AFTER a 100-day lockdown, Crewkerne hair and beauty salon thirtyOne is to re-open on April 12 with a new star stylist... and its own in-house cake baker!

Owner-director Jilly Lynch is adding a new edge to her six-strong team of hair and beauty experts by bringing in one of the most skilled and experienced cutters and colourists, former London salon chief Rob Baker.

Rob comes to the Market Square salon with more than just decades of expertise as, living up to his name, he will add to the luxury salon experience by baking his own homemade cakes for clients to enjoy.

Lyme Regis-born Rob, who worked with Jilly and built his reputation by leading teams of stylists at salons in London, Bath and Exeter, is returning to the region after more than 20 years running his premier establishment at Chipping Norton in The Cotswolds.

“Bringing Rob into my team as creative director will give us more than 300,000 hours of hairstyling experience between us all,” said Jilly.

“I am delighted to be working with Rob again after so long; his addition to our all-female team will bring a great dynamic to the salon.”

She added: “When thirtyOne reopens on April 12, it will be just over 100 days since the salon was closed by the lockdown... 100 days is an awfully long time for anyone to wait to have their hair done.

“But as the phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the lifting of lockdown was announced, clearly clients are desperate to treat themselves and relax once again in a friendly place.”

Chard & Ilminster News:

TOGETHER AT LAST: The thirtyOne team ready for re-opening. From left to right - Georgia Amor, Lisa Babb, Rob Baker, Jilly Lynch, Robyn Elliott, Sally Parker (pic: Paul Lynch)

Since Jilly established thirtyOne in Crewkerne in 2003, she has built it into one of the most professional and popular salons for miles around, acclaimed on social media for the cheerful team’s mastery of hair and beauty treatments, and celebrated for the calm and spaciousness of its interior design.

Alongside owner-director Jilly and creative director Rob, the thirtyOne team comprises artistic directors Sally Parker, Lisa Babb and Georgia Amor, and trainee stylist Robyn Elliott.

Besides cutting and colouring, thirtyOne also offers an extensive selection of mind-calming aromatherapy massage treatments in its Absolute Beauty department, which is in the soothing hands of beauty consultant Laura Holland.

And now there’s going to be cake too!

Rob said: “I like to think of a great salon as being, after your home and your work, that third and special place, a haven from it all where clients can come to feel relaxed, be pampered and come out looking their very best.

“I am thrilled to be joining Jilly’s great team at a salon which is already renowned not only for the excellence of its cutting and friendly professionalism, but which is also a shining example of what a top salon ought to be all about - an oasis committed to giving you the best experience possible.

“And with that best experience should come great cake.

"I long ago began baking my own cakes for clients at my salon in the Cotswolds and it proved extremely popular; home-made cake always adds that special touch to a warm welcome.

"My fruit cake is a bit of a hit and I’m looking forward to it raisin' a smile in Crewkerne.

"It’s a dream crumb true to be here!"