A 24-year-old entrepreneur whose hair product was rejected by high street shops in the UK now serves customers across the globe.

Sal Essa, from Harrow, described his path to success after skipping university to go straight into the workforce.

Sal was educated at John Lyon School and St Dominic's sixth form college in Harrow. He then went on to work in print advertising where he found a passion for selling and here he was able to use his language skills ranging from French to Spanish when speaking to tourism boards.

Mr Essa said: “Pitching really gives me a thrill as your speaking to someone you never met in your life and in order to have a conversation that’s meaningful to a CEO you have to talk and pretend to be like one.

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“As an entrepreneur it helped me realise you really have to be in the trenches at the beginning, the skills I learnt in that job set me up for starting my own businesses.

“People may not be interested, and you have to be resilient to being told no, you get told no a million times.”

Mr Essa’s passion for languages led to him travelling to China in 2012 when he began to learn mandarin.

In 2014, he launched an internship agency which helped young people and students go to China. He eventually shut the business because of issues with students changing their minds on their careers and the lack of deposits.

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He then began venturing into the cosmetics industry where in 2015 he worked closely with women in Morocco completing community projects for argan oil.

But in 2016 he wanted to focus on male grooming using the oil to create a better hair product and discovered the concept of his brand No Gunk at Spitalfields market in London.

He said: “At the market I saw a chap going back home from work and I said to him he could do a bit more to his hair and said he could use argan oil.

“The oils have no chemicals and I was shocked because he bought it, he bought into the concept and it was a really powerful moment for me.

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“There was clearly some resonance of that idea in the market and it gave me faith in the idea, and we decided to market no gunk just funk and started trading at the market.

“I would drag a suitcase all the way to east London and we used to sell with this giant moustache I’d wear, and people used to think it’s my own so people used to come by and be interested.”

Mr Essa’s branding for No Gunk went through several phases but his difficulties were with market street shops not wanting to put his product on their shelves.

He decided he received his last no after a shop backed out of an offer and turned to Amazon in 2017 as a chance to sell his product.

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He added: “Since we began working with Amazon it has really digitally transformed our business. It has been very powerful to put it into perspective; with Amazon we have millions of customers across the globe.

“We have a marketplace which we can access at our fingertips and we’re now selling in 23 countries by ourselves.

“It's interesting for me because I used to aspire to be in the shelves of Superdrug or Boots. I had this inspiration for no gunk for some time.”

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Mr Essa received Best Male Hair Product 2018 at the PURE Beauty Global Awards and also received the runner up position this year for his matte lava clay.

Mr Essa believes branding, patience and persistence is the key to starting a thriving business.

He added: “Don’t be afraid to try something new and be patient even if you feel sometimes that you’re not getting anywhere.

“I think the moral of the story is until the market is obviously feeling the way you want to feel about your brand then you just have to keep listening and be patient.”