Former Commonwealth Games sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis’ hair salon will hopefully reach the gold standard for athletes and fans this summer in Birmingham. Located in the Jewelery Quarter, the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medalist co-owns ‘Ffion’s’ alongside his cousin Tracy Robinson.
Named after Mark’s daughter, Ffion’s is a hair salon on Kenyon Street that caters to all hair types. The salon has been operating for four years, three and a half of them at its current location.
For Mark, his story is rooted in the hair industry with his mother-in-law who previously ran a hair salon called Maddison’s. Looking to the future with Tracy, Mark hopes Games-time tourism will emphasize Ffion’s as a salon for all hair types.
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“It shows that there is a service we can provide and we understand how athletes are feeling before games. It’s also an opportunity to showcase Tracy’s skills as she’s an amazing hairstylist,” he said.
“Tracy has been in the business for almost 20 years. I grew up with her and have known her since childhood.
“She accompanied me throughout my achievements in athletics. We come from a hairdressing background, my mother-in-law had a hair salon on Smallbrook Queensway called ‘Maddison’s’.
“It’s carrying on the family legacy. Sharing the dream with Tracy is even more special to me.
Brummie Mark won his gold medal in the 4x100m relay at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi but also has an Olympic gold medal to his name in the 4x100m relay in 2004. Now residing in Newport, Mark leaves management from Ffion’s to his cousin who is more than qualified to make the cut.
Tracy has been cutting hair since she was 13 years old and is able to adapt to all styles. A popular spot for sports stars to watch the role on game day, Tracy spoke about the importance a positive Ffion haircut can have on someone’s mental health.
“Many of my clients are athletes and footballers. Just having TV-perfect hair is especially important,” she said.
“If your hair isn’t good, then you don’t feel good. This will then affect performance and this includes people who are going to watch the Games.
“If they don’t feel well or their hair doesn’t look good, I feel like they’re not going to have a good time. I’ve been in hairdressing since I was 13, started sweeping floors with an aunt of mine and started to excel and keep going.
“We don’t see race or discrimination in Ffion. Hair is hair for us.
“Everyone has hair and we don’t distinguish between hair types.”
In addition to running the salon, Tracy is also helping out the next generation of hairstylists by teaching 14-16 year olds at four different schools. Ffion’s is currently operating in a social distancing capacity in order to be accessible to everyone.
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