Marking a first for Manchester, New Islington’s newest salon – Riot Hearts – is challenging the way the hairdressing sector functions, turning tradition on its head to create a warm and welcoming space that everyone can enjoy.
Founded by styling duo Becca and Keira (and their salon dog, Mo – who, naturally, runs the place), Riot Hearts doesn’t believe in charging a premium just because of someone’s gender, race, or orientation – which, as someone with an unruly mane for hair forced to pay for a double appointment, is a comforting yet welcome surprise. One that’s almost seemed a long time coming, particularly for those of minority orientations seeking an understanding and unprejudiced artist to help them embrace their image.
Set within an industrial studio space, the quirky new salon boasts tons of Instagrammable vintage features, from its plush velvet furniture, to its many mis-matched decor pieces that add a homelike air to the place, playing on its welcoming ethos.
Priding themselves on their open-minded attitude, the salon welcomes all, no matter their gender, how they identify or what they look like – offering a safe space for all and a non-judgemental service not just to the few, but to everyone who walks through their doors.
Combining ‘male’ and ‘female’ services into one hair studio – a term the duo has opted for to promote inclusivity at Riot Hearts – clients can choose from a wide range of services, from the classic and more alternative, modern styles and colours, to hair extensions and beard trimming. The hair studio operates on a fixed price list, meaning no matter you’re gender, you’ll always pay the same as another client receiving the same service.
The owners said: “When we were both younger and before we even got into the hair industry, we both found it really difficult to find a space where we felt seen and understood. Even working in salons within the industry, we have never felt like we’ve really fitted in.
“Riot Hearts has been born from years of feeling out of place, judged, and the need to create a place where hair is exciting and creative. Somewhere that really listens, and allows our clients to fully express themselves and feel confident and relaxed during the process.”