A SALON owner said she had always dreamed of becoming a hairdresser, ever since “chopping” the hair off her dolls as a child.

LJC Hair and Beauty, in Bierley Lane, has been shortlisted alongside nine others to become the T&A’s ‘Best Hairdresser or Barber 2024’.

We recently launched the competition and an incredible 22,444 nominations came in through our online voting platform from our readers.

The names were whittled down to 10 and we are now in the process of publishing a profile on each of the finalists in the coming days.

Lindsey Craven – whose initials are the inspiration for the salon’s name – set up the business 11 years ago this month.

The 43-year-old from Bradford said on being shortlisted: “I was quite surprised really.”

She added: “We were like, ‘oh my God’ – honoured really.”

LJC Hair and Beauty, in Bierley LaneLJC Hair and Beauty, in Bierley Lane (Image: Google Street View)

The salon’s story began when Lindsey took a leap of faith in 2013.

She said: “I took a bit of a risk really, I rented a chair in Bradford town centre, I was pregnant with my little boy.

“This property came up local to me.”

Lindsey said people called her “crazy” for taking it on while she was expecting a child but she was defiant and said “no, I’ll make it work”.

She even worked up until the Tuesday before she had a pregnancy section the following day.

Lindsey said: “I grafted to build it up.”

The town-centre job is where Lindsey first came into contact with her two current full-time staff members, Vicky and Laura.

She said: “They worked with me in town at different times.

“When I opened this, I asked if they would come and join.

“Laura, when I was pregnant, helped out.

“Vicky never qualified but I qualified her here and we’re all friends that worked together.”

Vicky, Ella, Lindsey, and Laura at LJC Hair and Beauty, in Bierley LaneVicky, Ella, Lindsey, and Laura at LJC Hair and Beauty, in Bierley Lane (Image: UGC)

Hairdressing is in the blood for Lindsey – exemplified none more so than the fact her 17-year-old daughter, Ella, is now working at the salon as an apprentice.

She initially helped out on Saturdays at the salon as she began to get older and then decided she wanted to be a hairdresser, according to Lindsey.

Lindsey said: “For me, I always wanted to be a hairdresser since I was a kid.

“The dolls I had, I was chopping their hair off.

“I just like to transform people, make them feel happy.

“To me, clients say it’s a tonic – like you said, if you feel crap, go to the barbers and feel good.”

Customers come over to the salon from neighbouring Leeds, and Aberford, which is testament to the atmosphere Lindsey has created and its prestige in the industry.

She said: “It’s very friendly, we have people that come from all over.”

Lindsey added: “A lot come to us because we’re friendly and they’re at ease.

“We do a lot of colours and specialise in blonde colours.

“We’re a very family-orientated salon.”

Salon life has been busy in recent years, so much so the business reprioritised its focus.

The aim for the future is to continue with the success the salon has had so far.

Lindsey said: “I just want to keep it the same, doing really well.

“Ella is doing her examinations.

“We used to be a beauty salon but the salon got so busy.”

She added: “We just expanded on the hair side really.”