Long-running East Ham hair salon closes as ‘wonderful’ hairdresser retires

Frank Elliston pictured outside John Denis Hair Care

Frank Elliston pictured outside John Denis Hair Care - Credit: Archant

Customers say they are saddened by the news of one of Newham’s ‘most dedicated and long-running hairdressers’ retiring.

Frank Elliston pictured outside John Denis Hair Care

Frank Elliston pictured outside John Denis Hair Care - Credit: Archant

After countless washes, cuts and blowdrys - not to mention plenty of highlights - it’s time for a long-running hairdresser East Ham to hang up his scissors.

Frank Elliston is retiring after 46 years of creating numerous hairstyles for customers at John Denis Hair Care on High Street South - also resulting in the closure of the salon after 57 years.

Mr Elliston, 65, said he is “going to take some time to relax” following years of six-day weeks.

His dedicated customers, many of whom have have visited the salon for more than 50 years, say they are saddened by his going.

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Hulya Lazenby, who was Mr Elliston’s last customer on Christmas Eve, said he had “proven to be a wonderful caring pillar of the community”.

She said: “He was always going the extra mile for us, this feels like the end of an era, the loss of a personal friend. Many people I know will be upset to not have Frank in his usual spot at the salon.”

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Mrs Lazenby said Mr Elliston had been a staple part of the community and had gone above and beyond for older customers by driving them to and from their hair appointments.

She said: “He has prettied and puffed us up, coloured our locks and listened to all the woes of the world.”

Mr Elliston joined the salon in 1969 as a junior stylist under the mentorship of original owner Dennis Smith who he said “brought a bit of the west end to the east end”.

Mr Elliston said: “It was good, great fun. Fridays and Saturdays it was always chock a block with people queuing to get in.”

Despite his love of a “nice, sharp bob” it is Mr Elliston’s relationship with his customers that the hairdresser says he will miss most.

He said: “It is the people. I like making people look good and the relationship you build up with people.

“I will miss all our friends over the years. Hopefully I will see them. People coming in here become friends.

Doris Pope, 94, a regular at John Denis Hair Care since the 1950s, said Frank “has been an absolute benefit” to the business.

She said: “It is a lovely place to come to, Frank is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet.”

“The whole community would get together here. Everyone knew everyone else. We will miss him terribly.”

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