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Face to Face

Talking to people with passion for what they do.

Photo: Belinda Cleary by Chris Ison

Belinda Cleary is an award-winning hair stylist, who has worked at many of the city’s top hair salons. Born in Horndean, her salon, Medusa, is well known for its innovative styling and hair colouring.

Did you always want to be a stylist?  

Yes, all of my Barbies had bobs.  

How did you start?  

I trained at South Downs college, and my first job was with Hair of London at the Tricorn. I went on to work at Crown, Rama, in Petersfield, Alan Paul and Crew. 

You opened your own salon in 2011, how did that happen?  

I took 4 years out to bring up my children, and then worked part-time until my children started school. It was at that point I thought, now’s my chance to start my own business. 

Its been a massive learning curve, and I didn’t know what to expect, but its worked out very well.  

Why Medusa?  

Looking at my curly hair, a friend joked that I looked like Medusa, and I thought that’s a good name for a salon. 

What’s your signature look?  

We are a colour destination! Our passion is delivering a great cut, especially if clients are looking for a radical change, but we also have a passion for colour.   

And you have won quite a few awards… 

Yes, including Grand finalist in The British Hairdressing Business Awards, London – Best salon 2017; 5 stars in The Good Salon guide; and finalist in the Portsmouth News’ Hair & Beauty awards. 

Your daughter works with you – how do you find that?  

Megan is about to finish her apprenticeship, so she will want to move on eventually. She’ll do well: whether she’s cutting hair or applying make up, Megan’s an artist.

Hair care – things to avoid?  

Colouring at home, not using the right shampoo for your hair.

Things to DO?

Listen to your stylist’s advice. Use heat protection when blow drying.  

Styles for the summer?  

Braids are big this year and there’s some new exciting colour ranges, allowing for a multi tonal colour.   

Plans for the future?  

We have outgrown our current salon. I’ve got a couple of new places in mind, all in central Southsea.   

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