One-handed hairdresser Ashley: what happened next

A few months ago, Tufnell Park-based coiffeur Ashley Thomson delighted readers with his inspiring story. Here he tells us how it went global

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Ashley Thomson: ‘I received so many emails, mostly from America’

The response from my Kentishtowner article back in the summer has been incredible. In it, I explained how I was born with one hand but never let it get to me; and that while no one can actually teach me how to be a hairdresser, they can show me how it’s meant to be done. I watch carefully and then figure out a way to do the style myself.

The morning my feature went live I received so many emails, mostly from America. I was a little confused at first until a message popped up from celebrity hairdresser Sam Villa, who had been mailed the article by a friend of his in the UK. And I couldn’t believe it: he had shared it with his 52,000 fans.

Ashley Thomson: "No one can actually teach me how to be a hairdresser because they don’t have one hand, No one can actually teach me how to be a hairdresser because they don’t have one hand."

Ashley Thomson: “No one can actually teach me how to be a hairdresser because they don’t have one hand.”

I started to receive some really touching stories: one from a lady with a little girl, who was worried about her future because she also was born with one hand. After seeing my article, she was amazed at what I had achieved – and realised her daughter will be capable of anything and there was no need to worry.

Another girl had been in a car accident and had lost all feeling in her right arm: she had been training to be a hairdresser and was struggling to regain her confidence to go back and start again. She went on to say how much of an inspiration I was; and that she will now be enrolling back into college.

What else? Since the piece I’ve been approached by a clothing brand to style the hair for their new website, and have also worked on a new brochure for an embroidery company.

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Lydia Mayvol’s wedding

And finally, I’ve been honoured to do a couple of local weddings, most recently for Kentishtowner Lydia Mayvol (left), creating 60s hairstyles for her and the bridesmaids.

Stunning, right? And the exposure led to a job offer from a salon, but unfortunately it was too far for me to travel.

So, I just wanted to say thanks to you all: my north London clientele is growing nicely, and I’ve some lovely customers.

Even better, I’m so happy other people are finding my story inspiring. Anything really is possible.

Ashley is offering a 10% discount for readers during December. Contact him on Twitter @ashleyleehair or email Ashlee_hm@hotmail.co.uk

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5 Responses to One-handed hairdresser Ashley: what happened next

  1. Emma Thursday 14 November 2013 at 10:00 pm #

    Amazing xx

  2. Shay Thursday 14 November 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    So inspirational, thanks.

  3. Lucy Friday 15 November 2013 at 11:15 am #

    I had my Easilocks extensions done by the very talented Ashley Thomson (AshleyLee Hair)and it was the best thing I ever did. I love them! Wouldn’t look back. You won’t be disappointed! xx

  4. Charmaine Friday 15 November 2013 at 11:49 am #

    Ash always does a fantastic job with my hair colour and exstension xxx

  5. Yuki Friday 15 November 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Ashley coloured my hair last month from black to red, he did such a great job. So happy to find a great local hairdresser! Thanks again Ash!

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