New to Dublin? In need of a haircut? Hannah Farrell is here to give you the guide to the city's many salons.
Adjusting to college life can take its toll on any unsuspecting first year. You think you have it all sussed out, from knowing the best routes to lecture halls around campus to becoming the expert coffee connoisseur of the class. But it only takes a couple of weeks before you notice your hair becoming suddenly unruly and outgrown and, if, for whatever reason, you can't make it back to your regular spot back home, well the search for a new place of choice to get your tresses maintained can be as stressful as any of your college modules. When I first made the move to Dublin three years ago, it dawned on me how restricted and easily led you are in a small town. The local hairdresser’s is what you know to be top notch. But quite frankly, you’ve always just gone to the one that your mammy brought you to for your first cut, and either out of laziness or lack of variety available, you never moved on. So as you can imagine, Dublin (the city centre alone) is home to an abundance of salons and barbers, but just because they’re making it in the capital doesn’t mean you should throw every ounce of trust you have at the first one you lay your eyes on. The hunt for the hairdresser of dreams is one that shouldn’t be taken lightly, especially if you don the full head of highlights look – one wrong move and you’ll be throwing it back to Britney ’07.
While I haven’t tried and tested every salon in the lovely city centre, I have hedged my bets in a couple that I carefully sought out. A little disclaimer is now well due. It goes without saying that a
cheap haircut is a bad haircut and a bad haircut is cheap. While I wouldn’t dream of handing over my week’s wages for a shampoo and blow dry, I’m equally not quite keen on paying much less than €20 for a decent cut. Therefore, I can’t vouch for any “really good and cheap” salons because I reckon they’re as bountiful as the amount of the extra reading I’ll do this semester. I do, however, find pleasure in a good bargain just like the next person, so all of my suggestions and salons of hairdos past are student friendly (budget wise, primarily).
Dublin is renowned for its plenitude of training academies and these are definitely the bee’s knees in terms of the struggling, student budget. A few significant mentions include David Marshall on Fade Street (how fitting) and Robert Chambers of Grafton Street. The notable price differences available in comparison to their respective salon counterparts are outstanding especially since the salon’s students are constantly under the watchful eye of their tutors. The only disadvantage of this option that I personally experienced, was the extensive amount of time spent sitting in the chair compared to a regular salon. If you have 6 hours to wait around while getting a full head of highlights, by all means, support your fellow student species. However in a world where time is money and you have lectures to attend, spending the extra bit of cash with a fully qualified hairdresser may be more up your street.
So reader, as many of you probably have too, I’ve searched high and low. I have gritted my teeth and bit my tongue, watching, as some creative genius with a scissors in hand, plans my hair’s faith and decides what’s best for me. But alas I have conquered the mission of all missions. I found my perfect salon and two years later that remains to be true. Boasting a lavish 20% off for us impecunious students, UHB in the GPO Arcade is the ideal spot for any newbies to the Capital.
The Dublin 1 salon really is a treat, from the immaculate coffee to the luxurious and unexpected massaging chairs that allow you to submerge yourself in the most heavenly of hair washes. There are so many possibilities at UHB, with a barber shop and beauty salon in addition to the hair salon itself. But apart from the generous student discount and the added extras that make your salon visit at UHB all the more lush, they really know HAIR and how to make you happy!
I can’t speak for everyone but I’m of the belief that when you don’t get the dreaded “I hate my hair already” feeling as you stare at your new ‘do, wishing you could take it all back, well then I think you’re on to a winner. Keep the faith and never give up because out there somewhere is the perfect salon for you! I hope you too may find your match made in Hair Heaven.