Wow Hair and Beauty Bar isn’t just another salon, for the Roath community it’s a safe haven, a place where you can relax and feel comfortable in yourself. It’s an LGBTQ+ inclusive business with gender neutral pricing. Many people, including myself, have felt that other salons can make you feel uncomfortable and excluded. You don’t feel as though you can dye your hair a crazy colour or cut it just how you’d like it.
You may recognise the name WoW if you are an LGBTQ+ person living in Cardiff. Mandie was gifted the name by Vicky Roffi, manager and owner at Cardiff infamous WoW Bar, was by Steven and Jason who both sadly passed away. They left it to the bar’s next owner Vicky, who sadly passed away in 2021. Vicky was a huge part of us creating WoW Hair and Beauty Bar, as she wanted Mandie to live out her dream of running an inclusive salon. Mandie carried on the name and their memory, “We aim every single day to make her proud and do the name justice, but it’s so much more than just a name.”
To further honour Vicky, a bench stands outside WoW dedicated to her with the words, “There’s lovely”. And inside on the wall there is a collection of kind words and photos of Vicky.
After opening in October last year, it hasn’t been without it’s struggles. Since the fire-break lockdown they’ve been closed more than open but have still managed to gain strong customer loyalty by creating a safe beauty space for Cardiff residents.
One customer, Jade said: “Haven’t been to any hair salon in about six years, so I was looking for a reputable one to go to where I felt comfortable. I was recommended WoW Hair and Beauty and was not disappointed.”
Another customer said: “I like their ethos and I felt super comfortable.”
Whilst some may think we live in an all accepting society, and in some aspects there might be some truth in that, but for a young person discovering their true self, or someone who has faced abuse due to their identity, a salon like WoW is a breath of fresh air. Simply things like feeling judged for wanting a certain hairstyle, or a bright colour; or same sex couples made to feel uncomfortable when bringing in their children, it is still a real problem for many people. That is why we are so happy to shine a light on the wonderful place Mandie has been able to create to make everyone feel comfortable and included.