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Connecting the dots between hairdressing, sustainability and inclusiveness with Ashleigh Hodges

With a career spanning film, TV, music and some of London's most iconic salons, global Hair Colourist Ashleigh Hodges is one of the most exciting names in hairdressing today. With an effortless talent in cultivating her cutting-edge artistry, MASH Creative Studio represents the next step for the upcoming President of the Fellowship for British Hairdressing.

From the youngest educator for Matrix, where she progressed through their team to become a Global Artist, travelling back and forth from New York to work on campaign shoots and present seminars. More recently, she was Global Colour Ambassador for Davines, which saw her developing the colour aesthetic for their brand, working across 90 countries to inspire international campaigns. We took a moment to explore her most recent career highlights — from setting up her first studio space to a new role within The Fellowship for British Hairdressing.

Tell us about MASH Creative Studio — what lead you to create your own space, how does it differ from other places.

Mash Creative Studio [at Hackney Downs Studios] was born out of my wish to create a sustainable creative space, that brings all the areas I work in together, from clients to photoshoots. As someone with AuDHD, I had always struggled in “traditional” salons, and wanted to create a safe space for anyone who needed a calmer place to work. Sustainability is intertwined into everything I do and with every decision at Mash we had suitability at the forefront, from sourcing all our furniture secondhand from marketplaces and flea markets to being zero waste. Everything within the space is movable which means thatwe can design the space for any need from salon use, shoots or education seminars.

What is your greatest career achievement so far and how did you get there?

I’ve had some amazing achievements so far from awards to job roles. Winning Creative Head's 'It Girl' and then Colour Expert were turning points in my career. Picking up the keys for Mash will definitely go down in my career history books. And I’m about to have a very defining career moment when I take on the role as President for The Fellowship for British Hairdressing. 

Why did you choose Hackney Downs Studios as the place for MASH?

Elevating your business to a bricks and mortar business is always a nerve wracking experience, but the team have made me feel so welcomed. I chose HDS because I fell in love with the space, both my studio and the whole area that they've created around it. There’s so much on offer here and I’m excited to dive into it all.  

Talk to us a little about your upcoming appointment within the Fellowship of British Hairdressing.

At the end of June, I will be made the President of The Fellowship for British Hairdressing, which is a huge honour and responsibility. I have been apart of the non-profit organisation my whole career, from utilising the opportunities they give to further my career, to becoming a board member and creating opportunities for others. Over the last 10 years, I’ve worked on the board, being Head of Diversity, Chancellor and recently Vice President. I’m extremely excited to be taking over now as President. In the 78 years the organisation has been running, there has only been three other female presidents, and to come on board as the youngest is monumental. It is really important to me that we shift that and become more diverse and inclusive of everyone, so that anyone coming into the hair industry can see themselves reflected back from the top down. The role will see me take on the vision for the organisation and guide it for two years working closely with our CEO and board members. 

Discover more about the work taking place at MASH Creative Studio here, and follow Ashleigh Hodges on Instagram here.

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