Beauty salon for adults with learning disabilities opens in Bradford

Mirror Mirror salon in Bradford has opened, offering adults with learning disabilities a chance to enjoy treatments as well as train up in the skills of the sector. 

Located at The Learning Zone on Preston Street, which is run by national learning disability charity Hft, the salon not only provides pampering services but gives those interested in hair and beauty the chance to work towards a professional qualification. 

Starting from September, a group of six to eight adults with learning disabilities are set to be trained up by qualified beauty therapists and hairdressers in how to perform certain services over the course of an academic year.  

For example, budding salon managers with gain experience in running the beauty room, while those interested in hairdressing will learn the art of washing, styling and straightening hair, contributing towards a Level 1 qualification. 

The salon opening comes at a time when the beauty industry is doing more to give back to local communities, with small businesses hosting mental health awareness coffee mornings and government schemes launching teaching beauty therapists how to spot the signs of domestic abuse

Andrew Collinge and Geeta

Mirror Mirror features three styling stations, accessible back and front hair washing facilities, two nail bars and a massage chair. Treatments range from hand massages and hair styling to manicures. 

“People with learning disabilities don’t always have access to the same opportunities as everyone else so The Learning Zone supports them to do something new and expand their skill sets, leading to increased confidence and potentially even employment,” Maxine Kneeshaw, area manager at Hft, told Charity Today

“Our new beauty room is a great example of this, providing people we support with a stimulating environment where they can learn something new or simply take an hour to relax and feel pampered.” 

The venture has been funded with the help of hairdresser Andrew Collinge and his family, who raised more than £10,000 towards the project. Further funds were raised by the charity through bag packaging services at local supermarkets, a Mount Snowdon climb and a Christmas concert. 

Images – top: stock photo of a manicure; middle: Andrew Collinge doing hair in the salon