Hellen's role as co-founder and MD at the helm of the largest and highest grossing independent salon in the UK has led to her reputation as one of the industry’s foremost business gurus. In fact, trade magazine Hairdressers Journal have even dubbed her the ‘salon business powerhouse’ and leading beauty industry bible Professional Beauty named her the 'beauty industry titan'. Using her extensive 30 years of industry management experience at every level, and having developed her own company’s brands globally, Hellen is now renowned for conducting private consultancy in the hair and beauty industry for salon and spa owners, manufacturers and suppliers and also advises a diverse array of fledgling brands, training and tech companies and start-ups looking to provide ancillary services to the sector as well as investors and VCs looking to break into the market. She regularly educates and lectures in her sector and is the go-to expert for business education for salons and manufacturers, conducting seminars and guest speaking both in the UK and internationally. Hellen also famously teaches her best-selling courses and workshops to other salon owners for a variety of companies and at L’Oréal’s Academies throughout the UK and Ireland.
Having started her career in the hair and beauty industry through an apprenticeship, Hellen worked her way up to become General Manager of Harrods Hair and Beauty Salon before starting her own business with husband Richard in 1992. She now heads up award winning salon Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa, Richard Ward Chelsea London, brush brand Tangle Angel (sold in 40 countries), as well as her own consultancy business www.hellenward.com, and her fashion and accessories brand Azulara.
Hellen is also proud to be the first Ambassador of the newly launched NHBF (National Hair & Beauty Federation) created by the NHF (National Hairdressers Federation) to specifically service the beauty and spa sector. As a Past President, Hellen is a huge supporter of The Hairdresser’s Charity (previously HABB – Hair and Beauty Benevolent) of which she is a Director, Trustee and board member.
Hellen's involvement in the future of her sector's training and education led her to Chair the hairdressing arm of Trailblazers from its inception in 2014 until 2018, leading a group of industry specialists working with HM Government Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the IFA (Institute for Apprenticeships) in recommending on the framework of Apprenticeship education in the hair and beauty industry to ensure trainees are job ready from the employer’s perspective. Hellen was also the first fully-serving female Chairman of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing chairing the Finance, Council and Events committees from 2014-2016.
Hellen's 3 books for the City & Guilds Diploma in Salon management (equivalent to a foundation degree) have become the bible for ultimate salon management: Getting Established, Managing Finances and Team Performance – available in print and e-book. Hellen has also been writing her long-standing must-read column for trade publication Professional Beauty magazine for over 100 editions and is also a regular contributor and columnist for many leading industry magazines, as well as a sought after panellist and guest speaker at business focused industry events.
Hellen has shared her best practice systems and strategies that she has developed to run her own businesses into a downloadable format for salon owners to track and monitor their businesses effectively, offering comprehensive management accounting and HR systems tailor-made for the salon, beauty and spa industry. Working in collaboration with industry software giant Shortcuts, her packages are fast becoming the go-to management solution for any progressive salon in the sector.
Hellen is mother to Elysia and Oliver and lives in London and Ibiza.