A flamboyant era came to a close on Saturday (May 9) as Glen and Julio’s hair salon closed. After styling the hair of four generations of York men and women, Glen Jackson and Julio Garcia have decided to enjoy a well-earned retirement.
Two of the best-known faces in York, Glen and Julio are also renowned throughout the world for multiple triumphs at international hair styling championships.
Closing the door on the Bishopthorpe Road salon was a tough decision, and one which was heralded with tears from proprietors and customers alike. But Glen and Julio have many years of happy memories to look back on – and they kindly opened their photograph album to share some of them with YorkMix readers.
Before he became a hairdresser, Glen was a principal ballet dancer with Northern Ballet and other leading companies.
He came to York from his home town of Norton in the Fifties and, when he wasn’t in the ballet, worked as a window dresser at the Rowntree shop on Coney Street.
Later Glen trained as a hairdresser and quickly discovered he had a gift for it. He opened his first salon in Acomb in the 1960s, moving to the Bishopthorpe Road premises 43 years ago.
Glen met Julio when he was on holiday in Barcelona.
“Julio was there with a load of friends on the beach,” Glen recalled. “We got talking to each other, we had a good laugh together.”
Julio adds: “I came over here for my holidays – and I’m still here!”
That was 42 years ago.
Glen and Julio have a trophy cabinet bigger than Sir Alex Ferguson’s when he managed Man Utd.
They have competed in hair styling championships in all the home countries, as well as in Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Holland.
Their talent, dedication and daring has won them many gold medals and trophies. Glen said:
Glen and Julio represented Britain for seven years. Then they trained the national team for a further three years, coaching younger stylists in the art of winning championships.
They also became Presidents of the National Hair Federation, when they were presented with silver medals for their work in the hairdressing industry.
They have styled aristocrats and showbiz royalty in the salon – including Katharine Worsley, aka the Duchess of Kent, and Judi Dench and her family.
When it became known they were retiring, they were inundated with cards and flowers. Some came from families who had seen four generations styled by G & J.
“We have tried to make this a place of experience,” Glen said of the salon.
They would change the look and feel of the interior every few months. And at Christmas the salon would be transformed into a winter wonderland, more extravagantly festive with each passing year.
On Christmas Eve, staff and friends would gather together for a party and exchange presents.
Now Glen and Julio have hung up their scissors and moved out to a modern house in another part of York. After working six days a week for many years, they finally have the freedom to do exactly what they want.
Glen, a talented artist, has set up one of the rooms in their new home as a studio.
Taking a last look around his home and workplace, the legendary Glen And Julio’s salon on Bishopthorpe Road, Glen says simply: “We’ve been happy here.”