Hairdressing

Hairdressing      

What is a good London hairdresser worth?

Hairdressing Salon

Hairdressing Salon - Notice the apostrophe error?

What do you expect from your local London hairdresser? A basic run of the mill hair cut for less than the price of a bus ride home, a slightly better hair cut for a few pounds more or a fantastic hair cut for a realistic and reasonable price? The latter is the obvious choice for anyone who wants to look good and who is prepared to pay that little extra for the privilege of having a great hair cut. But some would say a hair cut is a just a hair cut. Why pay for something I can get my friend to do at home? Why waste my money on getting my hair cut on a regular basis.

I have been brought up around hairdressing salons all my life. My parents were both hairdressers and owned several hairdressing salons in London. In the 1980’s they owned a hairdressing salon in Barnes High Street, London. I remember a story that originated around this time that has been told to me many times and I would like to share it with you.

My parents were relatively new in this particular part of London and had recently opened up a small hairdressing salon in the High Street. After a busy day, in their newly opened London hairdressing salon, my parents decided to go to their local bar to have a well deserved drink. While ordering their drinks, a gentleman at the bar said loudly

“Hey! You’re the new hairdressers in the high street aren’t you?”

“Yes we are” replied my mother, looking rather glamorous as usual.

“How much do you charge for a hair cut then?” the man asked, looking towards my father.

My father looked across the bar at the gentleman and said.

“£5.50”

(You have to remember that this was the 80’s, when £5.50 was worth a lot more than it is today)

“£5.50!” the man bellowed with a slight chuckle “I get mine done for only £2.50, my local butcher does it for me”

The atmosphere grew quiet and uneasy as all eyes fell towards my parents. My father took a sip from his drink, turned to the man and said

“Yeah, and it looks like it too!”

The atmosphere instantly lifted as sniggers rippled around the bar and quickly turned to a very easy laughter. The gentleman did not reply and slipped away uneasily into the night.

The very next morning the gentleman turned up at my parent’s salon and booked an appointment to have his hair done. Over the next few years he became a regular client at this small London hairdressing salon and had his hair trimmed at least once a fortnight.

The message in this story is simple. You get what you pay for. A master builder will build you a great wall. A seasoned Taylor will cut you a great suit and a skilled hairdresser will give you a great hair cut.

There is also another good message for all London hairdressers. Don’t sell yourself short for your skilled work. It can take between 2 and 3 years to become a qualified and proficient hairdresser. But it can take several years more to become a really great hairdresser. London is full of really great hairdressers and they should be rewarded for their dedication to a skilled occupation that has been around for hundreds of years.

Hairdressing dictates fashion. It can be observed in photographic snapshots taken from every decade that passes. But at the same time it gives us a major part of our identity and it has always played its roll in separating the classes. As long as we all have hair, hairdressers will be here to help shape us for generations to come.



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