BENN Holbrook-Morris admitted he needed tight discipline when he was training to be a hairdresser.

Naturally talented, he knew it and needed reigning in, he said.

But it paid off as now the 40-year-old dad has opened his own salon in North Hill, Colchester.

With 25 years experience in the industry, Benn has trained with Vidal Sassoon, worked alongside Charles Worthington and styled the hair of the rich and famous at the Dorchester Hotel, London. He also worked in Beijing, China, and was a finalist in the O’Oreal Colour Trophy awards.

Freelancing for a Colchester salon for several years Benn, who lives in Clacton with wife Joanna and 15-month-old daughter Olivia, decided the time was right to go solo.

His business, called Benjamin Charles, aims to provide West End-standard service to Colchester customers, he said.

He is confident the business will flourish, despite the tough times.

He explained: “I was comfortable working for other people until quite recently. Then I managed a friend’s shop and increased its weekly takings. I know my determination and my focus will make this work. I am going to give Colchester customers something they do not already have. I am happy to invest more money in the little details, like accessories and coffee, to make customers feel like they are getting value for money. My motivation is customer delight.”

Benn will employ five staff plus an apprentice.