SUPPORT OUR SHOPS: Look of the Irish in the form of her life

VILLAGE SALON: Suzanne Kinane-Waltham, owner of Killenaule Hair Studio, Knight Street, Pinchbeck, with apprentice 
Sophie Dobney and Merryn Andrew.  Photo by Tim Wilson: SG110317-151TW.
VILLAGE SALON: Suzanne Kinane-Waltham, owner of Killenaule Hair Studio, Knight Street, Pinchbeck, with apprentice Sophie Dobney and Merryn Andrew. Photo by Tim Wilson: SG110317-151TW.
  • ‘Learning addict who treats hair like silk’
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Killenaule Hair Salon, Knight Street, Pinchbeck

But hair, rather than horses, is the priority for the owner of Killenaule Hair Studio in Knight Street where Suzanne has demonstrated her appetite for keeping up with the latest trends since 2001.

We have clients who come from a vast area, Bourne, Grantham, Stamford and we even had someone who came from York

Suzanne Kinane-Waltham, Killenaule Hair Studio, Knight Street, Pinchbeck

However, Pinchbeck’s gain just might be the thoroughbred industry’s loss as Suzanne comes from a horse racing family, including her older brother and 13 times Irish champion jockey Michael Kinane.

Suzanne said: “My salon is named after my home town in County Tipperary, Ireland, and I’m very lucky to have a wonderful, loyal and supportive clientele.

“I was brought up with horses but after having to school them to race, I had no time for horses.

“I’d rather have a donkey than a horse so that kind of set the scene for a career in hairdressing.”

This August, Suzanne celebrates her 40th anniversary in the hair industry, a career that started when she left ireland to train in London as a 16-year-old.

Two years later, Suzanne went back to Ireland - the year after her father Tommy won one of Cheltenham’s most famous races, the Champion Hurdle, riding six-year-old horse Monksfield.

She said: “I was working in a salon in Ireland when I decided that I wanted to open one of my own.

“But I chose to come back to London first to upgrade my skills and I did all these different courses, the last of which where I met the father of my two children.”

After a spell in Nottingham where Suzanne worked on the hair of Irish singer and winner of the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, Dana (with “All Kinds of Everything”) and ex-Australian Test cricketer Merv Hughes, she and her family moved to Pinchbeck 23 years ago.

Suzanne said: “Pinchbeck seemed a lot smaller, a lot quieter and a better environment in which to bring up my children.

“We used to look at the newspapers where the only thing that was in any way anti-social was someone kicking over a bin.

“At first, I worked in Spalding where I became part of the training team at Steffens Hair.

“Then 16 years ago, I saw a flower shop (now Killenaule Hair Studio) and the house next door both up for sale.

“The children were both at Pinchbeck East Primary School so I said ‘if I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it’.

“Now we have clients who come from a vast area, Bourne, Grantham, Stamford and we even had someone who came from York.

“Since I opened the salon in 2001, I’ve had some amazing apprentices through the door and I’ve loved educating them, teaching them and passing on the skills I’ve learned.”

The latest appprentice to come under Suzanne’s expertise is Sophie Dobney (17), of Gosberton, who said: “Suzanne is a really good boss who is very good at what she does and I do admire her work.”

In response, Suzanne said: “Sophie is one of the best assistants I’ve had in 16 years and, in the future, she’d like to do her City and Guilds Level 3 in hairdressing qualification.”

But the true measure of Suzanne’s qualities and reputation as a hair stylist comes from her clients.

Diane McDonald, of Pinchbeck, said: “I’ve been coming here for five years after having been to lots of different hairdressers over the years.

“I’d get home sometimes and my husband would say ‘what did you go for as it looked really nice before?’

“But Suzanne says that if clients leave her salon and go home to wash their hair because it’s not gone the way they wanted it, then she’d give up.

“She really knows her stuff and that’s why Sophie respects Suzanne so much.

“Sophie sees the way clients look when they leave here so she knows that what Suzanne is telling her is right.

“Retirement isn’t on Suzanne’s agenda and I don’t think she can ever retire.”

The same dedication that saw older brother Michael Kinane win more than 60 of the world’s richest races before retiring in 2009 also applies to Suzanne’s career.

She said: “I love learning new ideas, colour techniques and creative cutting because my clients love the fact that I can be versatile.

“I’m a bit of a learning addict but that’s because my ethos has always been ‘if you treat your hair like silk, it will look like silk’ and that’s always been my passion.”