It used to be only the A40 that linked Witney to Central London. But new salon Jason Shepherd Hairdressing has changed all that. London-trained Jason has opened his own salon to bring the capital's style to Oxfordshire. So why has Jason opened a salon in Witney?
I think it's an area with a lot of professionals, people who appreciate good hair design," he says. "But I want this to be different from other salons. There's a London W1 feel. We do precision cutting and Crabtree & Evelyn hand massages. Clients get the chance to indulge in a complimentary hand massage when any colouring process is taking place in the salon. It's all about the feelgood factor."
In the salon - in Witney's Waterloo Walk, off the High Street - the feelgood factor is very much in evidence. You are likely to be offered a cup of tea or coffee, a glass of wine or even a Bailey's on the rocks as you discus your hair needs with a trained professional. The atmosphere is unhurried, and you feel as if the focus is completely on you as the client.
You may want a total overhaul of your look, or perhaps just a more precision version of your existing style. You may even walk in with over-processed hair that is crying "help!"
Whatever your hair needs, you will find it at Jason Shepherd Hairdressing. Hair products are from Sebastian, a company which uses colours without the addition of artificial chemicals. Vegetable-based dyes, called Colour Shines, are, Jason says, "Great for people with thirsty, coarse hair." These dyes can act as a lifesaver if your hair is crying out for some conditioning.
If you have the opposite problem, Sebastian has introduced a new product called Body Double, which is great for giving volume and fullness to fine hair. The salon also offers Raccoon hair extensions using the finest A1-conditioned European hair.
Jason started training in Greenwich and finished his training in Covent Garden in the 1990s. "I was working alongside people who take the hairdressing industry very seriously," Jason says. "I absorbed a lot from them. You can learn so much from working alongside a dedicated professional."
Now he has taken on the role as teacher, working in the salon to create the new generation of top hair stylists. Training is a vital part of the Jason Shepherd salon. Apprentices combine college study with hands-on training.
"You can only really get a feel for good hairdressing if you are learning in a salon environment," Jason explains. He does much of the training himself, replicating the one-to-one experience which gave him such a grounding for his success in the industry. This learning is supplemented by central London colour courses with L'Oreal.
So why did he decide to open his own salon? "After working hard for years for other people, I've decided to do things my own way," he says. After nearly 15 years in the industry, working in top London salons, he feels that it is time to take his expertise and do something individual with it.
The salon opened in March this year, and has been very busy ever since. "It is good to be building a team of high-quality staff," Jason says. "We are very pleased our hard work and professionalism have paid off."
And what does the future hold?
For Jason, it is all about building on the success already achieved. "We want to build up a strong staff base, and keep offering a quality service consistently. We don't want to rest on our laurels."