf are based on a natural colour but they are artificial.

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"You wouldn't put chemicals on your face so why do it on your hair? So our colours are all natural and the products are all vegan."

Una added: "My hair was horrific when I was little and my mum used to put natural coconut oil on it so I would go to school with this chip pan of hair but then everybody used to always say it was so shiny.

"So natural products have come naturally to me, Argan oils, coconut oil, anything like that is surely better on your hair than chemicals."

Clayton Hair is now holding a launch night on Friday, February 29 from 5pm til 8pm with all welcome.

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Dave added: "We feel we want to offer something a bit more comfortable, inclusive and tranquil and we hope people come and visit us to see for themselves."