Ayanda Soares: Transforming Hair Care with House of Hair UK

Ayanda Soares transforms her clients, infusing emotional confidence in textured hair at House of Hair UK. Join her journey from redefinition to new ventures

Ayanda Soares, owner and founder of House of Hair UK, is setting the standard in town. Her west London salon has become the place to go for textured hair extension services of all kinds, attracting customers from far and wide


What does your typical creative process look like?
I opened my first salon when I was on maternity leave with my twins. I started to get my hair done by the intern or stylist and started to feel the experience as a client. While I was sat down, experiencing that salon feeling I thought ‘we need better cups for our tea and coffee, it needs to be cute, we need our hair on display, a wall display, get rid of these white mirrors’ – it was that experience.

It drew me back to when I used to go to a salon to get braids, relaxers or weaves done and what I experienced from those spaces is that there was no luxury. It was just a necessity, you come in, you get your hair done and you leave. You would feel good because your hair has just been done, but it wasn’t just about the experience. I felt that more European spaces were giving their clients those experiences, but not the salons I was visiting.

The salon decor gives clients a luxurious experience

What inspired you the most when you were first starting out in your career?
A friend of mine had micro-links and that is how I came to understand the world of alternative hair extensions. I decided I wanted to have the hair extensions demographic and client base. When I first started out, I had a lot of strippers, dancers, escorts and a big transgender community; people who didn’t typically want to go into a salon setting, so I used to offer it mobile.

My clients were the driving force to get the business to where it is today because the more people I worked with, the more I started to see how it was professionally set up and how it differed from the normal salon set up. I realised that people with textured hair were excluded from the market and, because they were excluded, I saw a way in to scale my business.

What is the biggest challenge you faced in your career?
When you go from a freelance person into a full-on business, it’s definitely finances and your staff team. It’s not just about the money that comes in, it’s about the money that you save and the money that goes back out. You can make £1M but if you spend £1M you’re never going to scale, and you’ll always feel like you’re poor. I still work with an incredible accountant and my business development person to understand all that comes with running a registered business.

These types of hair extensions are new to our demographic; we have to have patience. If you hire the wrong staff it will translate to your customers – if they do not produce great customer service, your business will be ruined.


How does your hair play a part in how you express yourself?
My hair is my absolute everything! Don’t get me wrong, I was raised by a Rastafarian mum, so I can throw on a headscarf and some earrings and look cute. But when my hair is not done, I look at my skin and think: ‘Is that how my skin looks?’, ‘Is that how my eyebrows look?’.

When my hair is done, my mood is completely different.

I change my hair a lot because I have access to stylists who always want to try different things, so I will have the braids, the bob, the half-up-half-down, the kinky- straight, the straight, the curly.

I get to experiment with everything and I love that because my hair is me.I will try anything and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work and I believe that in business as well, if it doesn’t work, go back to the drawing board. That’s my character.

What has your relationship with your hair looked like?
If we go back to my teen years, I struggled with my hair, I didn’t like my hair. I grew up in Reading, Berkshire, and went to a prominently white and Indian school. There were not many people who had hair like mine. I started experimenting with my hair in my late teens and then created styles I liked for myself.

If I am really honest, I would still say I have an issue with my hair. I am one of those people who still think that straight hair is more accepted, more corporate, welcoming and I feel more put together.

I had a period when I had my children –I shaved it off and went completely natural. There were moments I felt cute and moments where I felt I didn’t look kept. I think that’s still a psychological thing I have to deal with myself. I’ve had a lot of ups and downs when it comes to my hair. My hair is an extension of me, but it isn’t all me. There is a lot more to me than just my hair. A lot of emotional and psychological confidence comes from my hair.


Can you tell us about any exciting projects you have coming up?
We’re going to launch all of our products on Superdrug.com. It won’t be in stores just yet but it’s huge for our brand. I feel like we are the girl-next-door type of brand. I’m not the Tracee Ellis Ross who has her brand in Boots. She is a household name and celebrity. So to get my brand recognised and approved, I think that’s huge! Into 2024, we are looking at opening up a second location and international pop-ups in South Africa, the US and Dubai.


Any advice for black women and non-binary people?
We need more business owners. If you want to get into the world of business, you have to stop overthinking. We have so many resources at our fingertips, you just have to go for it and not be scared to fail. I think we are raised to think failure is such a bad thing and not learn from it.

Winning and achieving is my best friend, but failure is my second best friend. It really teaches us and helps us to grow. Once we’ve made a mistake, we know exactly where we don’t want to go again or how we don’t want to feel again so we’ll make better choices. It’s okay to encounter hurdles, to fail at things, it points you in the direction of what’s for you.

Where can we find you?

Instagram, YouTube and TikTok | @HouseofHairUK

TikTok | @AyandaMeansBiz

Instagram | @Ayanda.Soares

1 Comment

  1. by Fashion on 12/12/2023  5:57 AM Reply

    Wow, Ayanda Soares' journey in transforming hair care is truly inspiring! I love how House of Hair UK is making waves in the industry. Do they have specific products you'd recommend for curly hair?

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