Meet Afsham Islam

Case Study 2009/10

Afshan was working as a sports teacher when she decided on a career change and started studying hairdressing at Sheffield City College. Now, the 27-year-old mother of three is the owner of a thriving business with a long list of clients waiting for an appointment.

Part of Afshan’s success is down to her using her own personal experience and knowledge, and applying that to a gap in the market. Her salon Beauty Beneath is popular with women of all communities but particularly those who wear the hijab, who only unveil in front of other women. Afshan’s women-only salon is set back from the street and a screen covers the window so that passers-by can’t see in.

The salon’s popularity is down to word of mouth. Afshan said; ‘I sent one text message to a friend and it all started from there. In the first two weeks I was working 12 hours a day, six days a week.

The clients who wear the headscarf tend to have very long hair, like my own which is waist length. But they still want contemporary and daring styles.’

Afshan is not only popular with her clients; she has won a number of competitions including Babyliss Pro.

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