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Gallery Hair and Beauty in Highland capital celebrates Morven Wallace's 25 years in business

By Neil MacPhail

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AFTER two years as a mobile hairdresser visiting clients’ homes, Morven Wallace decided to take the big step of opening her own salon.

Now Ms Wallace and her eight-strong team have celebrated 25 years of Gallery Hair and Beauty being in business.

To mark the big occasion a scaled down party, because of Covid restrictions, was held at the Cradlehall Court premises.

And it is a measure of Ms Wallace’s skills and popularity that she has several of her clients from her mobile days are still coming into the salon to have their hair done just the way they like it.

The Gallery was decorated for the big party complete with cupcakes and treats for birthday customers.

Ms Wallace said: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it although of course there were difficult times, especially during the Covid crisis.

“But Covid in a way showed us how important hair and beauty are to women, because they were so appreciative when we were able to open up again.

“The salon is quite big and we are able to operate social distancing.

“We have evolved over the years as new styles and treatments come in, and now we have specialist treatments, such as hair systems for people who have hair loss through alopecia or cancer treatment, and that is very rewarding. The look of sheer delight on clients’ faces is lovely to see.

“We also offer aesthetic treatments such as botox and facial fillers, and have three sun beds.”

Ms Wallace admitted that when she shut up shop after the first lockdown a year ago, she did fear it might be closed for good.

But with the help of furlough and a council grant, they have pulled through.

Ms Wallace said: “After the first lockdown there were some real hairstyle messes to sort out, but during the second lockdown people were not trying to do their own thing so much.

“I think Covid has made people realise how much they need hairdressers and how much they enjoy the experience.

“Fingers crossed there will be no more drastic lockdowns.”

Ms Wallace hails from Benbecula, and as a teenager trained as a civilian mechanic at the Army base there, but later sought a completely different career path with hairdressing.

Now aged 52, Ms Wallace was 20 when she started training and seven years later took the bold step of branching out on her own.

She leased the Cradlehall shop but soon was able to buy the premises.

Also part of the celebrations was son Scott who, for a time, ran the sunbed side of the business and has been a great support to his mum.

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