CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Top To Toe beauty salon to close after nearly 40 years

'People come in and chat – there is a little bit of social work involved sometimes'

15 March, 2018 — By Dan Carrier

Katy Rooney at Top To Toe

IT has pampered the people of Kentish Town with nearly four decades of facials. But the popular Top To Toe beauty salon has announced the final wax is looming after its build­ing’s lease was sold on.

The business, established in 1979 by Anne Herman, has been handed down over the years to assistants who came to work there. Current proprietor Katy Rooney, who has worked at the salon in Kentish Town Road for 14 years, told the New Journal: “It’s been a lovely place to work. You get to know everyone. People remember me from when I first started, and we have constant clients who have been here since it opened.  People come in and chat – there is a little bit of social work involved sometimes.”

While Ms Herman, now aged 90, ran a hairdressers on the ground floor, she turned the upstairs rooms into a salon for manicures, pedicures, facials and waxing. Beauty assistant Elaine Asher eventually began running it.

Ms Rooney said: “I was 19. I had gone to Parliament Hill School and got a job here. I never left. I was working for a lady called Shana Lace, who had been Elaine’s partner. After about three years she asked if I wanted to be her business partner – and eventually I took it over.”

Ms Rooney says it is with a heavy heart that Top To Toe is closing, but the possibility of rent increases and uncertainty over its future mean she now feels it is the right time to put down her nail files and hang up her make-up boxes.

“It is like a family here,” she added. “Because we are off the road, upstairs, people come in and don’t get that scary salon feeling. It is a relaxing place.”

She added that as the lease had come to an end and the building was now owned by a new company, she would not be taking up another contract. “Anne was so fair and even-handed with everyone,” she said.

Ms Rooney now plans to enjoy her last few weeks at the salon. After taking a break she is planning a mobile version of Top To Toe that would visit people’s homes.

The downstairs hair salon, Hair Today, is an unconnected business.

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