Rainbow Room International celebrates 30 years at Royal Exchange Square

This month, the salon is celebrating its 30-year anniversary! The salon was the second salon to open in the Rainbow Room International group, following the Buchanan Street salon, and was where the Academy was based for many years before opening its new premises on Howard Steet. The salon has had so many highlights throughout the 30 years, from winning awards, a refurb and also producing Christmas singles, raising over £27,000 for charity.

Since opening in 1993, the Royal Exchange Square salon has gone from strength to strength. It started as a base for the Rainbow Room International Academy and since, has expanded from a hair salon to a hair and beauty salon (the only salon within the group to have beauty!), and being home to Glasgow’s first day spa and floatarium.

the Rainbow Room International Royal Exchange Square salon
the Rainbow Room International Royal Exchange Square salon

The salon was the second salon to open within the Rainbow Room International group and is an iconic salon within Glasgow. Being situated in one of Glasgow’s most historic squares, Royal Exchange Square, and with the premises being a Grade II listed Victorian building, its architecture brings many visitors into its doors.

Many of Scotland’s very best hairdressing talent has trained within the Royal Exchange Square salon and Directors of the Great Western Road Salon, John and Jo Parker, and Director of the Crow Road salon, Julie-Anne Donaldson, also started their journey at the salon before becoming Directors of their own salons. All of the team within the salon are homegrown and have started as apprentices, working their way up the ladder, with some of the team having been at the salon for 20 years.

Live at Five
Live at Five

The Royal Exchange Square salon has been on quite a journey within its 30 years, with some of the highlights being the team winning Salon of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards and the many Christmas singles the team have produced, of which have raised £27,000 for charity and saw them on TV on STV2’s Live at Five! The team have also worked at many of Scotland’s hottest events, including T in the Park, TRNSMT, the Scottish BAFTAs. Other highlights include the salon refurb, which took place in 2018 and the salon being the first salon in the group to have the whole team hit yearly bonuses at the annual Congress – a fantastic achievement showing the team’s growth and commitment to their clients.

Royal Exchange Square salon interior
Inside the Royal Exchange Square salon.

The Royal Exchange Square salon has always been steps ahead of its competition. Alongside the first Rainbow Room International salon in Buchanan Street, they were the first to provide Shiatsu massage to their clients in Glasgow, which resulted in many other Glasgow salons and beyond offering the treatment to their clients. Now, they are continuing to evolve and embrace the digital world with team members being in control of their own columns through apps on their phone, choosing the days and hours that they work, having higher morale and a better work life balance as a result. The team are also providing Zoom Consultations to their clients – allowing clients to spend less time travelling and have their consultations in the comfort of their own home. Director of the salon, David, has also just this year launched the Rainbow Room International Young Artistic Team, giving youngsters within the group the chance to shine, showing them the artistic/creative side of the company and allowing them to grow and push their creative boundaries.

David Nicolson, Director of the Royal Exchange Square salon, said,

“What a journey we have been on over the past 30 years! We have so many memorable moments and highlights and some hiccups too! I remember back to the early days when we first opened the salon having to bring in the furniture through the windows and a wall falling and nearly demolishing the whole salon! But we’re still here. We have grown, evolved, embraced change and are still many clients’ salon of choice within the Glasgow area. I can’t wait to see what the next 30 years brings!”