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Scissor Sisters – Helmsley hairdresser celebrates 35 years with staff reunion

Past and present staff from Viva Hair head for afternoon tea – in the restaurant which was once its first salon

A Helmsley hairdresser celebrated its 35th year in business by having a reunion with the hairdressers who had been part of the team over the years – in the restaurant which was once its first salon!

Viva Hair, which is now based in Barkers Yard in Helmsley, has been run by hairdresser Mandy Silk since it first opened its doors on March 15th 1983.

To celebrate the milestone birthday, Mandy invited the 16 hairdressers who have worked with her over the past 35 years to go for afternoon tea at Mannions – which is now based in the same building Mandy’s salon occupied for the first 29 years.

Mandy bought Miss M A Lamb’s salon on Castlegate, Helmsley, in 1983, when the former owner retired. It was a big challenge aged just 19, but with a loan from the bank to undertake major renovations and the support of family and friends, Country Style performed its first cut and blow dry on 15th March 1983.

The business rebranded to Silks in 1999 before becoming Viva Hair in 2012, which tied in with a move to the renovated stables owned by Duncombe Park Estate – Barker’s Yard.

Mandy Silk said: “I’ve been lucky enough to have great staff work with me in the salon and the business would have been nothing without them. It’s been lovely to get some of the team together again – given we’ve been in business 35 years, there’s been amazingly few, as we’ve loved working together, and people stay a long time! Mary, my most senior stylist, has been with me since 1985. But, then again, I have customers who have been with me since the start – one visits every week, come rain or shine, and looks just as glamorous now as she ever did.

“It was a scary time setting up on my own at just 19, and it seems fitting that today’s reunion was at what was my first premises – and remained so for nearly three decades! But our ‘new’ home at Barkers Yard is fantastic, I had lots of input into the build, so it was tailor made for us. We still had to redesign our interior back in 2015, as the increase in clientele meant we needed more space! Long may Viva Hair’s success continue – here’s to the next 35 years!”