Tuttii Fruittii London is now open for business
Feeling like you need a change? In Deptford's brand new hair sculpting salon, the only limit is your imagination.
When we met Tuttii and Toni, they were fighting an eviction notice from Lewisham council that would mean losing both their home and their workspace. They were also determined to stay in Deptford, in London’s South-East, where their creative skills and look have become an important part of the underground culture (Read it HERE).
Fast forward to 2017 and their dream of opening their own hair sculpting salon has come true. Just off Deptford High Street, Tuttii Fruittii TechniKolor Hair Sculptors is a reality even though it’s still a fantasy world with its colorful walls holding pictures and artwork of the owners and other beautiful clowns.
“I was trying to get this shop for about eight years now. When I first moved to London I fell in love with it because it’s a really small shop and I love tiny spaces. It’s been a barber shop for over 75 years”, says Tuttii sitting back in the barber’s chair after today’s last client leaves.
“There used to be a little Vietnamese man running the place and I used to ask him to rent it, but he couldn’t speak a word of English. He never used to have clients here. It was a bit of a dead shop. Until one day last September I saw a sign stuck on the window saying ‘Shop for Rent’ and I instantly called him up”.
The money they gathered through a crowdfunding campaign, “about £4,000 after all of the payments had been taken out”, was enough to put a deposit down for the new shop. However, the building’s exciting history also came with a price as the old walls held some secrets. “It was an absolute nightmare trying to decorate the place because it was so old. We started peeling back one thing down and then another thing would appear and another thing would appear. There were so many jobs that it ended up costing four times the amount we thought”.
The eccentric new decoration works well with their concept of having a workspace that is more a “sensory experience”, as Toni puts it, than your typical salon. And it’s not been created for the typical salon customer either. “A lot of [our] clientele is more underground. We welcome classic styles, all ages, all hair types, but what we specialize in here is more extreme hairstyles. A lot of patterns and fantasy colours and what I call hair sculpting which is more like an art piece than a fancy hair style”, says Tuttii. Both her and Toni express the kind of unique aesthetic that their customers come looking for. And what was once a very transgressive look has progressively become quite popular.
Tuttii believes that “fantasy colours, the unnatural hair colours like yellow or pink, exploded in 2015. It’s become very mainstream now so you do see that a lot. It’s good to see people express themselves more. With Instagram and Facebook, you’re always seeing people create colourful hair looks and, as soon as you see one person doing it, everyone else follows”.
With Tuttii as the main hair sculptor and stylist and Toni behind the creative wheels for all artwork and design, the duo has been looking into hiring another member of staff. “It’s been hard finding someone”, says Tuttii, “but I guess that’s because this salon isn’t like a lot of places”. The quest is for someone who “is very good with colour, a bleach specialist, can do extensions and work with all hair types”.
While the search continues, new dreams guide their path. After Deptford, their goal is to “spread Tuttii Fruittii around the world. I’d love to open more shops in other countries.”. From Bristol to Sweden, it seems like the only way to go is up.
Tuttii Fruittii TechniKolor Hair Sculptors // 2c Douglas Way // SE8 4AG London