Sammyjo's Story

Hi! I’m Sammyjo Pearson. The founder and owner of Longlox Supersalon. I’ve been a trained hair extension specialist for over 20 years! Let me tell you how it all started. Here is my story…

I completed my first hair extension course at the age of 15. From that day I had so much passion for it, I always wanted to learn more, do more courses, and add to my skills and eventually, my dream was to open my own salon.

I created the brand name ‘Longlox’ when I was just 15.. hence the ‘x’ - but I still love the name to this day as it reminds me of 15-year-old me with a dream of owning my own salon (little did I know how big and successful it would become!)

I was a mobile hair extensionist for approximately 2 years whilst working at my mam and dads factory in the office -where i learnt the paperwork side of business. I was too young to drive so my mam used to take me to my clients houses for appointments! She and my dad supported me since day one- this is where i get my work ethic from.. they are both so hard working and driven. I have always aspired to be as successful as them both!

I applied for a small business grant when i was 17 to help me with funds to be able to open my very first salon. I worked so hard on this grant it was about 40 pages long! It was accepted which helped me a lot! I opened up my first salon at the age of 18. It had 2 hairdressing chairs, an automated spray tanning booth and i started off the kids pamper parties craze!

My first Longlox salon (left) My second Longlox salon (right)

Approximately 5 years later the bigger shop next door to this salon became available and because I needed more room I moved next door. This salon had 4 hairdressing chairs and a-lot more room. After another 5 years of hard work it was time to look for a bigger premises. Me, my mam and dad looked around the area for years until this came available. I viewed this big empty unit and seen it had so much potential- It was 6 times bigger than my current salon but I had a vision and knew I was ready to take this big step to move.

At the age of 28 I launched the opening of this huge super-salon. The colour scheme of my previous salons were pink and girly, so for this super-salon I wanted to change it up. I went for a different look.. beige and browns keeping it very neutral. The launch was a huge success with ques up the street! I felt as though i was on cloud 9. This was the start of opening my doors everyday. (My previous salon was only 5 days a week) But i opened this supersalon 7 days a week.

My supersalon when i moved in 2016

I loved my new super-salon so much I was working 7 days a week.. I didn’t mind as I just loved being there. I was the owner, the manager, receptionist, in charge of all social media, content creator, I was still fitting hair extensions daily, along with training my staff in extensions too. It’s clear to me now that I was doing far too much! Especially working every day it was open with no days off. It took its toll on me and I began to become very stressed and mentally unwell. I had suffered silently for years but at that time I didn’t realise or understand mental health. It wasn’t spoken about enough and I did not know what I was going through or how to cope with it. Working so much, and being surrounded by the wrong people at work led me to have a mental breakdown. At this point, I wanted to close my doors and give up on everything I had worked for. My mam had always worked alongside my dad in their roofing contracting business since they were both 17 in their office, but when I took ill she stepped in, started working at Longlox and became my manager. She changed the structure of the salon, changed staff and the way it was ran. Meanwhile I was so unwell I stayed at home whilst my dad kept a close eye on me for about 8 month.

My mam and dad are my rocks and i will be forever grateful to them for pulling me through that horrendous time. I will be forever in their debt for not letting me giving up on my business.

I came back to work and remembered just how much i loved it and thought it was time for a revamp. I’ve always been very creative, so when i gradually came back to work after my time off, the way i coped was to do creative things in the salon which made me so happy! I fancied a new look, new decor, new colour scheme to show i was back, more colourful and stronger mentally. Which is when i came up with the idea of creating the ‘most instagrammable salon ever’ (Instagram wasn’t all that big years before this- so when it started to be more popular and i seen people getting photos in cafes just because they were pretty settings, i thought it was the perfect idea to create something no one had ever done before.) My creative brain took over and i done all of the new decor myself.. i love anything to do with interior design so it just came naturally to me!

I began to cover the walls with flowers, the ceiling with fairies, barbies in hedges, transformed the toilets into mean girls themed, bought a real life barbie box so clients can have their barbie moment, Queens throne and so much more instagrammable features.. basically my idea was to have multiple areas of the salon where clients could get ‘insta worthy’ photos and then post to their socials and tag Longlox. Which would attract more clients.

I was then out of the blue approached by a production company as they had seen my instagrammable salon on instagram and they wanted to start a new reality tv series and wanted it to be focused on me and my salon. I was shook that a production company would want to film me and my salon! I didn’t know what to expect or if i was mentally strong enough to go through with it.

We filmed series one and it was a huge hit, i opened up about my mental health struggles on tv which i’m so very proud as i know it has helped so many people by speaking up. A year later we started filming series 2 but the country went into a national lockdown due to coronavirus.. we had only managed to film four episodes but had to close the salon with immediate affect. Closing the salon was heartbreaking for any business owner as you just didn’t know when you would be able to open your doors again. All of this was captured on tv. We were the only tv series that filmed a reality tv series at the time of the announcement of the covid pandemic. As a business owner lockdown was very hard. I worked all the way through selling hair extensions, clipins and products. I worked more in lockdown than what i do now! It was 7 days a week doing my daily walk to the post office with loads of parcels! When salons had the go ahead to re open their doors, it was so exciting to be back but was a very stressful time for us as we were filmed the day we came back. You had to make sure you were complying with all social distancing rules, full PPE, i paid a fortune for plastic screens around each section and the reception desk to ensure my clients and staff were safe. i hadn’t seen my girls in months and i couldn’t even cuddle them it was so strange but great to be back at work. As you can imagine the whole of Newcastle hadn’t had their hair done in months so the salon was HECTIC BUSY! We finished filming series 2 and this was also a huge success.

A year later we filmed series 3. Series 3 was abit different as the BBC wanted to add another 2 other businesses into the mix. One of which was my friends business, pure ink, and the other was a boxing gym in Jarrow. This series you also see me walking away from another relationship i was not happy in. Queen of walking away!

Series 4 was filmed a year later which involved another hard topic for me to talk about on tv as i spoke openly about recently going through a miscarriage. Speaking openly about my struggles and experiences help me knowing that i’m helping other people who are watching. I also became godmother twice in this series too which was really special!

If you would like to read more about angels of the north click here or you can binge watch all 4 series on bbc iplayer!

Ive came to the point in my life now where i am so happy & content, the happiest i’ve ever been in a relationship BY FAR, i’m active on my socials, i’m bossing life in the salon & to be truthful i’m loving this part of my life NOT being in front of a camera 24/7. Which is why we have decided to not film Angels of the North this summer. I will still keep you updated on my socials of course! (Never a dull moment for me & my Longlox girls)

The past 20 years has been a hell of a journey! But im grateful for my hurdles and hard times as it’s made me the strong person i am today.

Within this time i have had a training academy within my supersalon and taught hair extensions weekly to aspiring extensionists who wanted to learn my tips and tricks! I also created my own brand of hair extensions including nanolox, wefts and clip-ins. I also have my own brush range which includes a mini compact brush, the famous Longlox brush (if you know you know!) , teasing tail comb and an anti static wide tooth comb. To see more of what I have to offer click here for the online shop!

That gets me to now. Longlox is not only a super salon which is open 6 days a week, it is now a hair extension suppliers which we supply to both public and trade. (If you are a hair extensionist and would like to open a trade account please click here.)

I also currently have a couple of rooms which can be rented out for beauty, massage, aesthetics, makeup.. If you would like more information please message @longlox_hairextensions on instagram i would be more than happy to help!

I am the happiest i’ve been in every aspect of my life at the moment and im loving sharing every step with you all through my instagram stories! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story - i hope you enjoyed! To keep up with what i’m up to feel free to follow me on instagram - @sammyjo_pxx

Much Love,
Sammyjo xoxo