YouTube threatens future of Clapton Beauty Parlour


Clapton Beauty Parlour has survived both the Blitz and modern Hackney’s gentrification during the eighty-six years since it opened.

But in the era of YouTube Marcia Manning, the daughter of the parlour’s founder Emmanuel Manning, is not sure how long the salon can survive.

A family business

Marcia Manning has continued the legacy of her mother Emmanuel; Credit: Aletha Adu

Ms Manning believes the salon’s success is founded on the close relationship with her customers.

“Our business is still running because of our loyal clientele,” she said.

“A mum will recommend this salon to her friend, so the friend’s mum will come along with her family and her army of friends,” she said.

She added that YouTube hair tutorials give users the skill, independence and confidence to style, colour and even cut their own hair.

“Annoyingly, YouTube makes clients critical of our work and less happy to trust our opinions,” Ms Manning said.

Dawn Barney, the salon’s manager, claimed that YouTube tutorials offered a false prospectus to users.

She said: “Clients are not trained stylists and make a mess of it. What’s worse [is that] video tutorials on the internet lose the atmosphere of going to a salon to get your hair done.

“YouTube tutorials not only have the power to ruin a clients head of hair, the videos have made the experience of getting your hair done extremely boring.

“Back in the day we used to spend hours completing fancy hairstyles like the beehive, settings and perms.

“These days we only ever get asked for a traditional blow dry, a cut or fixing hair styled from a YouTube tutorial that has gone wrong,” Ms Barney said.

The illustrious history of Clapton Beauty Parlour

Vidal Sassoon once cut hair at the salon; Credit: Aletha Adu

With the number YouTube tutorials increasing each day, Ms Barney worries the videos will produce more self-stylists out of her clients.

“Clients used to trust hairdressers completely. If they asked for a style and you told them that their hair texture wouldn’t allow it, they would understand,” she said.

“Now, we’re being glared at for not knowing enough, and it ruins how much faith they have in us!”

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